Full Project – The effects of employee participation in decision making for enhancing productivity in an organization

Full Project – The effects of employee participation in decision making for enhancing productivity in an organization

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Over the years, the practice of organizational management demanded that employer or management would expect that workers will do the work that is set before them. While this was a perfectly typical method of getting results through others in the early days of assembly line and scientific management, it is no longer true of today’s business. The trend has changed, in that, management expected more from its employees than doing simply what was put before them. It has also changed in that workers expected that more can be gotten from them rather than by simply working according to the direction of their bosses.

Employees’ participation created an environment in which people have an impact on decision and actions that affected their jobs. It is a management and leadership philosophy on how people are most enabled to contribute to continuous improvement and the ongoing success of the public sectors. Research on employee participation began to provide information on the number and types of programs that existed, their structure and their effect on a variety of social-psychological and economic issues in the public sector.

Many companies are now actively seeking ways of getting employees to participate more in decisions affecting them. The workers on the other hand expected to be asked how he felt about his job and what his ideas are on how the work can be done more easily, better and faster. The reason for this change emphasizes that management has discovered that there are tangible business values in soliciting and using the ideas of people at all levels in the organization, as the main objective of every business organization is long-term survival, in addition to having a competitive advantage over and above its competitors.


In tracing the background of this concept of employee participation in decision making, one can infer it to be a household name in many Countries of the World. For example, Japan’s success in the business world was said to be attributable to employee participation. Gostell, L. W. and Zalkind, S.S. (1963); defined the term ‘decision making’ as “a choice process, choosing one from among several possibilities”. This depicted a course of behavior on what must be done or vice versa.  The aim of decision making is therefore to channel human behavior towards a future goal.

In Nigeria, participatory management has come a long way. The Nigerian military government in 1977 decided to democratize industrial ownership in Nigeria by promulgating the Nigerian Indigenization Decree, part of which provided that 10% total equity share of any enterprise on schedule 2 and 3 of the Decree should be reserved for workers. This was to ensure that workers have a sense of belonging in their respective organizations.

Both the States and the Federal Government of Nigeria had in the past involved their citizenry in the management of affairs of the State. Ejiofor and Aniagor, (1984); stated that the State represented both enterprises and workers with other social and economic institutions. Based on this argument, the Researcher saw the State as representing management while the citizenry represented workers. Everybody are working for the State because everything that is being done, be it in the private or public sector, are contributing to national development. To the State, it is in recognition of the significance of participation that the Federal Military Government of Nigeria sometime in the past invited the entire citizenry to participate in deciding whether Nigeria should accepted IMF loan or not. However, after heated debates by “well meaning” Nigerians, the idea was cancelled.


Putting to play evidences of the existence of participative management in the Nigerian industrial setup, some people in other Countries and some Nigerians are of the view that lack of real participatory development, inexperience, undemocratic process, political and economic instability are all caused by frequent changes in economic policy by the Federal Government. Also, the negative attitude of the Nigerian workers to work did not encourage participatory management as such attitudes definitely cannot give rise to effective participation.


Ukandu Damachi, (1990); was of the view that participative decision making can be possible in a certain sector of the economy and not an all Government owned enterprises and Parastatals because of the Government intention to mobilize popular support for development purposes. In light of the above, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC’s) Area offices within Nigeria that practice participative management will be examined to show whether the organization practiced real participation. Managerial problems which required decision making in the Company will be identified to show the extent employees are allowed to participate, the effects of participation on overall productivity and problems encountered in the practice of participative management.


The issue of whether participative decision making existed in the Nigerian industrial set-up was quite controversial. Nigeria practice participative decision making and the Government had in the past encouraged participative decision making through legislations. However, research into leadership style has exposed employees’ desire for involvement in decision making in their various organizations. Employees are at the same time important elements of the accomplishment of the organizational goals, and thus organizational survival. The reason basically rested on the fact that employees are operators and are in a better position to know the problems they encountered in doing a particular task and how best to solve them. It is expected that such participation will serve as training and testing ground for future members of Top Management

In recent times, several organizations both local and international have witnessed a number of industrial conflicts and worker agitations which has led to confrontations between management and staff with dire consequences. In view of the increasing realization of the adverse effects of non-commitment and aloofness of employees to decisions taken, both in the interest of employees, the organization and its effect on productivity and performance, management of organizations are now beginning to involve employees in decision making. It is the employees that made things happen.

They put their shoulder to the wheel to get the organization’s machinery moving. Without their contributions everything comes to a standstill and the goals of the organization cannot be efficiently and effectively achieved.

However, as organizations are grappling with the problem of involvement of employees in effective decision making, against the background, the topic under consideration would seek to research and identify the main causes and effects of low or non-participation of employees in effective decision making and recommend appropriate measures to address them.



The general purpose of this empirical study is to assess the employees’ participation in managerial decision making in public sector organization in Nigeria with reference to the Products and Pipelines Marketing Company Limited (PPMC). The specific objectives are;

  • To ascertain the level of workers participation in the organization’s decision making processes;
  • To determine the consequences of low employee involvement in decision making on the implementation of management decisions;
  • To identify ways of involving employees in decision making;
  • The type of decisions employees are involved in;
  • To verify or determine if participative management is considered a major factor for productivity by Management;
  • To access the benefits of employee involvement in decision making;
  • To determine the problems encountered in the practice of participative decision making; and
  • To make recommendations on how to improve the involvement of employees in decision





The following questions were raised for the purpose of this study

  • How would employee involvement in decision making contribute effectively to the implementation of decisions in PPMC?


  • In what ways could employees be involved in decision making process and implementation of decisions?
  • To what extent can employees be involved in decision making?
  • What are the effects of low employee involvement in Management decision and implementation?
  • H0 – Participative decision making does not involve participation at all levels of

H1 – Participative decision making involved participation at all levels of management.

  • H0 – Productivity was not dependent on employees participation in decision making

H1 – productivity was dependent on employees’ participation in decision making.

  • H0 – The investment effort on the practice of participative decision making does not                         reflect on increase in productivity.

H1 – The investment effort on the practice of participative decision making reflected an        increase in productivity.


It is expected that the study will inform the Management of PPMC that, to increase productivity and ensure harmony between Management and the workers, which will in turn serve as a good motivating factor especially for the workers, participative decision making is vital.

The Study will also be beneficial to the management by giving them clearer insight into the benefits of employee participation in decision making processes. It will also make clearer to managers what participative management stands for, hence, reducing the fear often concealed by managers.

It is also aimed at manager’s understanding and accepting the concept of workers participation in decision making and that there are much more to be gained in achieving good human relations between employees and management; also in the achievement of organizational goals and objectives.

It is equally the Researcher’s hope that the study would provide a basis on which further research could be carried out.


Several studies have shown that allowing employees to participate in decision making led to increase in motivation, job performance, and organizational growth. There are assumptions held by many Scholars and Managers, that if employees are adequately informed about matters concerning them and are afforded the opportunity to make decisions relevant to their work, then there would be benefits for both the organization and the individual. Such benefits will include the following:


  • Increased job satisfaction and productive efficiency.
  • Use of private information to enhance decision making process.
  • Organizational flexibility, improved product quality and productivity.
  • Contributes to greater trust and sense of control for employees.
  • As a result of employees’ involvement, there are less supervision and work rules which will in turn minimize costs.
  • Maximize viewpoints and diversity of perspectives

The study is about participatory management. Thus, the extent of employee participation, the effect on satisfaction and productivity of employees and the problems encountered in its practice will be examined.

Pipelines and Product Marketing Company Limited (PPMC – a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – NNPC) and some selected Area Offices under PPMC will be the limit of this study. This is due to limited time and resources at the disposal of the Researcher. Despite these limitations, the Research intended to explore necessary available information to attain its set objectives.



For the purpose of this study a worker is taken to mean any person who has undertaken to place his gainful activity in return for remuneration, under the direction of another person who may be an individual, a private or public company or a corporation, who is styled the employer, (Akpala 1990).


The output per unit of a factor of production is called the “productivity” of that factor. Imaga, (1996). An organization’s ability to transform inputs to output at the lowest possible cost is productivity, Unamka & Ewurum, (1995).


This will be regarded as the process by which people contribute ideas towards the solution of problems affecting the organization and allied matters.

Employee Participation

This will be taken to be when those below the top of an enterprise hierarchy take part in the managerial function of enterprise.

Decision Making

This could be taken to mean an art considering and making a judgment concerning a particular issue or issues.

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Full Project – The effects of employee participation in decision making for enhancing productivity in an organization