The Decentralization of Decision Making and Employee Involvement within the Workplace: Evidence from Four Establishment Datasets

29 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2011

See all articles by Cindy Zoghi

Cindy Zoghi

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Robert D. Mohr

University of New Hampshire - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

Participatory work practices, like teams, quality circles and joint consultative committees (JCCs) can, but do not necessarily, decentralize decision making and increase worker autonomy. We use broad, cross‐sectional establishment data from the European Union and three Commonwealth countries to measure the extent of decision making by workers across these countries, and to analyse how this measure varies with the use of participatory practices. Within Europe, workers in Sweden, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Ireland are most likely to be given the authority to make decisions. In Spain, Portugal and Italy, decentralized decision making is more unusual. While decision making is generally higher in establishments with teams, JCCs and quality circles, this result does not hold across all countries. Even where the relationships are significant, use of participatory practices explains a surprisingly small amount of the overall variation in decision making.

Suggested Citation

Zoghi, Cindy and Mohr, Robert D., The Decentralization of Decision Making and Employee Involvement within the Workplace: Evidence from Four Establishment Datasets (December 2011). British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp. 688-716, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1960424 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8543.2010.00838.x

Cindy Zoghi (Contact Author)

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Behavioral Science Research Center
Washington, DC
United States

Robert D. Mohr

University of New Hampshire - Department of Economics ( email )

Durham, NH 03824
United States

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