Employee voice initiatives in the public sector: views from the workplace

Bennett, Anthony (2010) Employee voice initiatives in the public sector: views from the workplace. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 23 (5). pp. 444-455. ISSN 0951-3558

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513551011058475


Purpose – The paper seeks to report on the results of a regional survey of public sector HR and union representatives' views and experiences of employee voice techniques in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach – The research was based on a descriptive survey and subsequent statistical analysis of significant difference between HR and union representatives in terms of their views on the aims and efficacy of various forms of employee voice initiatives.

Findings – A broad range of employee voice mechanisms, both direct and indirect, was identified, many running concurrently, across the sample organisations. The European Union was identified as a significant influence in encouraging voice initiatives in the workplace.

Research limitations/implications – The research, whilst engaging with the views and experiences of representatives from a larger group of organisations, will require subsequent case study research to investigate some of the findings in greater depth.

Practical implications – There are clear implications for management in terms of the potential effect of EU regulations around involvement and participation. There is also evidence that the unions are not being marginalized by more individually-focused voice initiatives but, conversely, some union representatives' lack of knowledge of the regulations could hamper union long-term voice strategies.

Originality/value – The paper applies existing employee voice case study theory to a broader range of organisations through a survey approach, whilst demonstrating the practical application of those concepts and models to increase one's knowledge of employee voice techniques currently in use in the public sector.

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