Gainsharing and Power: Lessons from Six Scanlon Plans
Denis Collins believes that participatory management systems are inevitable in democratic societies because they are ethically superior to authoritarian management systems. Managers must begin to share decision making and economic outcomes with their employees if they want to obtain long-term efficiency and effectiveness in a competitive business environment. Changes in power relationships are bound to occur in the transitional period, Collins reports, and will challenge the flexibility of management.Scanlon Plans were developed in the 1930s as a way to link improvements in productivity to employee wages. Popular because of the large amount of employee involvement in their design, Scanlon Plans are in place at 260 Fortune 1000 companies, as well as many smaller firms. To understand the considerable variation in the success of gainsharing plans and participatory management more generally, Collins studied six companies that used Scanlon Programs, explaining the nuts and bolts of each plan. He addresses the concerns of workers, managers, and unions when they were present, highlighting political games employees must address to enhance success. Collins then offers a new theory of gainsharing based on conflicts of interest at work.
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At Work and in Political Systems
Research Methods and Facility Profiles
A Privately Owned Nonunion
A Publicly Owned Nonunion
A Publicly Owned Nonunion
A Publicly Owned Nonunion Facility
agement ager argued attend authoritarian average monthly bonus believed benefits to management bonus calculation bonuses changes communitarian company president corporate costs Cylinder Lifts decisions DENIS COLLINS discussed earned economic employee involvement ethical facility manager facility's factors fence-sitters and opponents field study financial bonus Foam Seats Forestland gainsharing activities gainsharing coordinator gainsharing implementation gainsharing meetings gainsharing suggestion gainsharing team meetings health and safety Herman Miller HIM/gainsharing improved production increased Innovations Innovations-Brotherhood interest group issues job rotation layoffs libertarian Likert scale management and nonmanagement ment employees month nonmanagement employees nonmanagement go-getters nonunion facilities organization organizational outcomes owner Packaging International participatory management percent ployees political power games prior to gainsharing problems product quality production employees production process responsibilities result review board meetings Scanlon plans Scanlon-type gainsharing plans Scanlon-type plans sharing six facilities steering committee sugges suggestion system supervisors suppliers survey team representatives tion trust union members wages wanted workers workplace