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Employee Participation and Project Management

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Employee Participation and Project Management.

        Miller and Monge (1986) addressed the effects of participation in decision making on satisfaction and productivity. Participation is the workplace influence which is shared amongst personnel of different hierarchical level within an organisation that may necessitates various involvements leading to co-determination of working conditions, decision making and problem solving (Locke and Schweiger , 1979). Miller and Monge(1986) intended to review past studies about the effects of participation in decision making on satisfaction and productivity explicitly  through meta analysis.

        The methodology used in the journal has shown consistency to the element of meta-analysis, which is to summarise and integrate results from a collection of individual studies (Walker, Hernandez and Kattan, 2008). It eliminates the often undetectable biases by informal methods of narrative review (Bangert-Drowns and Rudner, 1991). However, Miller and Monge have restricted their literature search to published English language journals and books. By disregarding dissertations, unpublished journals and literatures of other languages, prominent results from the excluded publications might be neglected.

Three models were implemented by Miller and Monge (1986) to assess the influence of participation of employees on satisfaction and productivity, known as the cognitive, affective and contingency model. Based on the results obtained through meta-analyses, they deduced that cognitive approach has more influence on productivity while affective model has more effect in terms of employee’s satisfaction. In relation to cognitive proposition, Wagner et al., (1997) agreed that employees who know better about their jobs can make better quality and efficient decisions than managers to enhance productivity. As for affective model, similar understanding was shown where Kinicki&Kreitner (2008) proposed that psychological and materialistical reward can motivate and satisfy employees to work harder. Despite the fact that most studies show an agreement with Miller and Monge (1986) where both cognition and affection approach affect participation separately, Park (2012) argued that the two approaches can be unified by combining information sharing related to companies’ operations with organisational commitment of employees. This will thus improve both productivity and satisfaction simultaneously.

        Further, although the contingency model was introduced by Miller and Monge (1986), there are limited results supporting the model presented due to the lack of contingency variables. This has been salvaged by the (Heller et al., 1983), claiming that the phase of decision making process is an important contingency variable, which demonstrates consistency to the theory that the most effective form of participation varies with situations suggested by Wakeley, Vroom and Yetton, (1975)..

        The journal has limited coverage about the effects of participation on project management and project success. Project management aims to expedite the realisation of a project for an effective and efficient achievement of targeted goals (Haffer and Haffer, 2016); Van Der Merwe (2002) found that human factor is a key element in project management. Therefore, employee participation and its effect on satisfaction and productivity are closely related to project management and project success. Productivity is commonly expressed as the ratio of outputs to inputs, on the other hand, success criteria of a project are cost, time and quality. It is safe to say the effect of employee participation on productivity will be as much as on a project's outcome.

In sum, Miller and Monge did not show the direct linkage between participation and project management despite fulfilling their aim by concluding that participation has definite effect on satisfaction and productivity with dissimilar magnitude respectively.

Miller, K. and Monge, P. (1986). Participation, Satisfaction, and Productity: A Meta-Analytic Review. Academy of Management Journal, 29(4), pp.727-753.

Allyson, S. (2016). Writing a Critical Review.

Bangert-Drowns, R. and Rudner, L. (1991). Meta-Analysis in Educational Research. Pratical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 2(8).


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