Participatory management by political deployees in state owned companies : a case study of Regideso, Burundi.
The main purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which political deployees employed participatory management in state owned companies in the Republic of Burundi. The identified state owned company was REGIDESO, a water and electricity supply utility in Burundi. The study examined the extent to which REGIDESO employees participate in the decision-making within their organization bodies and to find out whether employees were willing to participate in their organization if they were given an opportunity to do so. Obstacles to employee participation in decision-making within REGIDESO were researched. The premise from which this study was undertaken was that participative management is touted as the best style for managing in contemporary organizations and has often been promoted as the quick cure for poor morale, low performance and productivity. To answer these questions, a structured questionnaire to test REGIDESO employee participation in decision-making was administered to a sample of 62 employees. Only 60 questionnaires were filled and returned. The survey findings revealed that the extent to which REGIDESO employees participate in decision-making was too low because the majority of the respondents said they did not have access to participation and said that senior managers were the ones who make decisions in the company. On willingness to participate, more than 95% of respondents were willing to participate in decision-making processes. Educational qualifications played a big role on the extent of willingness to participate where higher educated employees showed more eagerness. The main barriers to participation identified were that employees did not get feedback when they submitted their suggestions to superiors. The fact that managers in REGIDESO wanted full control of the organization and do not want to support employee involvement was also seen by workers as an obstacle to participation. The third obstacle mentioned by employees was that the organizational structure of the company did not allow employee participation. From the foregoing findings, some recommendations were made that would benefit both management and workers of REGIDESO. The law makers of Burundi were also given some advice. It also seemed necessary that researchers should examine other variables such as financial participation, labour turnover and absenteeism.