Empowerment

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EMPOLYEE EMPOWERMENT OUTLINE AND CONTEXT REVIEW

1.0 Introduction

Modern information technology and the rapid development of modern transportation technology promote the cross-border flow of production, as well as the process of global economic integration. Thus, the life cycles of the development of the product and technology are getting shorter while uncertainty of market changes is getting stronger. In this increasingly competitive environment, previous organizational structure has been proved difficult to maintain the competitiveness of enterprises (Ron, 1995).

Aiming to creative a more dynamic, powerful, flexible and healthy enterprise, Drucker (1950) noted that organizational structure must contain as fewer management hierarchies as possible. Especially in the context of today's knowledge-based economy, it is crucial to make employees and groups involved in management activities of the company. Therefore, the research and practical applications of the theory of employee empowerment have been paid more attention by scholars and entrepreneurs.

The objectives of this paper are to overview the construct of employee empowerment and how to implement it to reshape the enterprise architecture successfully. Then, I will discuss the problems occurred in the process of empowering employees in general, and switches focus by highlighting the perspective of the attitudes towards employee empowerment in China, followed by some suggestions and conclusions eventually.

2.0 Employee Empowerment

Empowerment has becoming one of the widely used commercial terms in recent years. The notion stemmed from workplace empowerment belonging to the scientific management which has been hailed as the significant weapon in new industrial (Mathes, 1992). However, it is difficult to define the concept precisely although there are hundreds of articles on this topic. According to Skirkin(1993, p.12), empowerment is the process giving workers more rights to set their own work-related goals and encouraging them participate in decision-making. Generally, “to empower” means to enable, to allow or to permit and to delegate rights to subordinates (Littrell, 2006). With a deeper understanding of empowerment, some researchers stress employee empowerment is not only delegating the power to majority of low-statues employees so that they can tackle the voices of customers immediately and independently, but also an effective strategy implementation of organizational transformation.

2.1 Employee Empowerment and Job Satisfaction

Effective employee empowerment is regarded as a critical cause in successful management of organization. Further study indicates there are two facets in terms of empowerment, one of which is granting right and the other is enabling individuals to be powerful. Apart from the transfer of power, empowerment has been used to describe an action of strengthening one’s awareness of self-efficacy which refers to “believe in one’s capabilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources, and courses of action needed to meet given situational demands” (Wood and Bandura, 1989).

However, what motivations could promote workers to have a peak performance or give them confidence to achieve tasks, the answer is employee satisfaction. However, even if it makes some sense in some way, it is still insufficient to satisfy the firms.

On one hand, job satisfaction for an employee is that he fulfills his desires through his job and maybe he is just satisfied with the paycheck. On the other hand, a man dissatisfies his job is possibly he wants improve his work performance, wants given more power to lead his team achieve more, wants to obtain a bigger status to use his talents, knowledge and experience. That discontent of work status is the precious attitude that company always seeking for. Thus, satisfaction is not adequate as work motivation and the only effective approach is to enhance employee’s responsibilities...
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