The Healthcare Industry: A Suitable Place for Employee Participation?

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O'Donoghue, Peter, Stanton, Pauline and Bartram, Timothy (2007) The Healthcare Industry: A Suitable Place for Employee Participation? International Employment Relations Review, 13 (2). pp. 11-26. ISSN 1324-1125


This article explores employee participation in the Australian healthcare sector from the perspective of key industry players drawn from the health employer association, unions and government. We analyse the views of key informants on the meaning of employee participation, their experience of participation in practice, and the facilitators and impediments to participatory practice. Findings indicate a narrow projection of employee participation, which mostly occurs after a decision has been made, a belief that the role of management is critical for employee participation to be successful, considerable skepticism about its benefits and highly variable practice. Union informants were cynical about management’s motivation, as they saw participation being used to advance predetermined outcomes undermining positive participatory practice and trust between the players. The key informants identified lack of time and resources as further impediments to participatory practice. Implications are drawn for managerial practice and further research.

Item type Article
Official URL;dn=1...
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Keywords ResPubID16832, Australian healthcare sector, employee participation, participatory practice
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