The perceived effects of works councils on organizational outcomes : comparing the public with the private sector
van Witteloostuijn, Arjen
Faculty of Applied Economics
International journal of employment studies. - Penrit South
, p. 90-132
University of Antwerp
The impact of worker participation on company performance has been studied a great deal in Germany, but only with respect to private sector organisations. This paper contributes to the existing literature by focusing on the way in which managers perceive the effectiveness of works councils in the Dutch public sector. These findings are compared with the results of a prior Dutch study into the perceived effects of private sector works councils on organisational outcomes. In the Netherlands, the law grants extensive rights to works councils in all sectors of the economy. However, given the widely divergent nature of the collective sector vis-à-vis the market sector, we expect, and we do indeed find, that in the public sector managers emphasise different goals and have a different view on codetermination, as well as on the effects thereof. On the basis of our analyses of the effects of the interaction between management teams and works councils, we may conclude that if managers were to have a more cooperative leadership style combined with a pro-active works council, a more positive impression of the merits of a works council in the public sector emerges.