Measurement of staff empowerment within health service organizations.
ABSTRACT A measure of empowerment was developed and its psychometric properties evaluated. Employees (n = 52) of two hospitals participated in semistructured interviews and a pilot test of the research instrument. A second study was undertaken with professional, support, and administrative staff (n = 405) of four community hospitals. Psychometric evaluation included factor analysis, reliability estimation, and validity assessment. Subjects responded to questionnaires measuring empowerment, leadership behavior, organizational citizenship behavior and job behaviors related to quality improvement. Factor analysis indicated three dimensions of empowerment: behavioral, verbal, and outcome empowerment. Coefficient alphas ranged from .83 to .87. The three dimensions were positively related to leadership behavior that encouraged self-leadership and negatively related to directive leadership. The three dimensions discriminated between the empowerment level of managers compared to that of nonmanagement staff. Empowerment predicted organizational citizenship behavior and job behaviors related to quality improvement.