Werknemersdeelname in die praktisering van arbeidsverhoudinge
Participation has become widely acclaimed as the desirable approach to managing a business in a highly competitive and industrialised/post-industrial economy. The philosophy suggests that improved levels of productivity will be achieved by involving employees in real decision-making, as all employees are more accountable for decisions made by them. This is acknowledged as a particularly difficult philosophy to implement, primarily because it contradicts the traditional approach to management. It, therefore, follows that organisations wishing to adopt a philosophy of participation will be required to make a definite decision and commitment to a process which involves changing the current culture and structures in the organisation. Participation can encompass various facets and could range from mere sharing of information and consultation to joint decision-making and shared ownership. Employee participation is actually intended to promote the extension of industrial democracy in the enterprise in the form of joint government by employees. Participation as it is practised in Western Europe has, thus far, not been prevalent in South African industrial relations. Unions in South Africa have, in the past, concentrated and still concentrate mainly on the collective bargaining function, rather than on participative practices. The concept of participation has received much attention in government, management and union circles in South Africa, of late. This has led to the provision of workplace forums in terms of the Labour Relations Act of 1995. It would appear that, albeit in a limited way, the new government is intent on giving employees more say by introducing greater participation at the workplace in the hope of engendering greater co-operation, improved productivity and greater labour harmony.