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Empowerment in work and welfare: a comparison between employment issues and human services practices

Joanne C. Neher (PH.D, LISW, Associate Professor, College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN)
Samuel M. Natale (D.Phil.(Oxon.), Arend J. Sandbulte Professor in Management and Ethics, College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN)

Empowerment in Organizations

ISSN: 0968-4891

Article publication date: 1 March 1997



The concept of empowerment is very familiar to the human services world where the goal is to empower clients to manage their own lives as much as possible. In the corporate world, however, empowerment is a fairly new concept. There are issues involved in the infusion of empowerment into the corporate structure which are addressed in this paper. These include the process of developing an empowerment structure that will continue to function, the identification of qualified employees who can manage their workloads within an empowerment system, and the commitment of managers to empowerment as a way of meeting production goals. Within the human services system, empowerment is an accepted form of practice. The corporate world is trying to develop this practice in an era of downsizing and redefining of structures. This paper maintains that the development of empowerment found in human services can be transferred to the corporate system because the process of infusing empowerment into each system is relatively the same.



Neher, J.C. and Natale, S.M. (1997), "Empowerment in work and welfare: a comparison between employment issues and human services practices", Empowerment in Organizations, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 26-32.




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