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the process in which managers inform and seek the views of others before finally deciding what course of action to take. It may take place with interested parties outside the organization, for example local authorities, or with those inside. In INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, joint consultation is where managers consult with employee representatives. It differs from COLLECTIVE BARGAINING in that managers do not usually seek formal agreement and in theory NEGOTIATION does not occur. Instead, representatives are there to listen to management plans and to express their views on them. However, since these views may be forcefully expressed and may be backed up by substantial power resources, managers may have to modify or even abandon their plans as a result. Thus the difference between consultation and collective bargaining may therefore be more apparent than real, and may hinge on the procedural distinction that disagreements during consultation cannot normally be carried forward to the next stage of a GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE.

Consultation may occur in a variety of bodies – joint consultative committee, works committee, etc. – and may involve workplace trade union representatives (SHOP STEWARDS) or representatives elected by all employees separately from union channels of representation. In the latter case, the consultative body is often known as the Works Council, after the German name for such institutions (see CO-DETERMINATION).

Traditionally, consultation has been viewed as dealing with minor welfare issues (‘tea ‘n toilets’) though major rationalizations can be the subject of consultation. However, it is a common complaint that employees are either not consulted at all over such important issues or else consultation is left to such a late stage that it is impossible to modify managerial plans. In recent years some companies, e.g. some of the Japanese firms in the UK, have extended consultation to cover issues relating to company strategy whilst legislation has stipulated that information should be disclosed to unions and their representatives relating to REDUNDANCY. Equally, there has been a shift in some organizations from formal joint consultation with employee representatives to direct COMMUNICATION with individual employees. Currently the EUROPEAN WORKS COUNCIL directive of the European Union is requiring that large European firms with plants in more than one member state establish works councils composed of employee representatives from all parts of the company for the purpose of consultation on key issues of company strategy. See DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION, EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT, EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
'As representative of the people of Sarawak, I will report back to them through the consultative committee,' he said, adding that the interest of Sarawak must come first.
Department of Consumer Affairs director Ms Seipati Olweny said the organisation had been holding consultative meetings around the country since last year to inform local businesses about the proposed act.
The consultative event was titled as 'Environmental Information Management System: Addressing Key Issues and Way forward for Pakistan', adds the press release.
For his part, the Amir entrusted Omani Consultative Council President to convey his greetings to Sultan Qaboos bin Said, wishing him health and to the Omani people further progress and prosperity.
The Cabinet Secretariat added, "The directive stipulates that the Minister of Youth and Sports will hold the consultative meeting in the presence of the ministry's representatives and representatives of the ministries of interior, health, communications (for the purpose of the possibility of installing large screen), civil defense, the Iraqi Football Federation, to avoid any possible incidents when large gatherings of human beings in the forums and sporting events coming, and to submit recommendations to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to submit them to the Prime Minister.
Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid al Zayani, GCC secretary general, stressed the positive and active role of the Consultative Authority in the Gulf joint work process since its establishment, with a total of 44 studies, including 997 recommendations in all fields assigned to it by the leaders of the GCC countries.
The religio-political party MMA is also proposing to hold the consultative session in the parliament.
Abdul Latif bin Rashid al Zayani, GCC Secretary-General, stressed the positive and active role of the Consultative Authority in the Gulf joint work process since its establishment, with a total of 44 studies, including 997 recommendations in all fields assigned to it by the leaders of the GCC countries.
NNA - MP Ali Bazzi, said after Wednesday Gathering's weekly meeting in Ein Teeneh that Speaker of the House Nabih Berri's most recent contacts had mainly focused on the Consultative Gathering's representation in the new government, as well as on some additional touch ups to the awaited cabinet formula.
A consultative workshop presentation on findings of study on 'Transport issues in Karachi' organised by the Shehri Citizens for a Better Environment at at CIIM hall, KMC Head Office, M.A.
Cabinet session to be chaired at 3 pm Local govt structure expected to be approved after consultative meeting ISLAMABAD:Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Lahore on Sunday, where he was briefed on the progress of the 100-day plan and the proposed local bodies system.
Assistant Secretary for Presidential Communications Mocha Uson on Sunday said her controversial video on federalism had been shot before she talked with the consultative committee that was tasked to draft a new Constitution.

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