Advantages and Disadvantages of Participative Management

After having read lots of stuff about participative management and its implementation, lots of questions arise in the mind of the reader. Is participative management really beneficial? What are the pros and cons? What are the challenges involved in implementation? What effect does it have upon ROI, after all change comes at a cost! These and lot more, I am sure. Continue reading for getting your answers.

Advantages of Participative Management

Undoubtedly participative approach to management increases the stake or ownership of employees. But there is more to it. The following points elucidate the same.

  • Increase in Productivity: An increased say in decision making means that there is a strong feeling of association now. The employee now assumes responsibility and takes charges. There is lesser new or delegation or supervision from the manager. Working hours may get stretched on their own without any compulsion or force from the management. All this leads to increased productivity.

  • Job Satisfaction: In lots or organizations that employ participative management, most of the employees are satisfied with their jobs and the level of satisfaction id very high. This is specially when people see their suggestions and recommendations being implemented or put to practice. Psychologically, this tells the individual employee that, ‘he too has a say in decision making and that he too is an integral component of the organization and not a mere worker’.

  • Motivation: Increased productivity and job satisfaction cannot exist unless there is a high level of motivation in the employee. The vice versa also holds true! Decentralized decision making means that everyone has a say and everyone is important.

  • Improved Quality: Since the inputs or feedback comes from people who are part of the processes at the lowest or execution level. This means that even the minutest details are taken care of and reported. No flaw or loophole goes unreported. Quality control is thus begins and is ensured at the lowest level.

  • Reduced Costs: There is a lesser need of supervision and more emphasis is laid on widening of skills, self management. This and quality control means that the costs are controlled automatically.

Disadvantages of Participative Management

There is a flip side to everything; participative management stands no exception to it. Whereas this style of leadership or decision making leads to better participation of all the employees, there are undoubtedly some disadvantages too.

  • Decision making slows down: Participative management stands for increased participation and when there are many people involved in decision making, the process definitely slows down. Inputs and feedback starts pouring from each side. It takes time to verify the accuracy of measurements which means that decision making will be slowed down.

  • Security Issue: The security issue in participative management also arises from the fact that since early stages too many people are known to lots of facts and information. This information may transform into critical information in the later stages. There is thus a greater apprehension of information being leaked out.

The advantages seem to outnumber the disadvantages. This however is no assurance that one should blindly adopt it for his/her organization. Organizations are different and therefore the culture, the human resources. A deep understanding of both is required in order to ascertain a decision making style and adopt the same.

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