Worker participation within the human service context

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study analyses participation of workers within two human service organisations, within the education field in the Western Cape. It also examines the reasons, degrees and levels of participation as well as the impact it has on individual workers and the organisations as a whole. The case study method was used with the major research techniques being observation, unstructured interviews and the analysis of primary sources of information such as, documentation. A stratified random sample of sixteen workers were selected for interviewing. The data was analysed on the basis of the literature review and placed within the context of relevant theoretical perspectives of democracy, bureaucracy and management science. It was found that both organisations made use of participatory methods in organising themselves. However, the reasons, degree and conditions facilitating it differed considerably, despite the fact that the levels of participation were similar. The study concludes, with a reflection on the processes required to achieve greater participation within the organisations studied and human service organisations in general.

Bibliography: pages 83-87.