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Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace

Authors:

Abstract

Employee empowerment is widely viewed as a promising approach to improve operating efficiency and customer service. But the most effective way to empower the staff is not always clear to hospitality managers, both in terms of what to do and what to avoid. This study will test a model of the relationships between empowerment, job satisfaction, self efficacy, and performance. As the value of empowering employees seems clear, multinational hospitality organizations may wish to select employees and managers who are comfortable with an empowerment strategy, and make clear to all employees that the organization will support them as they take more initiative.
Running head: Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 1
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace
Mostafa Marghany
Murray State University
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Abstract
Employee empowerment is widely viewed as a promising approach to improve
operating efficiency and customer service. But the most effective way to empower the staff is
not always clear to hospitality managers, both in terms of what to do and what to avoid. This
study will test a model of the relationships between empowerment, job satisfaction, self
efficacy, and performance. As the value of empowering employees seems clear, multinational
hospitality organizations may wish to select employees and managers who are comfortable
with an empowerment strategy, and make clear to all employees that the organization will
support them as they take more initiative.
Introduction
The hospitality industry, with its multicultural workforce (Iverson 2000), is a logical
candidate for explicit consideration of cultural values in employee empowerment. Not
surprisingly, numerous hospitality-related studies have proposed the importance of taking
values into account for employee empowerment (Gill, Fitzgerald, et al. 2010). Hospitality
organizations are more than ever putting their employees and customers as the centerpiece of
their management practices (Tsaur & Lin, 2004) to gain competitive advantage and increase
organizational effectiveness (Snipes et al, 2005).
The concept of empowerment
Empowerment definitions
The meaning of empowerment has been the subject of great debate and remains, at
present, a poorly defined concept. In general terms, empowerment can be defined as a
collection of practices that combine information sharing, delegation of authority, and
increased employee autonomy (Randolph, 2000). Govindarajan and Natarajan (2009)
indicated that employee empowerment means encouraging and allowing individuals to take
personal responsibility for improving the way they do their jobs and contribute to the
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
achievement of organization’s goals. The notion of empowerment involves the workforce
being provided with a greater degree of flexibility and more freedom to make decisions
relating to work.
Empowerment forms
Lashley (2001) explained that there are four types or forms of empowerment. The first
type is empowerment through participation; this means the delegation of decision-making
from management arena, for example, the use of autonomous working groups. The second
type is empowerment through involvement, in this case management gain through reflecting
on employees’ experiences, ideas, and suggestions, for example team briefings. The third
type is empowerment through commitment that leads to increased commitment to goals and
employee job satisfaction, for example, profit sharing schemes and job rotation. While the
fourth type is empowerment through delayering which means reducing the numbers of
management hierarchy in an organization, for example, job redesign and re-training.
Empowerment practices
Empowering leadership
Researchers have identified a number of leadership behaviors that can be characterized
as empowering and one approach conceptualizes empowerment as a set of practices or
managerial techniques in which empowering leadership behaviors play a central role. The
notion of empowering leadership as developed by Arnold and colleagues (2000) they
describe empowering leader behaviors as behaviors that facilitate employee performance in
empowered work environments by enabling and encouraging workers in their work roles.
The specific behaviors include leading by example, coaching, informing, showing concern,
and participative decision-making. Raub and Robert (2012) stated that these empowering
leadership behaviors can enhance psychological empowerment in followers by influencing
each of the four dimensions of meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact.
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Psychological empowerment (motivation)
The focus of psychological empowerment is on the state or set of conditions that allow
for employees or teams to believe that they have control over their work. Conger and
Kanungo (1988) defined psychological empowerment as “a process of enhancing feelings of
self-efficacy among organizational members through the identification of conditions that
foster powerlessness and through their removal by both formal organizational practices
[structural empowerment] and informal techniques of providing efficacy information”
(1988: 474).
Psychological empowerment has been conceptualized as being composed of either two
or four dimensions. The two-dimensional view focuses on employees’ perceptions
concerning the delegation of authority and responsibility. For example, Hechanova-Alampay
and Beehr (2001) defined empowerment as involving team members’ perceived authority and
responsibility for work outcomes. Lee and Koh (2001) further refined these four dimensions
framework based on the extant literature and developed a multidimensional instrument to
assess individual-level psychological empowerment composed of the following:
(1) Meaningfulness: the meaning of a value of a task goal or purpose judged in relation to an
individual’s own ideals or standards.
(2) Competence: it is an individual’s belief in his/her capability to perform task activities
skillfully.
(3) Self-determination (or choice): autonomy in the initiation and continuation of work
behaviors and processes.
(4) Impact: the perception of the degree to which an individual can influence certain
outcomes at work.
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Managerial practices and empowerment
Empowering managerial practices would contribute to develop an empowered mindset
among employees (e.g. psychological empowerment) and, in return, this mindset would be
the motivational drive leading employees to do their job skillfully, see how things could be
done differently and take concrete action to increase efficacy in their jobs as well as in their
organizations. If organizations wish to know whether they are benefiting from their
managerial empowerment practices, it is crucial to both measures if they are successfully
fostering a proactive motivational orientation in their employees (Boudrias et al, 2009).
Employee empowerment and performance
Employee empowerment and job satisfaction
The central tenet is that workers respond more creatively when given broad
responsibilities, encouraged to contribute, and helped to derive satisfaction from their work
(Greasley et al, 2007). Job satisfaction has been defined as “a pleasurable of positive
emotional state, resulting from the appraisal of one’s job experience” (Scott et al, 2004).
Incongruence between empowerment as a management practice and cultural values may
attenuate the positive effect of discretion and autonomy on job satisfaction in high power-
distance nations where subordinates are accustomed to taking orders from their supervisor
(Robert, 2000).
Employee empowerment and self-efficacy
Self-efficacy refers to the belief that one is competent and can successfully perform an
assigned task. It is described as the development of a "can-do" attitude (Fulford and Enz,
1995). When people have sense of efficacy, they became empowered. Empower people not
only feel the sense of competence, but they are sure that to be capable enough to do their
required duties (Tohidi and Jabbari, 2011).
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Employee
performance
Empowerment through
participation Job Satisfaction
Empowerment through
involvement
Empowerment through
delayering
Empowerment through
commitment
Self-efficacy
Empowerment and Performance
Based on the pervious discussion the following framework is proposed. This
framework will be tested using data that will be collected from hotel employees. This study
will examine the usage of the four forms of empowerment and their impact on employees’
performance in the hotel. Moreover, the researcher aims to explore the best empowerment
form that improves the hotel employees’ performance. Proposed framework of the study as
following:
Adopted from: (Lashley, 2001; Scott et al., 2004; Greasley et al., 2007).
Research question
What are effects of empowerment on employees’ performance.
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Population and Sample
Participants will be choosing from hospitality organizations by purposeful,
snowballing, and random samples. The process will divide into two stages, in first stage,
employees’ supervisors and managers will ask by interviewing about the types of
empowerment which they can apply, and how they can empower their employees. In second
stage, Employees targeted will be at the non-managerial level and various job types such as
front-office employees, food and beverage employees, and customer service representative.
Employees will ask to answer a survey to measure empowerment practices, self-efficacy, job
satisfaction, and performance. Confidentiality will be guaranteed for both employees and
supervisors (Gazzoli et al, 2009).
Measures
The researcher will use interviews and survey. The survey could be designed by online
survey called Survey Monkey. The constructs—empowerment and all measurement items in
these scales will analyze for reliability and validity. The empowerment construct consisted of
12 items, but after testing the scale for reliability and consistency, 2 items were deleted due to
their low factor loadings. An exploratory factor analysis also indicated two factors: (1) EMP
Factor 1, which was named “Task meaningfulness” and (2) EMP Factor 2, which was named
“Freedom to perform” (Boudrias et al, 2009).
Procedures
Quantitative methods of data collection are used to measure, document, and provide
numerical values. This is accomplished by using objective and standardized data gathering
for all research participants. The researcher can use tests, survey, and structured interviews
(McMillan, 2012). Employee survey and managers interviews will be used to address the
objectives of the study. They will be used with managers and employees in order to
investigate their Empowerment on employees’ Performance. The empowerment instrument,
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
containing subscales, was administered as part of a survey in hotels. The survey consisted of
a series of questions about employees' empowerment, job satisfactions and efficacy (Arnold
et al, 2000).
Data Analysis
There are several ways data collection techniques can be classified. In this study will
use quantitative methods of data collection, are used to measure, document, and provide
numerical values. The most suitable procedure is the t-test; it is a parametric statistical
equation is most often used to test the null hypothesis that means of two groups are the same.
One of its forms is the independent-samples t-test, is used in designs assigned groups on a
posttest of achievement (McMillan, 2012).
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
References
Arnold, J. A., S. Arad, J. A. Rhoades, and F. Drasgow. 2000. The empowering leadership
questionnaire: The construction and validation of a new scale for measuring leader
behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior 21:249-69. Cited in Raub, S. & Robert,
C. (2012). Empowerment, organizational commitment, and voice behavior in
the hospitality industry: Evidence from a multinational sample. Cornell Hospitality
Quarterly, 54(2), 136–148.
Boudrias, J., Gaudreau, P., Savoie, A. & Morin, A. (2009). Employee empowerment from
managerial practices to employees’ behavioral empowerment. Leadership &
Organization Development Journal, 30(7), 625-638.
Conger, J. and Kanungo, R. (1988), The empowerment process: Integration theory and
practice. Academy of Management Journal, 13(3), pp.471–482. Cited in Maynard, C.,
Gilson, L. & Mathieu, J. (2012). Empowerment--fad or fab? a multilevel review of the
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Fulford, D. and Enz, A. (1995), The Impact of Empowerment on Service Employees. Journal
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Greasley, K., Bryman, A., Dainty, A., Price, A., Naismith, N., and Soetanto, R., (2007),
Understanding empowerment from an employee perspective What does it mean and do
they want it?. Team Performance Management Journal, 14(2), pp.39-55.
Gill, A., S. Fitzgerald, S. Bhutani, H. Mand, and S. Sharma (2010). The relationship between
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& Robert, C.(2010). Differential effects of empowering leadership on in-role and extra-
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Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Appendix
Survey via Survey Monkey
Dear Sir/ Madam,
I am a M.Sc. researcher at Murray State University. I am doing research that help in
better understanding the importance of employee empowerment in improving the employees'
performance at hospitality industry. I am interested in how hospitality employees view their
job, how they perceive their work environment and how these factors affect their
performance. Results of this study should help hospitality organizations in their efforts to
provide high empowerment to improve their employees’ performance.
Your input and participation are critical to the success of this study. I would be grateful
if you would complete this questionnaire which may take you 5-10 minutes. Your answer
will be kept strictly confidential and will be used for research purpose.
Thank you very much for your co-operation.
Sincerely,
The researcher
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Employee Empowerment (Task meaningfulness)
1. My work is important to me
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
2. My job activities are meaningful to me
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
3. I care about what I do on my job
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
4. My job is well within my scope of abilities
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
5. I am confident about my ability to do my job
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
Effects of Empowerment on Employee Performance in the Workplace 2
Employee Empowerment (freedom to perform)
6. My opinion counts in group decision making
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
7. I have freedom to determine how to do my job
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
8. I have a chance to use personal initiative in my work
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
9. I have an influence over what happens in my work
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
10. I decide on how to go about doing my job
Strongly Disagree Disagree
Neither Disagree
Nor Agree
Agree Strongly Agree
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