A loose, lukewarm introduction to workplace democracy, its precepts and practice, for non-workers, non-academics, non-MBAs. . . no one in particular. Even the general reader, that is, welcomes some pith and a sense of involvement (as found in advocate Daniel Zwerdling's Workplace Democracy, consultant Michael Maccoby's The Leader, and others). Simmons is a writer, Mares has been with the World Bank; they gracefully salute Studs Terkel's Working and the 1973 government report, Work in America, for rousing their interest in workplace reform. They are aware of the connection between declining productivity, foreign competition, and management's receptivity to worker-participation. They have looked into the going options, or ""fads""--cooperative ownership, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Quality of Work Life Improvement, Quality Control Circles--and conducted interviews of their own at GM's showcase Tarrytown plant, the Northwest's thriving plywood co-ops, Matsushita's reinvigorated Quasar division, etc. Most helpfully for the uninitiated, they briefly describe Taylorism--""scientific,"" lockstep management--and the reactions to it from Human Relations management to Tavistock/Einar Thorsrud democratization and the Lordstown revolt. But insofar as their purpose is ""to outline the conditions for successful participation efforts,"" they get no further than scattered assertions that participation can take many forms, should be entered into slowly, needs both top-level and shop-level support, and poses many problems for unions and middle-management. Their accounts of workplace-democracy successes are almost invariably bested (or discredited) by one or more fuller, more perceptive, and/or more up-to-date appraisal. Undistinguished and ineffectual.