Fourth Necessary Component:
Guaranteed Individual Rights

To participate effectively in self-government, people need not only the correct information and an ability to use it, but also the assurance that they will not be penalized for their participation. Such acts as criticizing existing procedures or opposing proposed policy changes could invite reprisals from management or sometimes from fellow employees. Establishing workers councils (or some other structure for participation), or ensuring full access to information will be worthless as long as it is too risky to voice one's view because one is in the minority, or because one can be penalized by persons in higher positions of power. Zwerdling (1974) found that lack of this rights component explained the decay of democratization in the worker-owned American Cast Iron Pipe Company (see Chapter 3 of Part I).

Consequently, to be successful, democratization ultimately needs to guarantee to its participants freedom of speech, assembly, petition of grievances, secret balloting in elections, due process and the right of fair appeal in cases of discipline, immunity of workers' representatives from dismissal or transfer while in office, and a written constitution alterable only by majority or two-thirds vote of the full collective. These rights are observed to be in practice to differing degrees in Scott-Bader, the plywood mills and the John Lewis Partnership, as well as several other cases (Blum,1968; Berman,1967; Flanders et al.,1968, Gorupic and Paj,1971; Lynd,1974).

This collection of rights does parallel the Bill of Rights contained in the United States Constitution, and the rights guaranteed to citizens of most democracies. There are important reasons for this parallel which are rooted in the nature of self-government whether it be societal or intra-organizational. (Some contemporary American advocates of workplace democratization approach it predominantly from this component, arguing to workers that "it is time to take the Bill of Rights inside the factory gate" [Weir in Lynd. 1974:16].) These rights also can be understood as necessary from the point of view of the cybernetic requirements of a self-governing (self-steering) system. We shall examine the nature of this component from both theoretical standpoints.

The first right, freedom of speech (or freedom to dissent [Weir in Lynd, 1974:16]) we have already explained in terms of the need to protect participants from reprisals for voicing criticisms. Cybernetically, it is also important for the system that participants feel free to express their views because the confidence thus enabled keeps open a major channel of self-correction for the organization. Criticism, alternative proposals, and special