What is participatory management?

In the world of business and work, there are several types of management. A manager or manager can adopt various attitudes depending on the needs of the company but also according to his or her own feelings towards employees and the team. We talk to you today in detail about the principles of participatory management.

Article plan

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  • Definition of participatory management
  • Principles of participatory management
    • What is participatory management characterised?
    • A corporate culture
  • Would you make a good participatory manager?
  • What advantages and disadvantages in participatory management?
    • Advantages of participatory management
    • Limits and disadvantages
  • Choosing participatory management?
    • And the branding?
    • Creativity, enthusiasm freedom of action

Definition of participatory management

Participatory management is one of the 4 types of management that currently exist in the field of enterprise and work. Alongside directive management, persuasive management and delegated management, the participatory management style stands out for its modern specificities .

This type of management is based on the participation of the company’s employees. This applies to decision-making as well as to the conduct and implementation of projects. Participatory management is based above all on a relationship of trust between the manager or the manager, and his employees.

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Principles of participatory management

Participatory management has many characteristics that are in fact principles that make the company evolve at the same time, its leader and collaborators.

This type of management can be seen as a softened version of a more persuasive management. Above all, it is a management strategy that is intended to serve the interests of the company , like any type of management.

What is participatory management characterised?

  • The sense of belonging to the group is strongly put forward;
  • An active development policy is in place (R&D, in particular);
  • The power of the manager is delegated, as in the style of delegated management, but on a smaller scale;
  • Employees of the company enjoy considerable flexibility in their participation;
  • Employees are encouraged to bring ideas, innovations, their stone to the building;
  • This managerial technique promotes the accountability of employees and the constant evolution of working methods;
  • A certain freedom and latitude in the daily work is appreciable by employees;
  • Collective competencies are as important as personal skills;
  • Tensions between employees are expected to decrease with participatory management by promoting self-control;

The participatory approach in the enterprise also involves the setting up of working groups. Employees are strongly encouraged to express the substance of their thinking in order to exploit innovative contributions (collective intelligence ).

A corporate culture

In terms of communication, participatory management is undoubtedly the most open to dialogue between employees and their managers . Of course, theory and practice may differ but these directions are generally healthy and benevolent.

Moreover, in this type of management, the manager does not get involved in the same way. It fades in order to leave room for individualities. This is a true corporate culture , built in the theoretical respect of each employee, within an equal opportunity accepted as a fundamental principle.

Would you be a good participatory manager?

A good participatory manager must possess character traits compatible with this management style.

  • A participatory manager knows less how to get involved and give space to everyone: so he knows how to delegate;
  • He is charismatic and knows how to “motivate the troops” with good persuasion;
  • A participatory manager knows how to be cordial, respectful and lucid in questioning;
  • He also knows how to choose the right people for good tasks, in particular with regard to autonomy to work;
  • He knows how to recognize the value of everyone and sincerely emphasize each other’s initiatives;
  • Finally, the participatory manager is honest and knows how to return to Caesar what belongs to him.

What advantages and disadvantages in participatory management?

Of course, as in any management style, there are advantages and disadvantages or limitations.

Benefits of participatory management

The team of collaborators (or the various teams) are stimulated. In line withempowerment theories, participatory management is simply good for morale… if applied well.

In theory, the company’s results are significantly more convincing. Collective emulation and enthusiasm are palpable within the teams. A sense of belonging can lead to a desire to achieve common goals.

Again, in theory, illness stops and absenteeism can be reduced by such a management style. Employees are rather proactive and looking for collaboration. Reluctance is resorbed, which can also be a disadvantage, in knowing “no” to an unsuitable mission.

Technically, the transfer of skills is more fluid and information sharing is transparent within the company thanks to participatory management.

Limitations and disadvantages

Not everyone is obviously receptive to participatory management. For some employees, large doses of stress can be generated by the feeling that they are not up to the expectations of the leader.

Culture of an existing company can be so present that it eventually inhibits the potential of an employee who is not receptive to participatory management.

As we said, if some reluctance is resorbed, they can also promote mal-being at work if the employee is not able to fully participate in collective emulation. This emulation can sometimes hide certain tensions , despite the efforts and measures put in place to promote communication.

Moreover, the limit between individual and collective success is not clearly defined in the participatory management style.

Choosing participatory management?

Participatory management must make an informed choice. The system must, of course, be well integrated in order to be suitable for every employee. A support must be put in place in order to make employees understand the nature, purpose and benefits of participatory management as soon as they arrive.

Promises are to be banned, because if participatory management has many advantages, it can also have its limits and become disastrous if it is set up hastily by the company.

And the branding?

Performance, transparency, dialogue… On paper, like any management style, participatory management is a style to adopt. That said, in the 21st century, management evolved. Many companies opt for this type of managerial strategy before weighing the pros and cons and measuring the feasibility of the project. The brand image of the company is often involved.

It is therefore advisable, before launching such a management strategy overhaul project, to be advised by professionals in the field of management.

The psychological aspects of this approach will be addressed and you will know whether or not the participatory management style is adaptable to your personality and your company, depending on your sector of activity and your employees.

Creativity, enthusiasm and freedom of action

The participatory management style is perfect in a company where employees like to give themselves 100% . The sense of belonging is strong, the company and employees grow together and encourage each other.

It does not lose sight of the fact that the secret of excellent management, beyond all theories, lies in a force of insight and constant lucidity on the part of the manager. He must remain adaptable in order to propose the right solutions at the right time if he perceives a malfunction in his demanding style.