Cet article porte sur le modèle de participation mis en œuvre dans le secteur d'État algérien à compter de 1971. La recherche montre que ce cadre institutionnel n'a pas résorbé le conflit entre les agents de production, comme le suggérait le discours officiel. Au contraire, le modèle de participation a généré un nouveau type de conflit entre les différents acteurs et instances impliqués dans l'entreprise socialiste.
In Algeria, enterprises have been until now creatures of an all powerful government party. These enterprises have been managed in a bureaucratic manner by the central authority, leading the participants to realize that the crucial issues were being decided outside their sphere. The socialist model of enterprise (ESA) created through planning initiatives in the state sector beginning in 1971, institutionalized participation. However, because the enterprises into which participation was introduced were traditional organizations based on the division of capital and labour, conflict ensued.
Moreover, the model of participation is fundamentally managerially driven. In our view, such models have demonstrated that they are nearly always fatally flawed at resolving workplace conflict. This model of participation proved equally unable to attain the widespread support, within the economic and political Systems, which had been promised at the planning stage.
It is equally apparent that the conflict surrounding the ESA was a kind of a mechanism whereby a dominant state party faced a labour movement seeking to end its subservience. The ESA was an instrument through which the rules of the game could be determined, as each of these groups attempted to modify the situation to its own advantage. At its root, it was simply an exercise for the groups in question: the one to try to perpetuate its domination; the other to set in motion changes that might reverse the status quo. Naturally enough, this led to conflict of a dual character. Not surprisingly, conflict emerged at the workplace level and was played out in an industrial relations context. Conflict was also of a political and strategic nature, however, between actors competing for both organizational and societal power. Certainly the conflict that is evident in ESA has spilled over into other arenas.
In this study, we have attempted to identify the relationship between conflict and participation within the ESA model, in terms of both its significance and evolution. We have examined the actors within the ESA to ascertain their objectives and their inter-connections. The ESA model creates a dual relationship between the union and management: on one hand there is a relationship with respect to certain decision making; on the other hand, there is a confrontation al relationship that is euphemistically called "collective disputes of the workplace". One finds, as a resuit, a dialectic of intégration and conflict, which develops into différent forms.
In a very real sensé, the ESA model is a forum for the unfolding of two distinct types of conflict. The first type is that which can never be eliminated, but which can be accommodated within a libéral System of enterprise. This type of conflict is concerned with the conditions of employaient and the methods of determining those conditions.
The second type of conflict emerged within the ESA model itself. The model is conflictual for three reasons: 1) the ESA was a focus of competition between the two main social actors, the labour movement and the state party; 2) the type of relationship that emerged between the elected workers councils and management. At stake is the retention and exercise of managerial power; and 3) the fact that those at the level of production did not accept the ESA model, and by reference, the state party.
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