Shared Flashcard Set


Chapter 11
Using Empowerment to Motivate People to Engage in Effective Self- and Shared Leadership

Additional Business Flashcards




Essence of Empowerment
At the individual level of analysis, entails granting autonomy to individuals to perform tasks, while simultaneously enhancing their task-related self-efficacy.
Individual level of analysis
Empowerment is ultimately experienced when followers engage in effective self-leadership, where self-leadership is defined as a "process thru which people influence themselves to achieve the self-direction and self-motivation needed to perform".
Group level of analysis
Empowerment is experienced when the group effectively practices shared leadership, where shared leadership is defined as "a dynamic, interactive influence process among individuals in groups for which the objective is to lead one another to the achievement of group or organizational goals or both".
Process of empowerment
Six stages that include the psychological state of an empowering experience, its antecedent conditions, and its behavioral consequences.
1. First stage is diagnosis of conditions within individuals and their organizations that are responsible for feelings of disempowerment.
2. After diagnosis, stage 2 is employing strategies aimed at not only removing some of the conditions responsible for disempowerment
3. In stage 3 - provide subordinates with empowerment information
4. Individuals interpret this info according to personal styles of assessment in stage 4.
5. In stage 5, if styles assess the info as empowering, then individual feels empowered and behavioral effects will be observed.
6. Stage 6 is the display of shared leadership and spreading empowerment among group members, leading to group empowerment.
Empowerment Stage 1 - The Context
There are specific individual and contextual factors that contribute to the lowering of empowerment feelings among organizational members.
-Conditions leading to a psychological state of disempowerment.-
Principal factors that influence and hinder empowerment outcomes...
Organized into four categories:
1. Organizational
2. Hierarchical Leader Behavior
3. Reward Systems
4. Job Design
Organizational Factors
-Significant Organizational changes/transitions
-Competitive pressures
-Impersonal bureaucratic climate
-Poor communications/network-forming systems
-Highly centralized organizational resources
Hierarchical Leader Behavior
-Directive (High Control)
-Aversive (emphasis on fear)
-Negativism (emphasis on failure)
-Lack of reason for actions/consequences
Reward Systems
-Non-contingency (arbitrary reward allocation)
-Low incentive value of rewards
-Lack of competence-based rewards
-Lack of innovation-based rewards
Job Design
-Lack of role clarity
-Lack of training and technical support
-Unrealistic goals
-Lack of appropriate authority/discretion
-Low task variety
-Limited participation in programs, meetings, decisions that have a direct impact on job performance
-Lack of appropriate/necessary resources
-Lack of network-forming opportunities
-Highly established work routines
-High rule structure
-Low advancement opportunities
-Lack of meaningful goals/tasks
-Limited contact with senior management
Employees sense of disempowerment increases when...
Organizations do not provide rewards that are valued by members, and when the rewards are not based on member competence, initiative, and innovative job behavior.
-Reward systems that emphasize innovative/unusual performance and high incentive values have a significant probability of fostering a greater sense of empowerment, while those that do not tend to disempower.
-Finally, when jobs provide very little challenge and meaning, and when they involve role ambiguity, role conflict, and role overload, employees can feel a crippling sense of disempowerment.
Empowerment Stage 2 - Management Practices
To address the conditions identified in stage 1, there are a number of management practices that can restore or heighten a sense of empowerment.
-Using managerial empowerment strategies and techniques-
Stage 2 at the Organizational/Formal Level
Company policies and cultures can enhance empowerment by emphasizing:
-Internal Collaboration
-High Performance Standards
*Organizations that provide multiple sources of loosely committed resources at decentralized or local levels, that structure open communications systems, and that create extensive network-forming devices are more likely to be empowering.*
*Jobs that provide task variety, personal relevance, appropriate autonomy and control, low levels of established routines and rules, and high advancement prospects are more likely to empower subordinates.*
Stage 2 at the Individual/Informal Level
In order for this sharing of power to be effective at the individual level, employees must perceive it as increasing their sense of self-efficacy - which is accomplished largely thru the more informal practices of individual managers and their one-on-one interactions with subordinates and co-workers.
-Empowerment initiatives, which rely on a singular approach such as the delegation of decision making, usually prove to be ineffective. Rather, initiatives must be supported on multiple levels and by multiple interventions.-
Stage 2 Empowerment Initiatives and Strategies
-Highly supportive organizational culture
-Training and developmental experiences that heighten one's sense of competence
-Involvement in goal setting or in the means to achieve goals
-Selection of managers open to empowerment approaches and proactive in their use (Job enrichment)
-Selection and promotion of employees whose interpretative schemes are biased towards constructive and enabling self-assessments.
Empowerment Stage 3 - Enhancing Self-Efficacy
In order to be effective, the empowerment practices outlined above must directly provide info to employees about personal efficacy, a sense of choice, meaningfulness of the task and impact.
Stage 3 - 4 Sources for info of competence or self-efficacy
1. Enactive Attainment
2. Vicarious Experience
3. Persuasion/Feedback
4. Emotional Arousal
Stage 3 - Enactive Attainment
Personal efficacy gained this way refers to an individual's authentic mastery experience directly related to the job.
Stage 3 - Vicarious Experience
Empowerment info can also come from vicarious experiences of observing similar others, i.e. coworkers who perform successfully on the job.
Often, a manager's exemplary behaviors empower subordinates to believe that they can behave in a like manner or that they can at least achieve some improvement in their performance.
Stage 3 - Persuasion/Feedback
In addition, words of encouragement, performance feedback, mentoring advice, and other forms of social persuasion are often used by leaders, managers, and group members to raise efficacy and provide empowerment info to subordinates and coworkers.
Leadership practices which have been identified as empowering include:
1. Expressing confidence in subordinates accompanied by high performance expectations
2. Fostering opportunities for subordinates to participate in decision making and goal setting or to create their own jobs.
3. Providing autonomy from bureaucratic constraints and encouraging independent action
4. Setting inspirational and/or meaningful goals
5. Encouraging self-development and opportunity thinking.
Stage 4 - Emotional Arousal
Individuals are more likely to feel competent when they are not experiencing strong negative arousal. Emotional arousal states that result from dysfunctional levels of stress, fear, anxiety, depression and so forth, both on and off the job, can lower self-efficacy expectations.
Therefore empowerment strategies that provide information in the form of emotional support for subordinates and that create a supportive and trusting group atmosphere can be effective in strengthening self-efficacy beliefs.
Employees must learn to take personal responsibility for what they can control.
Empowerment Stage 4 - Interpreting Information
As a result of receiving the above forms of information, employees will interpret this info according to their individual styles of assessment.
-In other words, personal interpretations will determine whether the info is seen as empowering or not.-
*Dispositional effects on interpretation of events-different people will interpret events differently.*
Empowerment Stage 5 - Behavioral Effects of Empowerment
If info is indeed interpreted as empowering, then the individual will enter a state of psychological empowerment - and the behavioral effects of empowerment will be noticed here - followers becoming effective self-leaders.
*Initiations of self-leadership practices on the part of individuals*
Empowerment Stage 6 - Shared Leadership
Beyond the behavioral effects of empowerment on individuals are the effects on groups. As individuals display effective self-leadership, the creation of shared leadership is the logical next step. Results in group level empowerment.
*Development of shared leadership across the organization.*
Results of using empowerment when org. shouldn't..
-Produce a state of overconfidence and, in turn, misjudgments on the part of followers.
-Creates a sense of false confidence in positive outcomes, causing employees to persist in efforts that, in actuality, are tactical or strategic errors.
-Followers might overextend themselves thru tasks which are largely impossible to accomplish.
-Leaders may use practices to garner commitment to tasks which are unethical.
Exceptions to using empowerment
-Situations where managers and org. have little latitude to increase the sense of empowerment (i.e. highly mechanistic or routine jobs)
-Serious economic downturns or intense competitive situations may limit an organization's ability to provide aspiring goals or appealing rewards other than simply job security.
-Trapped in autocratic cultures, managers may find themselves constrained by the larger system - their efforts at empowerment largely negated by overriding culture or design elements of the organization.
Issue of individual differences
-Some individuals may not have the requisite skills, ethical disposition, or conscientiousness necessary for empowerment.
-During the process of empowerment, individuals are making subjective assessments about info and specific tasks. One individual may assess info quite differently from another. What might be empowering for one individual, may be disempowering or nonempowering for another.
-An individual may have set dysfunctional standards in the form of absolutistic "musts" concerning tasks. May have personal standard of "perfection" and such standards tend to reduce a person's assessment of their success since anything short of perfection is seen as a failure.
-Followers can get trapped in self-reinforcing cycles.
-Rational confidence in oneself plays central role. Motivation to undertake any new activity requires a measure of self-confidence on part of individuals and a sense of potency.
-Followers vary to the degree in which they invest themselves psychologically in tasks - Global meaningfulness.
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