To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Employee empowerment: factors affecting the consequent success or failure (Part II)

Steven H. Appelbaum (John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada)
Robin Karasek (TC Media, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Francis Lapointe (Department of Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Kim Quelch (Concordia University)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to uncover and synthesise the main factors that affects and determines the success or failure of empowerment initiatives from a macro and micro perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A thorough review of scholarly articles and empirical evidence was conducted on the topic of empowerment in order to bring to light the correlation between the different factors affecting structural empowerment, psychological empowerment and the effect of leadership style.

Findings

It has been determined that a team based structure and a culture based on trust and open communication are the key factors affecting the successful implementation of empowerment. Furthermore, although, many positive points can be made for transformational leadership, transactional leadership cannot be discounted as the research shows that the right combination of incentives and rewards, coupled with a certain organisational culture can breed empowerment among certain types of employees.

Research limitations/implications

Going forward in terms of research on the increasingly popular concept of empowerment, it is believed that a more fully integrated model should be developed. Although some models do incorporate analysis of various macro and micro variables a more comprehensive and encompassing model would prove useful. Such a model would allow for a far more in-depth understanding of empowerment and its defining factors and would provide an invaluable tool to organisations wishing to implement empowerment in the most optimal way.

Practical implications

In applying a combination of theories on empowerment, leadership and individuals as part of an organisation, the authors posit that empowerment initiatives are predisposed to either success or failure. In order for empowerment to permeate the corporate culture and prove successful, the predispositions of decentralised management and personal ambition are strong factors of success.

Social implications

The authors postulate that the deciding factors regarding the success or failure of empowering an employee originate from the employees themselves. Even though employees can adopt new corporate cultures and be transformed by their leaders, their core traits remain the same and will have a decisive impact on the eventual success or failure of empowerment initiatives.

Originality/value

Going forward in terms of research on the increasingly popular concept of empowerment, it is believed that a more fully integrated model should be developed. Although some models do incorporate analysis of various macro and micro variables, a more comprehensive and encompassing model would prove useful.

Keywords

Citation

Appelbaum, S.H., Karasek, R., Lapointe, F. and Quelch, K. (2015), "Employee empowerment: factors affecting the consequent success or failure (Part II)", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 47 No. 1, pp. 23-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-05-2013-0034

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited