Employee epowerment – terminological and practical perspective

Anna Cierniak-Emerych , Katarzyna Piwowar-Sulej

Abstract

Research background: The1980s saw popularisation of the management para-digm requiring that employee intellectual potential should be noticed and used. The subjective approach to employees is fully reflected in the empowerment process. The definition scope of the analysed notion has not been unambiguously delineated to date. In narrow terms, empowerment means delegating power in the decision-making process and is considered a management method. In broad terms, in turn, the idea is at times called even a management concept. Purpose of the article: The aim of this paper is to provide answers to the follow-ing research questions: 1)Can empowerment be called a separate management concept? 2)What is the awareness of the essence of empowerment among contemporary employees? 3)What are the barriers to implementing empowerment assumptions in enterpris-es? Methodology/methods: The research process was based on literature studies and empirical research that was conducted in Poland under two separate research pro-jects. One, carried out in the period 2006-2015, was oriented towards assessing the level of interest in employee participation and identifying the approach to imple-menting such participation in enterprises. The research covered over 300 respond-ents. It used structured interview complemented with free interview and analysis of the provided documents of the respondents’ enterprises. The results of the research encouraged a closer look at the category of empowerment. Pilot empirical research on the category of empowerment was conducted in 2016 with questionnaire sur-veys. The research sample was 63 employees. Findings: It was found that empowerment should be perceived as certain expan-sion of employee participation rather than a separate management concept. It con-sisted in sharing not only information but also power with employees. The results of the empirical research permitted the ascertainment that interest in lower partici-pation forms prevailed among the respondents. Barriers related to applying em-powerment were sought in this context. The pilot research allowed a conclusion that the barriers should be sought primarily in the failure to prepare (also mentally) employees and employers for using empowerment. Although the presented results of the research are not representative, they encourage further in-depth research within the discussed area.
Author Anna Cierniak-Emerych (EaE / IES / DLaC)
Anna Cierniak-Emerych,,
- Department of Labor and Capital
, Katarzyna Piwowar-Sulej (EaE / IES / DLaC)
Katarzyna Piwowar-Sulej,,
- Department of Labor and Capital
Pages128-139
Publication size in sheets0.55
Book Balcerzak Adam P., Pietryka Ilona (eds.): Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Applied Economics, Contemporary Issues in Economy , no. 9, 2017, Institute of Economic Research; Polish Economic Society Branch in Toruń, ISBN 9788365605061, 597 p., DOI:10.24136/eep.proc.2017.3
Keywords in Englishemployee empowerment, human resource management, employee participation
Languageen angielski
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