open door policy

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Literally, it means that the manager's door is always open for any employee to air grievances or concerns, or to offer suggestions. Such policies are designed to encourage individual employees to bring any problems directly to the attention of any of their managers, rather than going through an employee representative. Typically, open door policies are found in workplaces where there is no recognized trade union. They are considered by some commentators as evidence of a move away from collectivism towards individualism in the employment relationship. Sceptics argue that open door policies are ineffective because employees are naturally reluctant to bring grievances or problems to the attention of their immediate managers, since it might adversely affect their promotion chances, their appraisals, and their pay. Many open door policies address this problem by allowing employees to raise issues with managers more senior than their immediate line manager.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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