Employee Empowerment

Essay by hotrod02University, Bachelor'sA-, November 2009

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Today's business world is fast paced and highly competitive. In order for an organization to be considered prepared to compete with other organizations it must be able to change with the times. Several organizations are transforming into different types of flat and hybrid organizational structures to help them change with ever changing consumer, shareholder, employee, and stockholder's needs. If an organization lacks the ability to transform from a traditional vertical organizational structure, they will ultimately fail. Organizations change their organizational structure by empowering their most valuable asset, their employees. "Empowerment is the oil that lubricates the exercise of learning (Kotelnikov, 2009)." This paper will describe the methods for preparing employees at all levels for shifts in individual and group decision-making responsibility that come with the flat organizational model.

Organizational BackgroundBefore describing the methods for preparing employees for a shift in an organizational structure, one must be able to differentiate between vertical and horizontal organizational structure.

Vertical also known as a narrow organization can be described as one with a relatively large number of levels but relatively few individuals at each level. In contrast, the horizontal organization also known as flat is described as one having few numbers of levels, but each level is comprised of a large number of employees (Jex, 2002, p. 433). Vertical organizations spend a great deal of energy typically investing in communication, supervision and decision making. A horizontal organization spends less time doing those tasks and focuses more on running itself.

Today's companies must be more agile and inventive in their ultimate quest for lowering costs and increasing value for their customers. A great deal of companies in America today are trying various new strategies in their quests. One that has become popular in today's workforce is called employee empowerment. Organizations are unleashing their daunting tasks...