Empowerment Literature Review

Topics: Leadership, Management, Empowerment Pages: 10 (3438 words) Published: March 10, 2012
The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of effective leadership on customer service. Much research has been completed in the areas of effective leadership, effective management and effective customer service, individually. However, research in the assessment of how effective leadership influences customer satisfaction is difficult to locate. This should be an area well researched as customer satisfaction can be an area of great competitive advantage within most industries. It has been shown that effective leadership, if influenced throughout the hierarchical chain of an organization, can have a great effect on customer satisfaction. As effective leadership empowers employees to achieve a high level of customer service. This empowerment increases self-efficacy within all aspects of an organization from the quality of the product to the helpfulness of the sales force. These assets; quality and good customer service, are what customers look for in a company and these same assets keep customers returning.

Effective management is important to an organization in order to keep the firm on track and functioning. Customers are what make the organization stay in business. Without customers there is no business. Customers can be citizens to a municipality or consumers to a retail store. Good customer service is important to keep the customers coming back and therefore, not doing business with the next closest competitor. Effective management may make a difference in how employees interact with customers. Research has been done on effective management, effective leadership and even effective customer service. It is even known how employees are affected by leadership and management; how production increases or decreases depending on the type of management and how employees react to different types of managers. However, little research could be found on the effect on customer services from effective leadership. This paper will review literature that researches effective leadership and management and how it affects customer service. It will also review research on the actions of superiors, subordinates, and the actions of associates from effective management. Customer satisfaction is important in the competitive advantage of an organization. The question that has arisen from research is will customer satisfaction increase with effective leadership in an organization and how does this affect others in the organization as a whole. Literature Review

The article by Ahearne, Mathieu and Rapp discusses empowerment of employees and its influence on customer satisfaction and performance of employees. “Empowerment is an important driver of organizational effectiveness, and practitioners and researchers alike have identified it as a construct warranting further inquiry” (Ahearne, Mathieu & Rapp, 2005, p. 945). Empowerment as defined by Ugboro and Obeng (2000) is an “intrinsic task motivation that manifests itself in four cognitions reflecting an individual’s orientation to his or her work roles” (p. 248). A frequently used definition (Ahearne, Mathieu, & Rapp, 2005; Ugboro & Obeng, 2000) which this reader believes fits more to leadership effectiveness is from Conger and Kanungo (1988) who define empowerment as “a process of enhancing feelings of self-efficacy among organizational members through the identification of conditions that foster powerlessness and through their removal by both formal organizational practices and informal techniques of providing efficacy information”. Ahearne, Mathieu and Rapp’s (2005) article is primarily centered on a sales environment. Sales environments typically require extensive customer service. That being said, Ahearne, Mathieu and Rapp’s (2005) paper can give a good insight into how an effective leadership in an organization can influence customer satisfaction. The primary goal of their study is “to examine the impact of leader’s empowering styles of behavior (leadership...
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