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The Effect of Employee Participation in Decision Making on Employee Behaviours

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Descriptive statistics
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The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of employee participation in decision making on employee behaviours, using the Buea council as a case study. To achieve the study objective, a quantitative research design through a cross-sectional survey was used. The data collected was of the primary nature because it was collected through a questionnaire. A probability sample using stratified sampling technique was used, based on the six (6) departments and a sample of 70 employees was chosen. Regression analysis was used as a method for data analysis. Findings from this study showed that, EPDM has a significant and positive effect on employees ‘commitment. EPDM has an insignificant and negative effect on employees ‘intention to quit and absenteeism of the staff in the Buea Municipal Council. The study then recommends that managers should involve employees in participation in decision making as it has an effect on their behaviour.  

Keywords: Employees Participation in Decision Making (EPDM), Employees Intention to Quit (EIQ), Employees Commitment (EC), Employees Absenteeism (EA)

                                                  Chapter one


1.1 Background of the Study

In today’s business environment, organisations have to be competitive in order to survive. To be competitive, they usually count on their employees. However, in order for employees to assist organisations in gaining competitive advantage, they should portray adequate behaviours such as high level of commitment, low intention of quit, low level of absenteeism etc.These behaviours are influenced by several factors among which we have participation to decision making.Participation in decision making on employee behavior can be reviewed historically as follows;Participation of employee describes the involvement of employee in decision making which is concerned with shared decision making in the work situation ((Mitchell, 1973). Locke & Schweiger (1979) defines employee participation as a joint decision making between managers and subordinates. According to Noah, 2008 it is a special form of delegation in which the subordinate gain greater control, freedom of choice with respect to bridging the communication gap between the management and workers. It refers to the degree of employee involvement in organization’s strategic planning activities. The employee participation in the planning process leads to potential innovation, which may facilitates opportunity and recognition in the organization.

The non-involvement of lower level management in decision-making also means that vital input from employees is often not factored into decisions made. This gives rise to the glitches that are experienced in organizations when it comes to the acceptance of these decisions and its implementation because employees feel insulted and of no importance because their views were not sought. They also do not feel involved in the decision making process but rather decisions are taken and ‘pushed down their throats’. This leads to conflict, defiance or a laidback attitude to implementation and hinders the projections of good Organizational Citizenship Behavior ( (McGregor, 1960) (Kahn, 1990)

Employee involvement concerns the extent to which individuals use all the resources of cognitive, emotional, and physical to perform roles associated with the job (Thomas, 2011). Employees who feel involved and willing to engage in their work generally is the employee who has the characteristics of an energetic, fun, enjoyable, and effective in carrying out their work (Kahn, 1990; (Shneider, 2008). Employee involvement is considered a key element in the successful implementation of new management strategies and plays an important role in determining the degree of good organizational citizenship behavior ( (Marriot, 1991). This in turn, increases the commitment of the employee as well as their motivation. Furthermore, Higgins (1982) argues that involvement is a mental and emotional replication that will lead to the fulfillment of individual and organizational goals, especially if supported by the organization’s climate. For instance, (Apelbaum, 2000) , argue that the opportunity to participate in decision making helps to create trust between workers and supervisors and to produce intrinsic rewards.

Since the Buea City Council is a government institution, it doesn’t have to worry about competitive advantage. But its main aim is to satisfy its constituents, maintain law and order and provide public goods. In order to fulfill its aim, the employees, especially field workers are relied on. If the employees lack a sense of belonging in the institution, it might take a toll on their behaviour. If employees lack in participation in certain decision making which may be beneficial to them or the organisation at large, it will affect their behaviors like intention to quit, level of commitment.

In order to maintain a balance on where to and not to involve employees in decision making, the manager has to study and understand the level to which participation affects their behavior. In some institutions, it might be a positive effect, while it might be negative in others. In this study, the Buea cancel was used as a case study to determine this effect.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In modern times, research has shown that employees don’t only want to work in order to earn salaries; they have the need to feel like they belong, and their voices be heard. In the Buea Council, little involvement has led to some actions like strikes.

The participation of employees’ in decision making shows that each employee is different and not just a component of a sub system. Each employee’s contribution is asked for and appreciated by the organization. Workers and management recognize that each employee is involved in running the business (Apostolou, 2000).

The greatest asset an organization has is the employees, therefore understanding that involving them makes them more engaged and more dedicated to their work. Workers participation is a procedure to authorize workers to contribute in decision-making behavior suitable to their rank in the association. As participative organization technique, worker participation has taken numerous forms, counting the work design method and particular behavior such as quality of work life (Apostolou, 2000). Organizational environments characterized as “highly involved” strongly encourage employee involvement and create a sense of ownership and responsibility

The problem being addressed in this study is the effect of employee participation in decision making on employees behaviours in the Buea Council. This research shall be focused in the Buea municipal council. It will focus on finding out if the increasing involvement of employees in decision making has a positive or negative effect on their behaviours within the organization.

1.3 Research Questions

From the above statement of the problem, this research is sought to provide an answer to the question; what is the effect of employee participation in decision making on employee behaviours in the Buea Council?

It is divided into the following specific questions;

  • What is the effect of employee participation in decision making on intention to quit?
  • How does employee participation in decision making affect the level of employee commitment?
  • What effect does employee participation in decision making have on absenteeism?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

1.4.1 Main Objective

The main objective of the research is to determine the effect of employee participation in decision making on employee behaviours.

Specifically, it is about;

  • Investigating how employee participation in decision making affects absenteeism.
  • Examining how employee involvement in decision making influences their intention to quit.
  • Determining the effect of employee participation in decision making on their level of commitment.

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