Issue 9 and Volume 148.

PARTICIPATION IN THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE BY WILLIAM L. BINGHAM The organizational function of human resource management is more important today than ever. Participatory management needs to become more than a 1990s buzzword and must be allowed to evolve into realistic and practical application sufficient to deal with relative fire department problems. Consistent with other manufacturing and service industries, there has been over this same period of time a tremendous lack of interest in soliciting the input of employees and a comparably high regard for authoritarian control and power. The process of understanding the tenets of participatory management and empowerment include familiarization with associated terms, an appreciation of the fact that two centuries of antiquated management theory will not disappear overnight, and a mechanism for implementation that emphasizes communication and respect. To allow the progression of the fire service into the 21st century, we must overcome traditional barriers to certain…

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