They say too many cooks spoil the broth. While it holds true in many cases, having multiple people on board can be a great advantage.

Participative management encourages leaders to involve people from their team and department in the decision-making process. Read on to see how this management technique plays out and the benefits it provides.


  1. Meaning Of Participative Management

  2. Types Of Participative Management

  3. Importance Of Participative Management

  4. Ways To Implement Participative Management

  5. Lead Your Team To Success 

Meaning Of Participative Management


Participative management, also known as participatory management, is a type of leadership structure that allows people from different levels and departments to manage an organization. The method aims to integrate employee expertise into organization-wide decision-making. Individuals from various levels can impact overall goals and operations. If your organization adopts a participatory management style, you’re likely to have the opportunity of developing strategies, share your analysis or perspectives and offer feasible solutions.

Here are some defining characteristics of participative management:

  • Promotes open and transparent communication between employers and employees
  • Fosters mutual respect and coordination among individuals across different managerial levels and departments
  • Makes employees more proactive as they feel invested in business goals and operations

Types Of Participative Management


There are different ways to encourage participative management at work. Let’s explore the most common types through these participative management examples:

1. Consultation

As the name suggests, managers ask individuals for their inputs before making a decision or implementing changes. Employees act in a consultative position, providing creative ideas or innovative solutions that help leaders consider multiple perspectives before landing upon a final decision.

2. Joint Decision-Making

Managers and leaders encourage employee feedback and expect them to participate in the final decision-making process. In this participative management style, people have the power to share ideas as well as take responsibility for decisions made by the team. It can be seen either in collaborative or self-managed structures.

3. Employee-Owned

In this type of participative management style, individuals (other than leaders) own a significant stake in the business. Therefore, ownership is limited to those who hold power. This is why the people are invested in decision-making and play the role of stakeholders, rather than just contributors.

Importance Of Participative Management


There are several advantages of participative management, some of which are:

1. Delegating Power

In any management of leadership style, it’s important to provide some power to team members. When managers decide to delegate a part of their responsibilities, they’re encouraging the team to be accountable. This further helps them learn the ropes of the process with greater efficiency and contribute greatly to decision-making.

2. Motivating Teams

The management style allows employees to participate in corporate decisions. In the process, they get to demonstrate their involvement. As they feel responsible, their focus, motivation and involvement increase. They’re able to align their personal mission and vision with that of the organization.

 3. Fostering Collaboration

There needs to be an effective relationship between employers and employees as well as within teams. The more everyone communicates, cooperates and collaborates, the easier it is to foster growth and profitability in the business. Encouraging reciprocal trust (you trust me and I trust you), will  foster internal development. 

Ways To Implement Participative Management


If you’re in any sort of leadership position and your organization wants to adopt a participative management style, here are some ways to make the most of the opportunity:

  1. As employees are as much a part of the process as the management, seek feedback on policies, decisions and solutions. People with different knowledge sets, skills and expertise will have different things to offer. Their collective inputs can provide a comprehensive idea about what the organization needs to achieve in the long run. 
  2. If you want your team to engage in innovative thinking and provide feasible business solutions, you need to share information and bring them up to speed. From goals and outcomes to expectations and needs, you need to communicate with your team and educate them in the process.
  3. You need to promote a positive work environment for individuals to feel comfortable in sharing their ideas, thoughts and opinions. Ensure inclusive employee practices and encourage everyone to speak their mind during meetings and group discussions. Have an open-door policy so your team can walk up to you and share their thoughts freely. Be respectful and have an open mind.

Lead Your Team To Success


While participative or participatory management style can be tricky to navigate, it’s an effective way of energizing your team, building commitment and encouraging initiative. However, to do so successfully, you need to understand how your team functions and what their needs and expectations are. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will help you understand the various stages of team formation and development. By learning how teams work, you’ll understand how to tap into their skills and realize their true potential. Frameworks such as Bruce Tuckman Model and Skill-Will Matrix will teach you ways to foster team culture and collaborate with people with different working styles using emotional intelligence. Try Harappa today and grow as a team leader!

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