Worker Involvement, the New Technologies and New Forms of Company Organization
The concept of democratic participation has been receiving wide attention over the past few years — both in Germany and at the European level. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for social and corporate praxis where practical implementation of the idea encounters ingrained resistance and reservations from different groups. On the one hand, the trades unions are afraid that forms of direct democratic involvement will act in competition to the institutionalized forms of in-company codetermination; on the other, many managers — having discovered that worker involvement is a good way to improve both productivity and quality — are simultaneously opposed to the transfer to the grass roots of any real responsibility or decision making rights. Nevertheless, the narrow use of employee participation as a mere management strategy should not obscure our view of the opportunities for self-organization, democratization and personal development that are inherent to democratic participation.
Keywords: Co-determination., Work Restructuring, Democratic Participation, Trades Unions
Published online: 15 October 1999