New books


New frontiers of democratic participation at work

Michael Gold

Ashgate 2003 344 s. ISBN 0754609243

Contributors from a wide range of European countries illustrate the validity of four propositions about employee participation: that different forms of employee participation mutually reinforce each other; that major shifts in employment relations require innovative approaches to participation; that appropriate conditions (including the provision of training and support) are required for the spread of participation; and that trade unions remain a crucial foundation for the promotion of participation.
The book's chapters address these propositions in a variety of ways. They explore the role of the EU in supporting employee participation; they focus on developments across particular sectors or companies in the form of case studies; and they analyse particular industrial relations themes (such as reducing working time). The book includes a wide range of European experience, including that of Central and Eastern Europe. Each chapter examines the conditions that have sustained or hindered participation so as to shed light on likely future developments.

Introduction: new frontiers of democratic participation at work, Gérard Kester, Edward Zammit and Michael Gold. EU and National Dimensions: EU social policy and developments in worker involvement, Janine Goetschy; European works councils: who benefits?, Michael Gold; The role of economic and social councils in social dialogue, Jacques Monat and Thérèse Beaupain. Sectoral and Company Case Studies: Making sense of democratic participation in the Dutch information and communications industry, Peter Leisink; French and Italian hospitals: the long road towards autonomy, Philippe Mossé; New management systems and worthwhile work: the Swedish experience, Christofer Edling and Åke Sandberg; New concepts in work organization: a case from the Norwegian offshore petroleum industry, Thoralf Ulrik Qvale. Thematic Aspects: Social transformation, self-organization at work and participation in Germany, Helmut Martens; Worker participation in the reduction of working hours in France, Henri Pinaud; Worker participation in negotiating working time in Italy, Anna M. Ponzellini; Worker participation in Central and Eastern Europe: union strategies, Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead; Trade union education and democratic participation: the case of Malta, Edward Zammit, Saviour Rizzo and Joseph Vancell; Index.

'This book is a timely reminder that there can be no "high performance workplace" without further democratisation of organisational decision-making. It is to be warmly welcomed not only for the particular insights of its contributors, all of whom are highly-regarded, but also for putting workplace "governance" firmly back on the agenda.' Professor Keith Sisson, University of Warwick, UK