The theory, process, and tools that are known collectively as “total quality management” offer ways in which empowerment of employees can support an organization′s efforts not only in quality improvement, but in empowerment as well. Its approach places the responsibility for an organization′s processes in the hands of those who know those processes best, and helps them to participate directly in the organization′s mission or purpose. In particular, the plan‐do‐study‐act cycle lies at the heart of the improvement process and represents the key to employee empowerment in that process. Using the case study of a telephone callback system and concrete examples representing applications in health care, education, and manufacturing, demonstrates how the PDSA cycle builds teams′ confidence in their ability to solve problems and bring about improvement, concomitantly enhancing pride in work and empowerment in the organization.
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