دانلود رایگان مقاله انگلیسی دموکراسی در محیط کار: از ایده آل دموکراتیک تا یک ابزار و پشتیبانی مدیریتی به همراه ترجمه فارسی
|عنوان فارسی مقاله||دموکراسی در محیط کار: از ایده آل دموکراتیک تا یک ابزار و پشتیبانی مدیریتی|
|عنوان انگلیسی مقاله||Workplace Democracy: From a Democratic Ideal to a Managerial Tool and Back|
|رشته های مرتبط||مدیریت، مدیریت کیفیت و بهره وری و مدیریت استراتژیک|
|کلمات کلیدی||ایده آل های دموکراتیک، نظریه دموکراتیک، دموکراسی صنعتی، حلقه های کیفیت، مدیریت کیفیت جامع، خود مدیریتی کارگران، دموکراسی در محیط کار، ورلدبلو|
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In different political theories, democracy is not reduced to state institutions, but includes the democratization of the whole society, its organizations and enterprises. This idea goes back to the beginnings of modern democratic theory and to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract. It was adopted by different socialist thinkers, later on by trade unions and, in the 1960s and 70s, by political scientists such as Carole Pateman and other promoters of participatory democracy. According to this tradition, workplace democracy is considered to be necessary for the realization of democratic ideals like individual autonomy, freedom, voice and participation in all relevant questions influencing citizens’ lives. Parts of this normative idea were realized by trade union movements and laws, especially in Western European countries. Nevertheless, workplace democracy in the sense of the above-mentioned theories remained far from becoming reality. In the 1990s, the idea was co-opted by organizational development and management studies and underwent a change: Workplace democracy, then mostly operationalized as limited participation, became a managerial tool that should help to increase employees’ motivation and efficiency and thereby contribute to entrepreneurial success. In the last few years, however, the original democratic ideal of workplace democracy seems to have been revitalized under conditions of a worldwide economic crisis. This article shows the development and the latest revival of the concept of workplace democracy, and discusses its innovative potential for today’s democratic societies.
In Western societies, the term “democracy” has become a kind of empty signifier in political and public discourse in recent decades (Brown, 2010). Politicians with very differing ideological backgrounds often refer to their own arbitrary concept of what a democracy should be. This conglomeration of meanings is one reason for a rising skepticism among citizens towards democracy as such. At the same time, convincing alternatives and innovative democratic concepts, though existent in academic circles, rarely enter the public sphere. The manifold and sometimes arbitrary interpretations of democracy are the result of a vast and controversial scientific and philosophical debate with highly differentiated theoretical approaches. It seems that almost everything has been said about democracy during the centuries-lasting debates among philosophers and political thinkers. While there might be a true core meaning, it must be admitted that a great deal of what has been said has been forgotten. The concept of Workplace Democracy is such a forgotten or, at least, neglected aspect of democratic theory that is nowadays experiencing a revival. In this article, I will try to bring it back to the readers’ memories by tracing its historical development and by discussing it as a possible democratic innovation that could respond to latest skepticism towards representative democracy, supra-nationalization and globalization. In a very general way, workplace democracy is associated with the application of democratic practices to the workplace. Such practices include voting, discussions and deliberative or participatory decision-making. The roots and motivations to claim democratic rights and to establish workplacedemocracy arecomplex. One strand focuses on the realization of democracy as a value, a way of life and self-government, and a method to reach individual autonomy and freedom in a liberal sense. It can also be considered as a means of class struggle in a socialist tradition. According to its managerial strand, workplace democracy can be used as a method to raise workers’ motivation in order to contribute to entrepreneurial efficiency.
۱٫ Workplace democracy as a democratic ideal
The history of democracy is older than the history of industrial relations and alienated work. Modern political thinking and the roots of modern democratic theory date back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Industrial relations came later, mostly in the nineteenth century when rural economies were more and more replaced by urban industries and when technological progress paved the way for the industrial revolution. A concept of workplace democracy only makes sense in its combination of democratic theory and industrial relations. Basic arguments are given in the political philosophy of the European Enlightenment. Its practical relevance is certainly only developed in the context of industrialization.
۱٫۱ Democracy as a way of life and self-government: the liberal tradition
The history of democratic theory is rich in approaches and assumptions, especially in the modern era. Contrary to the antique Athenian democracy, which was mainly a method of decision making by majority rule, liberal democratic thinkers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau linked it to the liberation and emancipation of the individual. They were convinced that all human beings were, by nature, equal and free. If this is taken seriously, then a democracy consists of much more than the right to vote. As Rousseau (2008: 54) argued: If we ask in what precisely consists the greatest good of all, which should be the end of every system of legislation, we shall find it reduce itself to two main objects, liberty and equality—liberty, because all particular dependence means so much force taken from the body of the State, and equality, because liberty cannot exist without it. In Rousseau’s understanding, a democratic system has the task of realizing and guaranteeing liberty for, and equality among, citizens. The government is an intermediate body in charge of maintaining liberty and individual freedom (Rousseau, 2008: 60). In his considerations on the social contract and on education, Rousseau was interested in the relationship between the individual and the collective. He was one of the first to stress that social conditions have a strong impact on citizens’ lives and their personalities (Plamenatz, 1963). The social contract between all citizens should guarantee equality for the sake of individual liberty. Equality does not end with the realization of equal political rights. It must go further (Rousseau 2008: 54): … by equality, we should understand, not that the degrees of power and riches are to be absolutely identical for everybody; but that power shall never be great enough for violence, and shall always be exercised by virtue of rank and law; and that, in respect of riches, no citizen shall ever be wealthy enough to buy another, and none poor enough to be forced to sell himself When Rousseau wrote these lines in the eighteenth century, he could not know that, some decades later, a tremendous gap between the rich and the poor would be the reality of nineteenth-century industrial societies, undermining the democratic principles he had in mind. Rousseau cannot be considered as an early socialist in the strict sense of the word, but one thing can hardly be denied: he put his finger on a very crucial point for democratic societies, namely the distribution of wealth. Moreover, the dictum that “no citizen shall ever be wealthy enough to buy another, and none poor enough to be forced to sell himself”, gets a deeper meaning with regard to industrial societies, which are based on the fact that labour force is sold to entrepreneurs who literally buy the workers. Thus, long before Marx and Engels promoted a revolutionary class struggle, Rousseau delivered a basic theoretical argument for a kind of workplace democracy from a liberal point of view. This interpretation is reflected in Carole Pateman’s reading of the French philosopher. In her opinion, he is the “theorist of participation par excellence” (Pateman 1970: 22). According to his democratic ideal, participation should not be limited to the political sphere, but spread over all social relations in order to avoid suppression and inequality. If a system must guarantee the self-government of each single citizen, then it has to go far beyond the political. It then includes all social arenas where individuals act and live. In modern societies, the workplace cannot be left undemocratic. As a consequence of such an understanding of democracy, Rousseau was aware of the necessity to educate people in order to liberate them from political oppression (Rousseau, 1979). The educational dimension in Rousseau’s work is a key aspect of liberal democratic thinking that was taken up by different philosophers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. John Dewey promoted the democratization of all social fields and stressed the importance of education. The American philosopher (Dewey, 2008: 221) pointed out that: … if the methods of regulation and administration in vogue in the conduct of secondary social groups are non- democratic, whether directly or indirectly or both, there is bound to be unfavorable reaction back into the habits of feeling, thought and action of citizenship in the broadest sense of that word For Dewey, exclusion from participation was a form of suppression that should not be accepted in any social relationship: “In the broad and final sense all institutions are educational in the sense that they operate to form the attitudes, dispositions, abilities and disabilities that constitute a concrete personality” (Dewey, 2008: 221). By saying this, Dewey who, contrary to Rousseau, already knew industrial society, stressed the importance of organizational democracy. A first argument for workplace democracy can thus be taken from liberal democratic thinkers. In their view, democracy is more than just a method of governing. It includes and promotes individual freedom and self-government and is closely linked to education and empowerment in all social fields.