Using a qualitative methodology, the present research attempts to understand members’ perceptions of empowerment in two New Zealand organizations that have undergone various reforms in the workplace. In a departure from the literature, our study reveals the context‐specific nature of empowerment and offers probable reasons for the lack of a unified (or universal) definition. From our case data, we also identify several factors that either facilitate or inhibit the empowerment process, and that have significant implications for organizations seeking to empower their employees.
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