Industrial democracy

Industrial democracy is an arrangement which involves workers making decisions, sharing responsibility and authority in the workplace. While in participative management organizational designs workers are listened to and take part in the decision-making process, in organizations employing industrial democracy they also have the final decisive power (they decide about organizational design and hierarchy as well).[1]

In company law, the term generally used is co-determination, following the German word Mitbestimmung. In Germany, companies with more than 2000 employees (or more than 1000 employees in the coal and steel industries) have half of their supervisory boards of directors (which elect management) elected by the shareholders and half by the workers.

Although industrial democracy generally refers to the organization model in which workplaces are run directly by the people who work in them in place of private or state ownership of the means of production, there are also representative forms of industrial democracy. Representative industrial democracy includes decision-making structures such as the formation of committees and consultative bodies to facilitate communication between management, unions, and staff.