Posted: December 2nd, 2013


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Is empowerment a valuable tool for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in today’s organizations?

Labor is a primary factor of production and falls as one of the vital elements to an organization and its efforts of attaining the strategic goals and objectives. The need for employee empowerment is an express indication of the modern organizational need to ensure the presence of employee satisfaction in their various positions, in the organization. Employee motivation, participation and performance are crucial factors in ensuring that the employees are able to increase their productivity, as well as ensuring their ability to satisfy their customers with quality services and products.

Customer satisfaction is usually of essence to any modern organization. This is because organizations are driven by sales, which are made from loyal and occasional or first time customers. Organizations are faced by a declining number or availability of a skilled workforce. Competition has been a key driver of the need to ensure the presence of satisfied labor forces as well as the satisfaction of the consumer. According to Seibert et al. (2004, p. 333), the modern day business world is marked by the presence of excessive competition because of the presence of numerous organizations with vast resources such as highly skilled labor forces, funds for research and development of new products and services.

Traditional organizations were accustomed to reacting negatively instead of use of proactive strategies in managing the labor force. This has however changed over time because of the evolution of the average organization. Proactive strategies are used in modern organizations as approaches for ensuring the observance of the welfare of the average employee in the organization (Johnson, 2011). Employees who are satisfied with their terms of contract, working environments and treatment from the management are essential to an organization as they perform their duties and tasks in an appropriate manner with respect the expected standards to ensure customer satisfaction.

Additionally, the need to have an empowered workforce essentially translates to the presence of a satisfied workforce, which is with the terms and conditions in the organization. Essentially empowerment is termed as a management technique, which is used to orient employees thus enabling them to think about their roles, duties and responsibilities. Technological advancements have enabled automation in the various organizational processes and operations. Hence, according to Elloy (2012, p. 629) this provides that organizations are driven by the need to increase productivity and ensure that they able to ensure the presence of creativity and innovation in the organizational processes.

This is vital in that employees are driven by the presence of organizational incentives to ensure that they accrue the existent or additional benefits associated with increased productivity.

It is also evident that employees are driven by the presence of empowerment practices, proactive approaches used by the management as well as the existent environment to ensure that they are able to maximize their levels of individual productivity (Sahoo, Behera & Tripathy 2010). Essentially empowerment is aimed at increasing the benefits to the organization and those subsequently accruable to an organization. Satisfied employees are considered as assets to organizations because of their psychological attachments to their roles in the organization. They are driven to ensure that they perform their tasks professionally and retain their employment positions in the organization.

Empowerment is also an approach, which is widely used by organizations in contemporary business settings to ensure that they have adequate ability to counter various risks. Crises in organizations are usually related indirectly or directly to the welfare of the workers. Kozlowski and Ilgen (2006, p. 114) assert that empowerment is also described as a means of ensuring that there is redistribution of power in the organization. This is driven by the need to ensure that there is balance between the management of the organization and employees. This aimed at ensuring the presence of increased employee authority, responsibility and commitment toward the employment positions in the organization. Modern-day organizations enhance efficiency through increased participation of the employees in the decision making process as such decisions relate to their work related tasks. Employee involvement in the decision-making process is a vital driver of productivity in that, it is a motivating factor for employees to perform better in their duties and tasks delegated by the management.

Efficiency is usually brought by the increased ability of the employee to conduct activities in the organization with confidence. Confidence is attributable to the presence of autonomy granted to the employee by the management in terms of decision making towards the specific tasks delegated by the management. Additionally, the presence of autonomy is usually a means of cultivating individual drive among the employees in that they are held responsible for specific outcomes of the tasks or activities delegated to them by the management. Employees in organizations should also be granted with the ability to perform and appraise their tasks. This enables them to compare their levels of output and ensure that they are able to keep in line with the expectations of the organization, as well as retain the ability to surpass their individual targets. Seibert et al. (2004, p. 338) also note that this is essential in that it provides employees with self-esteem in that their individual capabilities and esteem towards their duties are driven by the presence of determining their levels of output based on the individual capabilities.

Employee involvement in varied hierarchal levels of the organization provides employees with the much-needed avenues in exchanging various ideas thus actualizing creativity and innovation in the organization. Innovation and creativity are evidently great drivers of organizational competitiveness in the market of operation. In addition, clear channels of communication between the levels of hierarchy amongst the employees provide the needed lines for communication between employees. This reduces the tensions and frustrations arising from groups or teams in an organization. The increase in cooperation between members, in teams in the organization, provides the teams or groupings in the organization with the platform of enhancing productivity and efficiency of the organization. Using such approaches, the organization achieves customer satisfaction and possibly customer loyalty.

Repetitive tasks in any organization could be deemed as boring and lacking motivation as the employees are not motivated to perform their tasks, duties and ensure that there are responsible for such tasks due to lack of motivation or empowerment. Empowerment is usually a means of ensuring that the organization ensures maximization of the capabilities and abilities of the employees. This is because employees are usually driven by the presence of privileges, appreciation, motivation and benefits accrued from ensuring that they perform their activities with zeal or high levels of interest.

Literature provides that there is an increased emphasis by the organization in the need for employee empowerment. This is because of the profound benefits accrued from such activities by an organization. Essentially, an organization accrues benefits such as increased employee satisfaction, increased employee productivity, customer satisfaction, cost reduction and other organizational efficiencies. Empowerment is an intrinsic factor towards the motivation of employees in the organization. Sahoo (2010, p. 48) notes that this is vital since it enables employees to realize their dreams in the organization as well as the needs of the organization in the achievement of its strategic goals and objectives.

As an important factor of production, the management of employees is paramount in the contemporary organization. This is vital cause of a rapidly changing business world because of issues such as globalization and technological advancements. Organizational competitiveness is an important factor towards the achievement of market dominance by an organization. Management of labor is a sensitive issue in that it involves handling of individuals’ livelihoods and their emotions, as well. According to Johnson, (2011, p. 11) an empowerment programs at ensuring that the employees are able to maximize their productivity for overall organizational benefits in the market of operation.

In addition, because of the constant changes in the business world all brought about by issues as technological changes and globalization necessitate the need to develop new strategies for managing factors of labor such as capital land and labor. In concerns of labor, employee empowerment is aimed at ensuring that the employees are used by the organization to their maximum potentials. This could be achieved through the establishment of programs, such as the training and development of employees to ensure that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to enhance their performance in their roles in the organization. Empowerment from an organizational context can be defined as the ability of some employees to exercise control over other employees. Moreover, the employee ability to exercise a relatively high level of autonomy in the organization, with an aim of achieving individual goals, as well as the strategic goals and objectives of the organization in its field of operation (Elloy, 2012).

It is evident that empowerment in the organizational context is manifested in four distinct ways which are namely the meaning of the empowerment tasks or activities, competence, individual-determination and the impact of the empowerment activities. The cognitive meaning of empowerment to employees, amounts to the individual beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior exhibited by an individual towards his duties and roles in employment, but such attitudes toward the position and related duties are not warranted. In addition, competence refers to the individual or self-efficacy on the belief that one possesses the required traits and abilities to perform the delegated duties in an employment position satisfactorily. On the other hand, self-determination is defined as the belief that an individual can exercise autonomy in the organization with respect to execution of individual tasks delegated by the management. The final part is impact, which implies that an individual or employee can understand of the repercussions for undertaking various, measures in the execution o individual tasks.

Furthermore, there are also presences of antecedents, which determine empowerment. Such include self-esteem, organizational support, access to knowledge and information, participation and organizational support with resources. The quality of the executive or leader and employee relations usually determines the ability of the top management of the organization to manage empowerment process given the benefits accrued from such undertakings. Trust between managers and the employees is vital in that it displays the presence of respect for employees and appreciation from the top management of the organization (Blanchard, Carlos, & Randolph, 1996).

Other factors are also evident to have a role in the empowerment process in organizations. Issues such as demographic factors such as age, gender of employee, self-determination, and needs for motivation and control, determine the success of the empowerment program for an employee. Hence, empowerment programs seek to address numerous issues, which also lead to personal changes to ensure achievement of the goals and objectives, both individual and organizational. Empowerment is a strong approach used by modern day organizations. This is because it translates to stronger employees who are driven by the benefits accrued from their positions as well as benefit accrued from the organizations because of their newfound strength and motivation to execute tasks delegated to their positions.

Empowerment of employees is not restricted to lower levels of hierarchy but is aimed at ensuring that employees even in top management are empowered to ensure that they perform their tasks appropriately and increase their productivity. The higher levels of leadership of an organization are tasked with ensuring that the employees in the organization are able to reap from the activities of empowerment. The leadership of an organization provides the direction in the organization in that they facilitate the decision making process which might include employees with an aim of empowering them.

The involvement of higher levels of hierarchy is aimed at portraying solidarity and providing motivation to the employees. Here, the organization aims at ensuring actualization of its empowerment plans for all employees. Empowered employees usually translate to empowered or strengthened process and organizational procedures. This is because employees in such activities are usually provided with training and development programs to enhance their skills and competencies in their respective activities (Areiqat & Zamil, 2011).

Training is regarded as an important factor in the growth of the organization. This is because the organization is driven by the presence of increased competencies in the organization. Increased competencies are related to innovation and creativity in the organization, which is essential in that it provides the organization with an increased level of competitiveness. Increased competitiveness is brought about by the presence of new strategies, new products and means of operation of the organization. Such could accrue benefits as reduced costs, processes efficiency, new development of products and services, and an emphasis on customer satisfaction and loyalty. The identified factors are usually paramount in an organization as they relate to the image of the organization in a given market of operation.























Areiqat, AYM & Zamil, AM 2011, ‘The Role of Empowerment in Crisis Management in Business Organizations’, Asian Journal of Business Management, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 188-195.

Blanchard, KH, Carlos, JP & Randolph, WA 1996, Empowerment takes more than a minute, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco.

Elloy, D 2012, ‘Effects of ability utilization, Job Influence and Organization Commitment on Employee Empowerment: An Empirical Study’, International Journal of Management, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 627-632.

Johnson, M 2011, ‘Workforce Deviance and the Business Case for Employee Engagement’, The Journal for Quality and Participation, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 11-16.

Kozlowski, SWJ & Ilgen, DR 2006, ‘Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams’, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 77-124

Sahoo, KC, Behera, N & Tripathy, SK 2010, ‘Employee Empowerment and Individual Commitment: An analysis from Integrative Review of Research’, Employment Relations Record, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 40-56.

Seibert, SE, Silver, SR & Randolph, WA 2004, ‘Taking Empowerment to the Next Level: A Multiple-Level Model of Empowerment, Performance, and Satisfaction’ Academy of Management Journal, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 332–349.

Youndt, MA, Scott, A, Snell, JW, Dean, J & Lepak, DP 1996, ‘Human Resource Management, Manufacturing Strategy, and Firm Performance’, The Academy of Management Journal, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 836-866.


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