Managerial attitudes towards participative management programs: the case of state owned enterprises in Kenya
Participation of subordinates and supervisors in setting the organizational goals is one of the most important themes in human relations. Participative management is regarded by many as a means of enhancing productivity, adequate communication links between workers and management and for developing human potentials (McConkey, 1980; Kelly et. al.,1980). This management style lS behaviouristic and focuses primarily on human motivation. This paper examined the attitudes of the personnel managers in the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) towards allowing non-management employees to participate in management decision making in their organizations. This highlighted how participative management has been utilized in the public sector organizations. This study was carried out in the state owned enterprises in Nairobi. The information sought was collected using a structured questionnaire which was completed by thirty nine personnel managers. Their views provided information used in this report. The results indicated that subordinates are allowed to participate in various methods of decision making in their organizations. Most of the respondents felt that involvement of the subordinates in decision making is a good thing. It should be noted that the management responses might be different from those of the non-management employees. Whereas the managements responses in this study may not support the views of other writers like Wallender (1978) that "decision by African managers are centralised", this was found to be true in technical areas. Examples of these areas are during budget preparation and when setting short and long term plans of the organization. Other areas where participative management practised is .low is shown by the little use of suggestion box, decision making, low level of information shared and extensive centralization. The size of the organization was tested whether it has any correlation with the use of participative management. It was found that there was no relationship between the organization size and the practice of allowing non-management to participate in organizations' decision making.