Influence at work and the desire for more influence

Raymond Markey, Katherine Ravenswood, Don J. Webber, Herman Knudsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


What determines whether workers want more influence in their workplace? Much of the literature on employee voice and on high performance work systems assumes that employees desire a say in how they do their work, and that where they have little influence they are more likely to desire a greater say in how they do their work. This econometric study of 536 Danish and New Zealand employees in the education, health, food processing and hotel industries indicates that the determinants of workers' desire for more influence are more complex than that. What mattered was age (31-50 years olds being more likely to want influence), length of time in the organisation, and a range of variables associated with employee participation and other organisational characteristics. Those who wanted more influence were not learning new things in the workplace, and did not feel that they received sufficient information about the workplace, and those who feel appreciated by management did not desire more influence. Most significantly, it was found that whether a worker wants to have more influence did not differ depending on how much influence they thought they already had. The lack of connection between degree of influence and the desire for more influence appears counter-intuitive. However, these results support a considerable body of HRM literature that suggests the importance of adopting integrated and mutually supportive 'bundles' of employment practices in organisations to support high performance. The study also suggests what some of the components of these 'bundles' of practices might be, as well as an agenda for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th ILERA World Congress
PublisherILERA World Congress
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventILERA World Congress (16th : 2012) - Philadelphia, PN
Duration: 2 Jul 20125 Jul 2012


ConferenceILERA World Congress (16th : 2012)
CityPhiladelphia, PN


  • employee participation
  • high performance workplaces
  • employee voice


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