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Voice Without Say: Why Capital-Managed Firms Aren’T (Genuinely) Participatory, Justin Schwartz Aug 2013

Voice Without Say: Why Capital-Managed Firms Aren’T (Genuinely) Participatory, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Why are most capitalist enterprises of any size organized as authoritarian bureaucracies rather than incorporating genuine employee participation that would give the workers real authority? Even firms with employee participation programs leave virtually all decision-making power in the hands of management. The standard answer is that hierarchy is more economically efficient than any sort of genuine participation, so that participatory firms would be less productive and lose out to more traditional competitors. This answer is indefensible. After surveying the history, legal status, and varieties of employee participation, I examine and reject as question-begging the argument that the rarity of genuine ...