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Employee participation, job quality, and inequality

FitzRoy, Felix R.; Nolan, Michael A.


Felix R. FitzRoy

Dr Michael Nolan
Senior Lecturer in Economics and Programme Director, BSc Economics and BA Business Economics


The purpose is to review the effects of employee participation (EP) in decision-making, ownership and profit on job quality, worker well-being and productivity, and derive policy recommendations from the findings.
The authors summarise results of “declining labour power”, plus theoretical arguments and empirical evidence for the benefits of EP for job quality, satisfaction and productivity.
Worker well-being and job satisfaction are ignored unless they contribute directly to profitability. EP is needed to remedy this situation when employers have market power and unions are weak. The result can be a rise in both productivity and well-being.
Research limitations/implications
The chief issue here is that there are data limitations, particularly on the well-being effects of participation.
Practical implications
Lots of encouraging examples in many countries need legislative help to multiply.
Social implications
It is quite possible that there could be major implications for welfare and employment.
The authors make the case for public sector subsidies for employee buyouts and new cooperative start-ups, as well as legislation for works councils and profit sharing.


FitzRoy, F. R., & Nolan, M. A. (in press). Employee participation, job quality, and inequality. Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 12, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 21, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Employee buyouts; Employee participation; Job quality; Inequality
Public URL


Accepted manuscript (357 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher

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