This paper evaluates the development and subsequent outcome of the Algerian experience of participative management. In Algeria, participation was seen as an important determinant in the country's socioeconomic development and was constituted under conditions of hope to blend the ideology of the state with the existing social structure through centralized and bureaucratic planning. However, the outcome was not as expected, either by the state, workers or managers. It has been a disappointing experience for all. It is argued here that the failure of participative management in Algeria is the result of introducing views and ideologies alien to the predominant norms and cultural values. Some of the studies that have attempted to explain the outcome of the Algerian experience are presented and criticized, and an alternative explanation is offered.