Managerial-enacted empowerment: Dimensionality and effects on the wellbeing and performance of service workers

Michal Biron, Peter Bamberger

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Recognizing the potential conflict between operational pressures on the one hand and concerns with employee wellbeing on the other, we examine whether and how service employees' job discretion may be enhanced without harming operational efficiency. Viewing managerial-enacted empowerment as varying along two dimensions - namely (1) the depth of enacted empowerment or the degree to which the intervention is rhetorical (aiming to influence employees' sense of mastery, what we refer to as surface empowerment) as opposed to actual (aiming to influence the actual degree of employee task control, what we refer to as deep empowerment), and (2) the breadth of enacted empowerment or whether authority is allocated on the basis of equality or equity principles - we examine the relative efficacy of alternative empowerment initiatives in the context of two lab-based studies. The results of these studies highlight the advantages of deep over surface empowerment initiatives with respect to both employee wellbeing and performance, and indicate that the benefits of deep empowerment initiatives with regard to performance may be enhanced when such initiatives are applied on the basis of norms of equity.

Original languageEnglish
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event67th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2007 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: 3 Aug 20078 Aug 2007

Conference

Conference67th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA
Period3/08/078/08/07

Keywords

  • Empowerment
  • Management science
  • Service employees

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