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

Doctorate other than PhD

Quemard, David. 2004. Employee involvement : 'how do coal mines in Queensland utilise employee involvement processes?'. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Business Administration. University of Southern Queensland.

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

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorQuemard, David
SupervisorMillett, Bruce
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Business Administration
Number of Pages229

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
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.

Keywordsparticipatory management, collaborative management, employee involvement, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) mines, Queensland mining industry
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350503. Human resources management
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