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Autor:   •  July 1, 2011  •  3,512 Words (15 Pages)  •  573 Views

Page 1 of 15

Table of Contents. 2

1.0 Introduction 3

2.0 Empowerment at PublicOrg 5

3.0 Empowerment at AerospaceCo. 7

4.0 Analysis of empowerment at AerospaceCo and PublicOrg. 9

4.1 Resistance to Change 9

4.2 Training and Communication 10

4.3 Job Security 11

4.4 Commitment and Trust 11

4.4.1 The Commitment Model 12

4.5 Theory X or Theory Y ? 13

4.6 Employee Involvement 13

5.0 Communication- the root of all problems 14

6.0 Recommendations for PublicOrg 15

7.0 Bibliography 16

1.0 Introduction

The basic definition of empowerment is “being given power or authority by either legal or official means.”(,2006).However, this definition does not give a vivid conception of empowerment in context to HRM.What really is вЂ?empowerment’ then?How do we implement and evaluate it?The truth is that in reality there is no lucid definition of empowerment along managerial lines. Many do not comprehend its true shared meaning and thus, resort to its narrow implementation.

When empowerment is considered from the managers’ viewpoint, it usually means they desire their staff to “extend their contributions, quicken problem-solving, be more proactive and take increased responsibilities.” (

On the other hand, employees view empowerment as a tool that provides them with more freedom in their work and decision-making processes.It allows them to achieve a higher “degree of autonomy.” ( These two separate viewpoints might look compatible initially, but the reality is far from it.

People have their own perspectives of empowerment.They need to recognize that employment has different forms. It should be “analysed in the context of broader organisational practice.” (Redman and Wilkinson,2001 )In other words we need to look at the organization at which it is applied. “How we define empowerment within our projects will depend upon the specific people and context involved.вЂ™Ð²Ð‚™(Bailey,1992)

“At its simplest,empowerment would be associated with the redistribution of power”(Wilkinson forthcoming,p11).The concept of power is central to empowerment. “Power is related to our abilities to make others do what we want regardless of their own wishes or interests.”(Weber ,1946).Without the change and expansion of power, empowerment is impossible.

“TQM is designed to empower workers and encourage participation and innovation.”(Ford 1995,p18).Though TQM may seem to claim to empower,there is no assurance that it will provide 100% empowerment.To achieve the desired results, empowerment needs to be considered in all decision making levels in organisations.Such consideration would ultimately lead to its proper implementation.

This coursework examines the case studies regarding empowerment initiatives at PublicOrg and Aerospace Co. and evaluates the reasons behind the success of empowerment at Aerospace Co. and failure at PublicOrg.

2.0 Empowerment at PublicOrg

PublicOrg, an executive agency, providing service to millions of customers, recognized the need to shift from its hierarchical system and introduced empowerment. However, it is clear that the entire concept failed due to the difference in the managers’ and employees’ perspective or notion of empowerment. Empowerment is a unitary concept that implies that managers and employees should be on the same side, which is clearly not the case at PublicOrg.

Empowerment was initiated with a view to provide better quality of customer service and job satisfaction among employees.Its main driver was the need to make PublicOrg more customer-focused and competitive.

PublicOrg followed a management-driven empowerment programme ; not worker-driven.They wanted their employees to believe that all of them had an equal opportunity (without transferring any power) to contribute to the success of the agency.They assumed that this belief would lead to greater job-satisfaction among employees. Thus,PublicOrg intended to provide power to the employees in a psychological sense;not raw power.

Employees were not well educated about empowerment.They interpreted that they had all the power,whereas, in reality power was with the management only. Improper training and lack of communication with the managers led employees to believe and realise that they were not being allowed to exercise their power and control.They were extremely dissatisfied with the managers who executed empowerment.Thus,we can understand the obvious rift between managers and employees.

Also, the middle managers had worked their way to the top and disliked the fact that empowerment meant handing over control to workers.They assumed that employees would be unable to take on many of the responsibilities.It was an issue of ego as they were extremely unwilling to let go of the power that they had worked so hard to get in the first place.

The empowerment programme collapsed completely and no one at PublicOrg benefited from it.The plan to introduce change at PublicOrg was too sudden for employees to comprehend.Though employees were initially happy with the thought of empowerment,they were resentfully disappointed with its improper implementation.They were excluded from decision-making processes.They also developed a dislike for the achievement-based pay( which was enforced in place of tenure-based pay),as the pressure of work did not allow them to do extra-activities.Whenever employees produced ideas, they were given a pat and handed a 10 pound bonus, but their ideas were never implemented. Distrust prevailed amongst managers and employees.Managers double-checked the work of the employees, which left the employees with a feeling of incompetence and created de-motivation.

3.0 Empowerment at AerospaceCo.

AerospaceCo, a company that deals with the final stage of production in the manufacturing of military


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