industrial democracy


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industrial democracy

the participation of the workforce in the government of organizations. Various approaches to industrial democracy provide employees or their representatives with varying degrees of power to influence decision-making processes in their organization. All, however, involve the creation of institutions and mechanisms to permit transmission of employee interests and objectives into these processes.

Industrial democracy can take a number of forms:

  1. workers' control, where the workforce is the sole source of authority within the organization, even though the organization might be actually owned by another (i.e. the state), and managers are required to operate to policy determined by the collectivity. This can be said to be direct form of democracy in that potentially all workers are deeply involved in the formulation of policy;
  2. workers' cooperative, where the organization is actually owned by the employees, and where the management (selected by and possibly from the workforce) acts in accordance with policies formulated by or sanctioned by the workforce. See WORKERS' COOPERATIVE;
  3. worker directors, who are representatives of the workforce who sit on the BOARD OF DIRECTORS and are involved in determining broad company policy. In contrast to other forms of industrial democracy it is not anticipated that worker representatives will have a close involvement in operational decisions. However, in the CO-DETERMINATION system in Germany, worker directors operate in tandem with works councils, which have a more substantial involvement in these areas of management. See WORKER DIRECTOR;
  4. collective bargaining which is a form of industrial democracy in that it involves management formally relinquishing the right to take all decisions in the organization. See COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.

These various forms of industrial democracy can be contrasted with EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION and EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT, where employee involvement is often confined to immediate job issues and where employees or their representatives have few formal rights in decision-making. See BULLOCK REPORT, SOCIAL CHAPTER.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson

industrial democracy

the participation of the workforce in the corporate decision- making process alongside management. See WORKER PARTICIPATION, TRADE UNION, EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP PLAN.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Blending the philosophy of the Americans Commons and Perlmann and the French Maritain and Mounier (Michelagnoli, 2010, 2011; Totaro, 1996), but adapting these ideas to the particular Italian situation (Formigoni, 1991), the CISL read differently the Italian reality, designing a new labor strategy (Saba, 2000), calling itself 'new union' (Zaninelli, 1981) and it even distanced itself from his own catholic tradition: many of CISL's opponents called it the 'American trade union' and accused it of imitating the American system of industrial relations: free bargaining, productivity, industrial democracy, vertical organization, complete autonomy from the State, from the DC Party and from the Catholic Church.
Charged with the year-long task of analysing labour relations and corporate governance arrangements at home and across the industrialised world, and with formulating rules for a 'radical extension of industrial democracy', the Bullock Committee's majority report recommended a rough 50:50 split between shareholder and employee votes electing members to a single-tier unitary board (Davies, 1978), thus giving workers in industry a level of influence unimaginable by today's standards of weak and ever more diluted employment rights.
(1951), Industrial Democracy and Nationalization: A Study Prepared for the Fabian Society.
"Where you stood on the concept of industrial democracy depended upon whether you sat in a passenger coach or a boxcar."
Studies of this broad spectrum of organizational types and topics over the past 40 years have examined, for example, participation (Pateman 1970; Stern 1988); industrial democracy (Mansbridge, 1983; Bowles & Gintis; 1986; Gustavson, 1983; Johnson, 2006); and the worker owned firm (Perry & Davis, 1985).
Kleiner reveals intriguing histories of men like Kurt Lewin, a psychology professor who founded the National Training Laboratories; Eric Trist, who popularized the notion of industrial democracy on the assembly line; and Pierre Wack, a consultant and then executive with Royal Dutch Shell who studied with mystics and nurtured employees with unusual perception and depth of understanding.
What I mean by this may be best expressed by comparing the "workers' rights are human rights" formulation, which is often used by today's labour activists, with the concept of "industrial democracy," which was the us labour movement's most prominent ideal in the first half of the 20th century.
This extends beyond governance and concerns industrial democracy. Emploees' role as creditors (and unpaid lenders to the business) is a strong case for enhanced industrial democracy.
Second, government contracting and procurement processes can be tied to a requirement that tenderers have in place a collective agreement, forms of industrial democracy and union recognition protocols.
Placed in chronological order, Levi's fragments read like a nostalgic travelogue, hoping that the glimpses and vestiges of its ancient, medieval, and baroque cultures could survive Italy's fitful emergence as an industrial democracy.
They see Du Bois' interest in Reconstruction as "not simply a battle between black and white races, or between master and ex-slave; it was also a vast labor movement galvanized by the promise of industrial democracy, which was to eventually betray itself on the alter of racial apartheid at home and imperialism abroad" (174).

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