THE IMPACT OF VALUE ORIENTATION ON THE LEGITIMACY OF WORKPLACE DEMOCRACY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR (EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION)
By examining the literature, then conducting a survey, and finally by interviewing government employees, this investigation attempts to relate value orientations to the legitimacy of employee involvement in decision making. The study is intended to determine whether the values culled from the writings on workplace democracy and worker participation are operative for public sector employees and whether these values have a legitimating effect on workplace democracy in the public sector. A survey instrument was developed and distributed to an associational organization of young public servants to determine if there was a statistical relationship between the values suggested in the literature and the legitimacy of workplace democracy in the public sector. The values tested were Productivity-Efficiency, Humanism, and Progressivism. Variables having to do with organizational practices were hypothesized to mediate the effects of those values and were also measured on the questionnaire and tested. In addition, interviews were conducted with another group of young public servants as respondents. Responses were content analyzed for values, beliefs and perspectives. Progressivism and Humanism were found to have significant effects on the legitimacy of workplace democracy. The Productivity-Efficiency value orientation was found to have slightly negative effects on the legitimacy of workplace democracy. The mediating variables were found to have no interaction effects. When interdependent variables were combined to form new constructs, we discovered an organizational orientation which has significant negative effects of the legitimacy of workplace democracy. Progressive-Humanism, the other reconstructed variable, tended to indicate a pro-employee orientation with positive effects on the legitimacy variable. The beliefs which have negative effects on the legitimacy variable tend to be pro-organizational, with values ranging from tradition and order to sovereignty of the public. It is concluded that there are essentially two forces acting on the legitimacy of workplace democracy. One, a social-psychological-political pro-employee perspective, Progressive-Humanism, operates in a positive direction. The other is an amalgam of organizational beliefs which comprise a systematic argument for hierarchy and against the legitimacy of workplace democracy.