Employee involvement and the middle manager: a multi-level, cross-company study of their role in the effectiveness of employee involvement initiatives

Fenton-O'Creevy, Mark (1997) Employee involvement and the middle manager: a multi-level, cross-company study of their role in the effectiveness of employee involvement initiatives. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School. OPEN ACCESS


There is ample evidence that employee involvement practices can, in some circumstances, lead to improvements in both employee work attitudes and productivity. However, there is considerable variation in the extent to which organisations achieve these outcomes. It is argued in this thesis that a key moderator of outcomes is the extent of management support for or resistance to employee involvement. This thesis is organised around a sequence of successive related inquiries which address the question, "In what circumstances do managers support or resist increased employee inwlvement in their organisations, and what is the effect of their resistance or support? ". The studies reported on in this thesis are: a qualitative pilot study drawing on interviews with multiple informants in twelve organisations seeking to implement employee involvement practices; a company level questionnaire survey of 155 UK companies; a questionnaire survey of 1,119 managers drawn from the membership of the Institute of Management; and a multi-instrument, multi-level questionnaire survey study of managers in 27 companies drawn from the original sample of 155. It is concluded, from these studies, that there is no evidence for less support for El among middle managers than among senior managers. However, hypotheses concerning a number of correlates of management support for El were confirmed. Some support was found for a view of management resistance to El as a rational response to threats to self interest. Strong support was also found for explanations of resistance to El as arising out of shared normative beliefs in defence of the status quo, lack of experience1 competence and a mismatch between organisation systems and the goals of EL The relationship between managers' own empowerment and their support for El was found to be moderated by the climate of beliefs concerning the extent of common purpose in their organisation.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 11:11
Date of first compliant deposit: 25 Feb 2022
Subjects: Industrial democracy
Middle managers
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 17:21
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/2408

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