Employee participation in Sharesave schemes : a case study analysis of three companies in the UK retail sector
This thesis addresses the question as to why employees participate (or not) in their company's Sharesave scheme. A model of the factors which influence participation is developed based on the financial participation literature and pilot study interviews with a selection of company Sharesave scheme managers. Using a case study approach with three companies in the retail sector, quantitative and qualitative methods are applied to determine which aspects of the model influence participation by employees. Particular importance in the methodology is placed on understanding the employee's perspective in relation to Sharesave schemes by interviewing both participants and non-participants. The thesis argues that employees participate (or not) in the Sharesave scheme on what they see as their best interests. The findings suggest that participation in Sharesave schemes do not generate either a greater commitment to the company or come from a desire for ownership. However, the thesis did find that the changing nature of employment (in particular the growth of part time work and different types of part time workers) was an important factor influencing participation rates. Finally, this research concludes that financial participation schemes could not be properly evaluated without talking to employees. It is only by understanding the meaning that such schemes have for the individual in terms of the actions that the employee takes and why, that one can truly understand the impact of financial participation schemes.