WORKPLACE DEMOCRACY: AN INQUIRY INTO EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION IN CANADIAN WORK ORGANIZATIONS
Donald V. Nightingale.
Volume 10 Number 4.
This erudite work examines the relationships among those groups involved in the decision-making process in the workplace and advocates the development of a collaborative form of workplace democracy.
The book is organized along clear sensible lines that first inform, then examine, and finally place workshop democracy in the perspective of the present day. A valuable feature is the generous allotment of space to the definition of key terms used in the discussion. The chapter describing the evolution of managerial authority in this century is not only instructive but supports the argument that change is not only necessary in this regard but could also be considered natural and inevitable. The chapter comparing features of matched groups of democratic and hierarchical workplaces may prove hard work for readers, like myself, who have allowed their statistical skills to become rusty, but Dr. Nightingale has succeeded in making them readily understandable to those readers prepared to make a little effort. The attitude of the trade union movement to workshop democracy in its collaborative form is considered, and while the defects of the adversary relationship between management and labour are underlined, arguments supporting that form of relationship are included. There are several appendices, and the first of these, describing various forms of workplace democracy in Canada, is of particular interest.
Jenkins and Sherman in their recent book The Collapse of Work have suggested that "Employees will have to, and inevitably must, get involved in the strategic-decision making of their employers and probably on a trans-national basis." Dr. Nightingale in this study provides valuable support for the movement in favour of the evolution of relationships in the workplace that is gaining support in much of the western industrialized world.
This book is particularly appropriate for university students studying in the fields of management or industry or related areas. It is well organized and written in a clear manner. The list of references is of value in itself, as well as providing evidence of the scholarly nature of the book.
John D. Crawford, Frank Hobbes J. H. S., Victoria, BC.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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