Employee involvement : 'How do coal mines in Queensland utilise employee involvement processes?'

Quemard, David (2004) Employee involvement : 'How do coal mines in Queensland utilise employee involvement processes?'. Other thesis, University of Southern Queensland.


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Many Australian businesses compete in the global marketplace, and companies seeking a competitive edge in this business environment consider the engagement of their people in the business to be a strategic advantage. This 'engagement of people' strategy utilises participatory or collaborative management practices that can be collectively considered under the umbrella term 'employee involvement' (EI) and considered desirable from both a management and employee perspective. Yet EI appears as an organisational paradox, that is, while management want EI and employees want EI it should be effective and work well. However, often EI does not deliver in full for both management and workers. The Queensland coal mining industry is one such industry that competes in the global marketplace and many companies within that industry seek to improve their competitive positions by directly involving their employees. This investigation looks at how coal mines in Queensland utilise Employee Involvement processes. In doing so the investigation seeks to understand EI as a concept, as well as a practice, and to determine influential factors for effective EI at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) mines - the major coal mining company in the Queensland coal mining industry. This investigation was undertaken using a case study methodology based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews. People were interviewed from various organisational levels at four BMA mines and BMA's corporate office. The investigation findings establish that EI, as a concept, is best understood by its application. Also the key common attributes of EI that were evident are involvement of actual crews, information sharing, the opportunity to influence decisions and that EI in safety management is considered mandatory. BMA does utilises formal EI practices. However, embedded in these formal EI practices are informal EI practices that involve more people and have greater organisational breadth in their acceptance and impact. While EI was recognised as a management initiative, it was management's commitment to establishing and maintaining the supportive environment which fostered an EI program that was more critical for implementing an EI culture than the mechanistic formal EI programs utilised by BMA. In establishing the importance of informal EI practices over more formal EI practices, the role of the supervisor is considered vital in creating a supportive environment that both fosters the employees sense of management commitment and their sense of personal value.

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Item Type: Thesis (Non-Research) (Other)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) (Pre-2008) thesis. The DBA as accredited from 1998 to 2007 was a professional doctorate with both coursework and research dissertation components.
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:16
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: participatory management, collaborative management, employee involvement, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) mines, Queensland mining industry
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/160

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