Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 4 2005, page 45-61.
Denmark – as the rest of Scandinavia - has a long tradition for an intense dialogue among the social partners and working life researchers about the level of influence among employees in the workplace. Group organised work, autonomous groups and teamwork have become increasingly more widespread in the last decade. The employees have thus attained more empowerment and influence at work in relation to performing the daily tasks. A number of studies however document that in relation to the long term and fundamental organisational issues the influence of employees have not increased.
The article is based on two case studies – the first in a governmental administration department and the second in a social welfare department in a municipal district. The cases emphasise two different strategies by which these institutions have succeeded in the development of a framework and a professional practise, which have made it possible for the employees to participate in the long term strategic development of the workplaces.
The attempt to assess the level of influence in these cases is met by an important obstacle as there are no methods readily available for measuring employee influence in specific areas. However, the article proposes an analytical framework that includes the different dimensions of employee influence and makes it possible to describe the extent as well as the level of influence in a given workplace.