Participation and Purpose: Boilermakers to Bankers
This paper focuses upon two divergent examples of employee participation in the 1980s in Britain. In contrasting the experiences of participation in the Co-op bank and shipbuilding group the paper seeks to question the characterization of employee involvement as either a neutral but progressive "tool" of management or a strategy for total control through diminuation of trade union power at work. Rather it is suggested that the meaning of participation at work will vary with the context both in terms of the objective form of the labour process, e.g. manual, non-manual, etc., and it will also depend upon the meta-contexts of wider social structures. A parallel is drawn between the forms of rationality implied in the practice of employee participation and that of management accounting where in both cases the "neutrality" of the practice is invalidated once placed with in the real terrain of social relationships at work and within wider society.
Critical Perspectives on Accounting