What Is Meant by the Term Empowerment? Does Empowering a Subordinate Necessarily Mean That the Person Granting Power Is Losing Power? Can an Act of Empowerment Increase a Manager or Leader's Power?

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WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM EMPOWERMENT? DOES EMPOWERING A SUBORDINATE NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THE PERSON GRANTING POWER IS LOSING POWER? CAN AN ACT OF EMPOWERMENT INCREASE A MANAGER OR LEADER’S POWER?

CONTENTS

1.0OVERVIEW OF THE ASSIGNMENT1

1.1Background1

1.2Scope of Discussion2

1.3Objectives2

2.0EMPOWERMENT IN THE BUSINESS ORGANIZATION3

2.1Understanding Empowerment3

2.2Steps of Empowerment in the Organization5

3.0DOES EMPOWERING A SUBORDINATE LEADS TO THE LOSING OF POWER OF THE PERSON GRANTING THE EMPOWERING POWER?7

4.0CAN AN ACT OF EMPOWERMENT LEADS TO INCREASE MANAGER OR LEADER’S CONTROL?10

5.0CONCLUSION12

BIBLIOGRAPHY14

OVERVIEW OF THE ASSIGNMENT

1 Background

Nihan and Nilay (2006) stated that total quality management concept or TQM has narrowed down the managers’ functions about decision making and controlling and emphasizing more on their functions as coach and mentor. In line with this needs, Nihan and Nilay (2006) also cited that the changeable new environment conditions require fitting to the new market conditions. Due to these reasons, empowerment was born as a concept of increased personnel participation in the organization.

Empowerment is a concept that was popularly cited in the 1990s along with the increasing acceptance of team work as a means of getting job done in the organization. There have been many critics about empowerment: some saying that it is just a jargon created to term the increasing participation of employees in decision making while others felt that this is a new approach in TQM to increase productivity in the organization.

2 Scope of Discussion

This assignment describes what empowerment is in the context of business organizations, mainly focusing on personnel empowerment and addressing the issues of whether empowerment causes loss or gain of power on the part of the manager or leader of the organization.

3 Objectives

The objectives of this assignment paper are stated as follows:

a) To provide an understanding of what is empowerment in the business organization;

b) To discuss whether empowering subordinates can result in lose of power of the person granting the empowerment; and

c) To discuss whether empowerment act can increase the manager or leader’s power.

EMPOWERMENT IN THE BUSINESS ORGANIZATION

1 Understanding Empowerment

Empowerment is a concept shared by many disciplines and arenas: community development, psychology, education, economics, and studies of social movements and organizations, to name a few. How empowerment is understood depends on different perspectives. Rappoport (1984) stated that it is easy to define empowerment by its absence but hard to define in action as it takes on different forms in different people and contexts. However, a common understanding is that, empowerment is necessary (Bailey, 1992).

To provide a general definition, empowerment should be seen as a multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. It is a process that fosters power (that is, the capacity to implement) in people, for use in their own lives, their communities, and in their society, by acting on issues that they define as important (Page, 1999).

Basically, empowerment is multi-dimensional, social and a process. It is multi-dimensional as it happens within sociological, psychological, economic and other dimensions. Empowerment is social as it occurs at various levels such as individual, group and community. It is a social process because it affects relationship to others. It is a process that is like a path or journey as it has a dynamic features which develops as we work through it (Page, 1999).

There are many definitions of empowerment. For example, “For management, it is the giving up of some...
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