Participatory HRM practices and job quality of vulnerable workers

Agnieszka Piasna, Mark Smith, Janna Rose, Jill Rubery, Brendan Burchell, Anthony Rafferty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vulnerable workers can be expected to be more subject to direct managerial control over the work process and have little opportunity for participation in shaping their work environment. Opportunities for participation not only are in themselves desirable, but also may have beneficial effects on job quality. However, there has been little exploration of either the extent to which vulnerable workers have access to employee participation or whether such access is equally associated with improved job quality for both vulnerable and non-vulnerable groups. These issues are explored using the fifth wave of the European Working Conditions Survey. We define vulnerable workers by the labour supply characteristics of low education and being female. Consistent with our predictions, regression analyses reveal that, although vulnerable workers have considerably less access to participatory human resource management practices, for those that do have access, similar improvements are found when compared to non-vulnerable groups on all four dimensions of job quality included in the analysis. Some variations were found depending on gender and level of education, but overall, our analysis suggests that increasing access to employee participation practices could provide an important means of improving job quality for vulnerable workers. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4094-4115
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • discrimination
  • employee participation
  • gender differences
  • job quality
  • vulnerable workers


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