More than lip service: Linking the intensity of empowerment initiatives to individual well-being and performance

Michal Biron, Peter A. Bamberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We conceptualize empowerment initiatives as varying in terms of intensity - or the degree to which the intervention is rhetorical (aiming to influence employees' sense of control at work, what we refer to as surface empowerment) as opposed to actual (aiming to influence the actual degree of employee job authority, what we refer to as deep empowerment). We then test the effects of rhetorical vs. actual empowerment interventions on employee well-being and performance, as well as the degree to which self-efficacy mediates these effects on the basis of a simulation-based experiment. Results indicate that although both surface and deep empowerment initiatives have beneficial effects on individual well-being, only the latter results in performance increase. We also find that self-efficacy fully mediates the association between surface empowerment (as compared with non-empowerment) and well-being, but only partially mediates the association between deep empowerment (as compared with non-empowerment) and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-278
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Employee well-being
  • Empowerment
  • Performance
  • Self-efficacy

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