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Participative management has been a hot topic of debate for decades. intuitively, if workers are allowed to take part in decision that affect their work lives they should be happier and, therefore, more productive. While this hypothesis is attractive, especially to caring managers and writers, the effective use of PM has proven to be much more complicated than originally anticipated. What is PM? What costs are associated with PM? What benefits does PM produce? When can PM be used most effectively?

To date, management experts and practitioners have agreed to disagree regarding PM. Conflicting and ambiguous studies and experiences abound. In view of the recently uncovered complexity and resulting confusion surrounding the use of PM, this article will attempt to clarify the relevant concepts and direct us toward an effective, selective approach.

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