Learning about Democracy at Work: Cross-National Evidence on Individual Employee Voice Influencing Political Participation in Civil Society

John W. Budd, J. Ryan Lamare, Andrew R. Timming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using European Social Survey data, this article analyzes the extent to which individual autonomy and participation in decision making at the workplace are linked empirically to individual political behaviors in civil society. The results, which are consistent with the hypothesis of a positive outward democratic spillover from the workplace to the political arena, point to the possibility of a learning effect. Much of the literature studies small samples in a single country, whereas we analyze more than 14,000 workers across 27 countries. The results do not appear to be driven by specific countries, which suggests that this spillover effect is a general phenomenon across a variety of institutional contexts, although some features of a country’s electoral system moderate some of the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-985
Number of pages30
JournalILR Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018



  • European Union
  • autonomy
  • employee involvement programs
  • international comparisons
  • politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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