Sixth Necessary Component:
A Participatory/Democratic Consciousness

Throughout this discussion we have encountered the importance of attitudes, for the success or failure of particular cases and mechanisms of democratization. We have seen how certain dispositions on the part of managers, or on the part of workers and their representatives, can alter the functioning of other components. Other researchers have reported the importance of a particular mentality (Das, 1964), organizational culture (Dunn, 1973), or type of consciousness (Freire, 1974) to the development and success of democratization. The negative case is also indicative: in the absence of certain outlooks and mental abilities, a system established to be democratic will not function democratically (Tabb, 1970).

This component is the most difficult to specify, not only because the symbolic realm with which it deals is less tangible, but also because a clash of ideologies occurs here (Greenberg, 1975). Among the chief ideological positions that assert different possible forms of consciousness for humanizing and democratizing the workplace are the following:

  1. Managerial effectiveness,
  2. Productivity and worker-incentives,
  3. Human relations, stressing informal relationships and cooperation,
  4. Formal democracy in institutions,
  5. Workers' control, and
  6. Humanization and self-realization of the working community
    (the worker as an end, not merely a means, of the organization).

To take just a few examples, the productivity/incentives ideology emphasizes economic and material values, and worker identification with company-defined goals. On the other hand, the ideology connected with formal democracy tends to stress voting and the ideals of good citizenship as guides to behavior within the organization. It requires managers to be responsive to their citizenry, i.e., the employees.

In this way each ideology defines roles and expectations for the participants and, therefore, implies (even when it does not openly state) what would be the most appropriate consciousness in each case. With ideologies that require the lesser levels of participation (1, 2, or 3), the manager is required to take into account the needs of the employees for a congenial and perhaps somewhat self-expressive work environment. With ideologies at the other extreme (5 and 6), management is beholden to the workers; or the very roles of management and worker undergo such dynamic change that the organ-