To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.
Example: Dan has responded to his new boss´s belief in "participatory decision making" by holding weekly meetings with his staff, during which he encourages discussion of the issues facing their group and requests their ideas. A secretary records everyone´s ideas and creates a report, wich Dan says he will incorporate into his decision making. After makig a their contributions and emphasizes that the course of action chosen was influenced a great deal by their participation. He also sends an e-mail to his boss extolling the contributions of these individuals.
In reality, Dan always does exactly what he wants to do. He may even sincerely believe that he has actually listened to the ideas of others and integrated them into his decision but it´s clear that he has certain biases and that he always follows these biases when opting for certain tatics and strategies, regardless of the information and concepts others bring to him.