Thursday, November 17, 2011

Workplace Democracy

Since World War II, democracy has gained wides...Image via Wikipedia

Democratic governance is an important aspect in the workplace because it elevates the level of trust and collaboration that is supposed to exist between the bureaucracy and the retinue of followers. However, democracy in the workplace is impossible if those endowed with authority behave contrary to democratic norms and expectations. Incidents of undemocratic practices in the workplace can be found everywhere even in nations that have been committed democracies for several centuries. According to Deleon and Deleon (2002), democracy in the workplace “promotes efficiency and effectiveness” (p. 9).

An organization that I have been involved with in the past is the Marriott Hotel chain where I worked as an agent who represented customer needs. The nature of organization and the chain of command existing at that time was consistent with contemporary democratic values even though top management at times violated hotel regulations by practicing favoritism.

Cohesion, trust, and collaboration in every sector of the hotel created harmonious relationships that would have been impossible in an undemocratic setting. Giving employees the freedom to carry out their responsibilities without interference after thorough training helped alleviate mistrust and resistance. Employees partook in the operation of the hotel because they felt they had the necessary tools and training required to conduct business to utmost satisfaction.

Democracy is sustainable in the workplace if employees are treated fairly well and equally. This will give them a sense of belonging. Motivation is another important factor that has been shown to increase worker input.


Deleon, L., & Deleon, P. (2002). The democratic ethos and public management. Administration and Society, 34(2), 229–250.
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