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Employee participation and involvement : Experiences of aerospace and automobile workers in the UK and Italy

Richardson, Mike and Danford, Andy and Stewart, P. and Pulignano, Valeria (2010) Employee participation and involvement : Experiences of aerospace and automobile workers in the UK and Italy. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 16 (1). pp. 21-37. ISSN 0959-6801

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For most of the past century, assessing the form, significance and outcomes of employee participation and involvement (EPI) schemes has exercised the minds of academics and practitioners alike. A common line of inquiry concerns the question of whether employers adopting such schemes benefit from securing positive outcomes, such as greater employee commitment, enhanced organizational performance and a reduction in industrial conflict We have to look back to the 1960s and 1970s in particular, when calls for greater industrial democracy from workers and unions were prevalent, to find debates that are concerned with workers' aspirations as well as employers. Poole's (1975) study of workers' participation argued that the form, extent, scope and range of employee participation in the workplace are key factors in assessing EPI as they reflect the basic power processes in society, and are strongly affected by shifts in capital's power advantage over labour.