"Empowerment benefits all organizations"

Essay by tsijaonaUniversity, Master'sB+, April 2007

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The aim of this essay is to carry out the discussion of the question; "Empowerment benefits all organisations". The essay will critically discuss the meaning and philosophy of empowerment, its implementation (the empowerment process), the advantages and disadvantages of empowerment, issues which may rise due to empowerment focusing on the case studies on failures and success stories.

Empowerment has become one of the most salient concepts in modern management theory and practice. Houtzagers, G. (1999) acknowledges that "many organizations are seeking to implement various techniques to create a setting for the empowerment of the workforce in order to increase competitive advantage, innovation, and effectiveness. Various factors are to be considered for an implementation to be successful like structure, strategy, environment, technology, and culture".

Organisations that want to survive in today's competitive environment characterised by deregulations and converging markets, complex customer needs, corporate restructuring and downsizing, organisations are searching for innovative ways to enhance the creative potential of their workforce.

The Meaning of Empowerment

This study attempts to gain a clearer understanding of what empowerment means to different people, The essay comprehends the term "empowerment" by several definitions from various authors, each of which offers very slightly different views but leading to the same perspective; According Mullins, L. 2005, p.860 "empowerment is generally explained in terms of allowing employees greater freedom, autonomy and self-control over their work, and responsibility for decision making". He also argues that perception of empowerment differs depending on the management position and he pointed that some writers suggests that empowerment is a more proactive form of delegation for instance Johnson and Redmond view empowerment as "the pinnacle of employee involvement and at the end of a chain in social anticipation". Conger and Kanungo (1988: 474) add that empowerment is more than just the delegation of authority;...