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Competent or Competitive? How Employee Representatives Gain Influence in Organizational Decision-Making

Conflicts of interest between management and employees are part of organizational life. To manage these conflicts, employee representatives (ERs) often participate in organizational decision-making. The objectives of this article were to investigate the relation between perceived competences of ERs and their influence on organizational decision-making in different types of issues, and the mediating effect of ERs’ conflict behaviors on these relations. To test the hypotheses, which are based on theories of power and conglomerate conflict behavior, survey data from 614 human resources directors from 11 European countries were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results show that perceived competences are positively related to the influence of ERs on decision-making, both for traditional and for innovative issues. Perceived competence is positively related to cooperative and negatively related to competitive conflict behavior. Conglomerate conflict behavior partly mediates the relation between perceived competences and influence. Implications for representative influence are discussed.


Elgoibar, Patricia

Refereed Journal Articles

General Management