The New Ethics of Participative Management

Article

Ferri-Reed, Jan   (1991, ASQC)   JGS Management Consultants, Inc.

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9716    May 1991    pp. 640-644
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Article Abstract

This paper identifies ways to reduce ethical dilemmas that managers face in trying to balance their responsibilities to the people they supervise with their responsibilities to the organization and its quality efforts.

There is no black-and-white formula for avoiding ethical dilemmas that occur during the participative management process. Effective problem solving requires that team members must have mutual respect for each other, and each team member must address issues as they occur. Also, management should take the following steps: (1) To avoid the dilemma of having to sell the concept without being convinced of its value, managers must educate themselves, determine upper level commitment, and communicate the value of participative quality efforts; (2) To solve the dilemma of how much information to share, managers must understand the reasons for quality efforts and clarify with upper management how much information can be shared; (3) Train employees, assess their attitudes and skills, and create a level of trust between managers and employees before initiating employee involvement; and (4) Implement guidelines to reduce the possibility of team members withholding pertinent information or mistrusting the outcome of the process, especially when employees participate in teams spanning various departments or divisions.

These principles promote honest, open communication; they also provide a guide for managers and quality teams responsible for participative quality efforts.

Keywords

Ethics,Human resources (HR),Participative management,Quality management (QM),Teams,Communication


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