Worker Participation in Diverse Settings: Does the Form Affect the Outcome, and if so, who Benefits?
Batt, Rosemary; Applebaum, Eileen
[Excerpt] This paper utilizes extensive surveys of workers in three occupational groups (network craft workers, semi-skilled office workers, and semi-skilled machine operators) in two very different industries (telecommunications and apparel)i to examine the outcomes of workplace innovations. Our central . question has two parts. First, what are the outcomes of off-line employee participation programs versus on-line work reorganization experiments? Second, who benefits from which type of innovation: employees, employers, or both? To answer these questions, we consider the effects of off-line versus on-line innovations on workers' satisfaction with their jobs, on their commitment to the companies they work for, and on their perceptions of their performance. We draw on surveys conducted in 1994 at multiple locations within a large regional Bell operating company providing local telephone service and in six plants of three multinational apparel companies (two plants per firm) in the basics segment of the industry. The industries and occupational groups differ along important dimensions, including the production of a service or a good, the degree of competitiveness in the industry, the type of technology utilized, the workers' relationship to technology (whether they "work on" or "work with" technology, see Zuboff 1988), and the required levels of education.
job; manager; telecommunication; service; market; labor; worker; benefit; participation; bureaucracy
Required Publisher Statement: © Wiley-Blackwell. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Batt, R. & Appelbaum, E. (1995). Worker participation in diverse settings: Does the form affect the outcomes? British Journal of Industrial Relations, 33(3), 353-378.