“In any organization men would move up from the bottom to the top. That develops loyalty, ambition and talent, because there is a chance for promotion.”
Empowerment is a designation of a leadership style or approach, which focuses on strengthening the powers, increasing the spiritual, political, social, economic or decision making power of workers or organizational units. Empowerment is a broader concept than is delegation of powers, since it is focused on the use of the full potential of workers (ideas, energy, enthusiasm and knowledge). Empowerment requires a climate of trust, together with shared goals, a certain degree of discretion, but also a high degree of responsibility of authorized personnel.
In favor of empowerment the following arguments are usually mentioned:
- Authorized staff learn to make independent decisions and thereby are professionally developed
- An executive frees his hands from excess decisions that have to be made and keeps just the crucial decisions
- Empowerment has a motivation character to authorized personnel and greater freedom of action, it enriches their work
- Hierarchy of decision making based on empowerment is seen as more flexible
- Decisions are made quickly, on the spot, and with knowledge of the facts
Empowerment in practise: Empowerment may be accompanied by excessive decentralization, when it comes to delegating decision making powers from the senior managers to lower levels of management, especially because it is more of a leadership style than mere organizational technique.