Participative Management: Quality vs. Quantity

by J. Ritchie, Raymond Miles



The continuing research on the purpose and process of participative management has contributed additional support for the Human Resources theory of participation. It has emphasized that when the impact on subordinates is considered, the superior's attitude toward the traits and abilities of his subordinates is equally as important as the amount of consultation in which he engages. This not-so-startling finding allows expansions and interpretation of modern theories of participation to counter criticisms which may be properly leveled at a simple quantity theory of participation. However, although the findings have obvious implications for both theory and management behavior, they too are open to possible misinterpretation. The findings emphasize the importance of attitudes of trust and confidence in subordinates, but they do not indicate their source. It is possible, but unlikely, that those superiors in the sample who reported the highest levels of trust and confidence in their subordinates did so because their subordinates were in fact of higher caliber than those of their colleagues.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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