Filling the gaps: Patterns of formal and informal participation

Keith Townsend, Adrian Wilkinson, John Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Industrial relations scholarship has traditionally privileged union forms of employee participation. In more recent years there has been a shift to understand the role of participation in non-union firms. This article develops theory on employee participation through analysis of an Australian case study in the hotel sector. The authors find that formal participation mechanisms are useful and essential for both employees and managers, however formal participation leaves behind gaps which are partially filled with informal voice exchanges between employees and their managers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-354
Number of pages18
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Employee participation
  • employee voice
  • human resource management


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