The Role of Participation in the Organization



The preceding chapters in this volume have demonstrated that interac­tion is a fundamental aspect of organizational, indeed social, life. Participation suggests a slightly different connotation: that of inten­tional involvement in particular activities with shared control over their outcomes. Interaction may be thought necessary to organization­al and social functioning, but is participation necessary? The aims of this chapter are to rehearse the arguments for and against a participa­tive approach to organizational behaviour: to ask the question ‘if participation may be shown to be effective in some circumstances, how might such a style be developed?’ This particular query opens up for discussion a philosophy of teaching and learning which is compatible with training for participation. Following this a selection of training techniques are examined as possible candidates for the development of participative styles. This raises the question ‘under what circumstances is a participative approach appropriate?’ In the training context, the implications of this question are (i) what contingencies are known to be important? (ii) how can one set about sensitizing individuals to such contingencies? and (iii) more specifically, what training techniques, if any, are available to fulfil this particular need?


Personal Growth Organizational Issue Management Philosophy Persuasive Technology Participative Practice 
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© Elizabeth Chell 1985

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