Organization Management Journal


Psychological empowerment is the perception that workers can help determine their own work roles, accomplish meaningful work, and influence important decisions. Empowerment has been studied from different perspectives, including employee perceptions, leadership behaviors, and management programs. Despite positive rhetoric, programs designed to increase empowerment seldom achieve the benefits promised. Inconclusive and seemingly contradictory outcomes stem from the fact that few companies give employees significant control and access to management information. A half century of research suggests that empowerment strategies can offer real benefits. We outline facilitating conditions for effective empowerment, including characteristics of organizations, leaders, employees, and the work itself.