Putting the Power Back Into Empowerment: A Construction of the Empowered State and the Empowerment Process
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Series/Report no.:2013 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 27th
Despite its consistent use and application by management scientists and practitioners alike, an in-depth review of the empowerment literature concludes the construct lacks conceptual clarity, leaving research surrounding the construct of empowerment questionable. It is critical that a clear conceptualization of the empowered state exist to increase the utility of the phenomenon and allow for the development of the empowerment process. After a detailed review of past and current approaches to defining empowerment, a clarified and more accurate definition of the empowered state is presented. Keeping in mind its power roots and its multidimensional nature, the empowered state is defined as a psychological state reflecting autonomy, control, and accountability. These components reflect an employee who reaches an empowered state perceiving they have authority and self governance over their own work and aspects of their work environment, and knowing they are held accountable in their work outcomes. Once this reconceptualization of the empowered state has been thoroughly discussed, a model of the empowerment process is proposed, identifying factors impacting the degree to which an employee experiences an empowered state, the antecedents and outcomes of such a state, and other mediating variables.
Business: 3rd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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