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Innovation, Co-Determination and Direct Participation of Employees

Innovation, Co-Determination and Direct Participation of Employees

  • Project description:

In the face of ever-changing conditions of competition and demands for participation of employees, work councils and managers of organizations are confronted with the challenge to develop sustainable participation regimes. Therefore, critical factors are (a) the interplay of established and new elements of participation regimes, as well as (b) the effect of this interplay on the operational innovation performance. The results from factor (a) put work councils in a position to relate their activities to each other more efficiently and effectively than before. That applies to both the emphasis on content and on the use of their own resources. Empirical evidence concerning factor (b) as a dependent variable of the research model offers work councils and managers seeking participative approaches argumentative support for the communication of sustainable participation regimes vis-à-vis employees, at least those with a generally positive attitude.

Within the research project, a standardized questionnaire will be developed and applied to carry out an extensive interview of German work councils. The survey will take place in a nationwide census of work councils on the basis of a sample that is stratified in five groups of federal states (large region), three sectors and two employment-magnitudes (large and medium-sized firms with more than 50 employees). The project aspires to assure good representation for these stratification characteristics. In contrast to existing studies, alternative representative bodies as well as the management and work councils will be questioned. In this way, a matching of the answers will be possible and furthermore, a broad data base will be developed which will include the managerial employment situation and will reflect participation based on the existing knowledge flow processes among employees. The economic situation of the organizations will be taken into account in the research.

  • Initiator: Hans Böckler Foundation
  • Duration of the project: 2010-2012
  • Direction: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gerstlberger (University of Southern Denmark)
  • Project Partners: FU Berlin, Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg, University of Kassel
  • Publications:
Biedermann, A.; Dreher, C.; Gerstlberger, W.; Klippert, J.; Kopplin, S.; Meszléry, K.; da Mota Pedrosa, A. (2013): Partizipatives und ganzheitliches Innovations-management – Sichtweisen von Betriebsleitungen und Betriebsräten. Edition Sigma, Berlin.