The term is used in management theory (as in "participatory management") to denote a style of management that calls for a high level of participation of workers and supervisors in decisions that affect their work. The term is also used in Participatory Economics or "parecon" as it is theorized and elaborated in that model.
For well-informed participation to occur, some version of transparency, e.g. radical transparency, is necessary, but not sufficient. It has been suggested in the participatory economics model that for full and meaningful participation to exist, some form of Balanced job complex is necessary: self-confidence, empowerment and information must be equitably distributed.
Sherry Arnstein discusses types of participation and "nonparticipation" in A Ladder of Citizen Participation (1969). She defines citizen participation as the redistribution of power that enables the havenot citizens, presently excluded from the political and economic processes, to be deliberately included in the future. Multiple other "ladders" of participation have been presented, most notably Connor's "A new ladder of citizen participation" (1988), Wiedemann and Femers' "Public Participation in waste management decision making: analysis and management of conflicts" (1993) and Dorcey et al. "Public Involvement in government decision making: choosing the right model" (1994).