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ChapterSeventeen

Empowermentandparticipation

Objectives;
Todevelopanunderstandingof:
Empowerment

Processofempowerment

RandolphsEmpowermentmodel

Strategicperformanceempowermentmodel

Participation

FeaturesofWorkersparticipationinmanagement:

BenefitsofParticipation

Prerequisitesofparticipation

Expectationsfromemployeesandmanagers

Programsforparticipation

Guidelinesforparticipation

WhatIsEmpowerment?
TakenfromORGANIZATIONALBEHAVIOURHumanBehavioratwork(TENTHEDITION)byJOHNW.NEWSTROM
andKEITHDAVIS,TataMcGrawHillPublishingCompanyLimited,NEWDELHI

Mostworkorganizationshaveanumberofemployeeswhobelievethattheyaredependentonothers
andthattheirowneffortswillhavelittleimpactonperformance.
Thispowerlessnesscontributestothefrustratingexperienceoflowselfefficacytheconvictionamong
peoplethattheycannotsuccessfullyperformtheirjobsormakemeaningfulcontributions.Problems
withselfefficacyareoftencausedbymajororganizationalchangesthatarebeyondtheemployees
control(suchasmergers).
Problemsmayalsostemfromhavingtoworkunderanauthoritarianleader,withinarewardsystem
thatfailstoreinforcecompetenceorinnovation,orinajobthatlacksvariety,discretion,roleclarity.
Fortunately,individualperceptionsoflowlevelsofselfefficacycanberaisedbyempowering
employees.Empowermentisanyprocessthatprovidesgreaterautonomytoemployeesthroughthe
sharingofrelevantinformationandtheprovisionofcontroloverfactorsaffectingjobperformance.
Empowermenthelpsremovetheconditionsthatcausepowerlessnesswhileenhancingemployee
feelingsofselfefficacy.Empowermentauthorizesemployeestocopewithsituationsandenablesthem
totakecontrolofproblemsastheyarise.Fivebroadapproachestoempowermenthavebeen
suggested:
1. Helpingemployeesachievejobmastery(givingpropertraining,coaching,andguided
experiencethatwillresultininitialsuccesses)
2. Allowingmorecontrol(givingthemdiscretionoverjobperformanceandthenholdingthem
accountableforoutcomes)
3. Providingsuccessfulrolemodels(allowingthemtoobservepeerswhoalreadyperform
successfullyonthejob.)
4. Usingsocialreinforcementandpersuasion(givingpraise,encouragement,andverbalfeedback
designedtoraiseselfconfidence)
5. Givingemotionalsupport(providingreductionofstressandanxietythroughbetterrole
definition,taskassistance,andhonestcaring)

Whenmanagersusetheseapproaches,employeesbeginbelievingthattheyarecompetentand
valued,thattheirjobshavemeaningandimpact,andthattheyhaveopportunitiestousetheirtalents.
Ineffect,whentheyhavebeenlegitimatelyempowered,itismorelikelythattheireffortswillpayoffin

thekindofperformancethattheorganizationvalues.ThischainofeventsisillustratedintheFigure
below.
Managershavemanybehavioraltoolsavailabletothemtoattackthepowerlessnessproblem.
Someofthesetools,suchasmutualgoalsetting,jobfeedback,modeling,andcontingentreward
systems.Amajorapproach,however,liesintheuseofvariousprogramsforparticipativemanagement.
Suchprogramsprovideemployeeswithvaryingdegreesofperceivedownership,inputintovarioussteps
inthedecisionmakingprocess,andthekeyfeelingofchoiceintheirworkenvironment.

Theprocessofempowerment

Removeconditions

Ofpowerlessness

.Changes

.Leadership

Perceptionof
Empowerment

.Rewardsystem
.Job

EnhancejobrelatedSelf
efficacy

Competence

Highvalue

Jobmeaning

Increaseduse
oftalent

.Jobmastery

.Controlandaccountability

.Rolemodels

.Reinforcement

.Support

RandolphsEmpowermentmodel
ShareInformation

Sharecompanyperformanceinformation

Helppeopleunderstandthebusiness

Buildtrustthroughsharingsensitiveinformation

Createselfmonitoringpossibilities

CreateAutonomythroughStructure

Createaclearvisionandclarifylittlepictures

Performance

Createanewdecisionmakingrulesthatsupportempowerment

Clarifygoalsandrolescollaboratively

Establishnewempoweringperformancemanagementprocesses

Useheavydosesoftraining

Letteamsbecomethehierarchy

Providedirectionandtrainingfornewskills.

Provideencouragementandsupportforchange.

Graduallyhavemanagersletgoofcontrol

Workthroughtheleadershipvacuumstage.

Acknowledgethefearfactor

Randolph,A.w(1995)Navigatingthejourneytoempowerment,OrganizationalDynamics
IMPORTANTREADING

StrategicperformanceempowermentmodelGeroy,WrightandAnderson
Empowerment in Organizations,Vol. 6 No. 2, 1998, pp. 57-65. MCB University Press, 0265671X states that coaching, modeling and career path development should be present in the
organization to provide necessary guidance to employees to become empowered employees.

WhatIsParticipation?
Participationreferstoinvolvementofindividualsorgroupofindividualforcommonpurpose.Workers
Participationinmanagementreferstotheemotionalandmentalinvolvementofanemployeeto
contributeforthegoalsandshareresponsibilitiesofanorganization.Itwillbeeffectiveonlyifthereis
interactionamongindividualsorgroups.Participativemanagersconsultwiththeiremployees,bringing
theminonproblemsanddecisionssothattheyworktogetherasteam.Themanagersarenotautocrats,
butneitheraretheyfreereinmanagerswhoabandontheirmanagementresponsibilities.Participative
managersstillretainultimateresponsibilityfortheoperationoftheirunits,buttheyhavelearnedto
shareoperatingresponsibilitywiththosewhoperformthework.Theresultisthatemployeesfeela
senseofinvolvementingroupgoals.Itfollowsthatparticipationisthementalandemotional
involvementofpeopleingroupsituationsthatencouragesthemtocontributetogroupgoalsand
shareresponsibilityforthem.Therearethreeimportantideasinthisdefinitioninvolvement.,
contribution,andresponsibility.


MENTALANDEMOTIONALINVOLVEMENTFirst,andprobablyforemost,participationmeansmental
andemotionalinvolvementratherthanmeremuscularactivity.Apersonsentireselfisinvolved,not
justhisorherskill.Thisinvolvementispsychologicalratherthanphysical.Apersonwhoparticipatesis
egoinvolvedinsteadofmerelytaskinvolved.

MOTIVATIONTOCONTRIBUTEAsecondconceptinparticipationisthatitmotivatespeopleto
contribute.Theyareempoweredtoreleasetheirownresourcesofinitiativeandcreativitytowardthe
objectivesoftheorganization.,justasTheoryYpredicts.Inthiswayparticipationdiffersfrom
consent.Participationismorethangettingconsentforsomethingthathasalreadybeendecided.Its
greatvalueisthatittapsthecreativityofallemployees.
Participationespeciallyimprovesmotivationbyhelpingemployeesunderstandandclarifytheir
pathstowardgoals.Accordingtothepathgoalmodelofleadership,theimprovedunderstandingof
pathgoalrelationshipproducesaheightenedsenseofresponsibilityforgoalattainment.Theresultis
improvedmotivation.

ACCEPTANCEOFRESPONSIBILITYFinally,participationencouragespeopletoacceptresponsibilityin
theirgroupsactivities.Itisasocialprocessbywhichpeoplebecomeselfinvolvedinanorganization
andwanttoseeitworksuccessfully.Whentheytalkabouttheirorganization,theybegintosaywe,
notthey.Whentheyseeajobproblem,itisours,nottheirs.Participationhelpsthembecome
goodorganizationalcitizensratherthannonresponsible,machinelikeperformers.
Asindividualsbegintoacceptresponsibilityforgroupactivities,theyseeinitawaytodowhat
theywanttodo,thatis,togetajobdoneforwhichtheyfeelresponsible.Thisideaofgettingthegroup
towantteamworkisakeystepindevelopingitintoasuccessfulworkunit.Whenpeoplewanttodo
something,theywillfindaway.Undertheseconditionsemployeesseemanagersassupportive
contributorstotheteam.Employeesarereadytoworkactivelywithmanagersratherthanreactively
againstthem.

FeaturesofWorkersparticipationinmanagement:
a)Emotionalandmentalinvolvement
b)Contributeforthegoals
c)Shareresponsibilitiesofanorganization

ObjectivesofWorkersparticipationinmanagement

Primaryobjective:

a)industrialharmony
b)senseofcommitment
c)senseofbelongingness
d)goodcommunicationskills
e)handlestheresistance

Secondaryobjectives
a)Economical
b)Social
c)Psychological

WhyIsParticipationPopular?
Managershaveforyearsrecognizedvariousbenefitsofparticipation,butthesebenefitswerefirst
demonstratedexperimentallyinclassicstudiesinindustrybyRoethlishberger,CochandFrench,and
others.Theircollectiveresultssuggestedthegeneralpropositionthat,especiallyintheintroductionof
changes,participationtendstoimproveperformanceandjobsatisfaction.Participativepractices
offerstoincreaseproductivityortospeedtheintroductionofproductstomarket.Thesepractices
expeditethesegoalsbyplacingmoreresponsibilityatlowerlevelsoftheorganizationandbyspeeding
uptheapprovalprocess.Participativepracticesmayalsoprovidepoweropportunitiesearlierto
minorityworkersinanincreasinglydiverseworkforce,sincesuchworkersneednotwaituntilreaching
higherorganizationallevelsbeforebeingallowedtocontributemeaningfully.
Participationalsoseemstohelpsatisfytheawakeningemployeeneedformeaningandfulfillment
atwork.
Otherreasonsforthepopularuseofparticipativepracticesarenoteworthy.Theeducationallevel
oftheworkforceoftenprovidesworkerswithuniquecapacitiesthatcanbeappliedcreativelytowork
problems.Theseemployeeshavealsoacquiredbothagreaterdesireforinfluencingworkrelated
decisionsandanexpectationthattheywillbeallowedtoparticipateinthesedecisions.Anequally
strongargumentcanbemadethatparticipationisanethicalimperativeformanagers.Thisviewrests
ontheconclusionthathighlynonparticipativejobscausebothpsychologicalandphysicalharmto
employeesinthelongrun.Asaresultofthesefactors,managersneedtocreateparticipative
conditionsthatwillallowinterestedemployeestoexperiencefeelingsofempowermentintheirwork.

BenefitsofParticipation

Participationtendstoimprovemotivationbecauseemployeesfeelmoreacceptedandinvolvedinthe
situation.Theirselfesteem,jobsatisfaction,andcooperationwithmanagementalsomayimprove.
Theresultsoftenarereducedconflictandstress,morecommitmenttogoalsandbetteracceptanceof
change.Turnoverandabsencesmaybereducedbecauseemployeesfeelthattheyhaveabetterplace

toworkandthattheyarebeingmoresuccessfulintheirjobs.Finally,theactofparticipationinitself
establishesbettercommunicationaspeoplemutuallydiscussworkproblems.Managementtendsto
provideworkerswithincreasedinformationabouttheorganizationsfinancesandoperations,andthis
sharingofinformationallowsemployeestomakebetterqualitysuggestions.
MeritsofWorkersparticipationinmanagement
a)Increaseproductivity
b)Increaseefficiencyofemployee.
c)Establishindustrialpeace
d)Establishindustrialdemocracy
e)Wellbeingofindividual
f)Personalitydevelopment
g)Mutualunderstanding
h)Socialwellbeing
i)Welcomechanges
j)Rapidindustrialization

DemeritsofWorkersparticipationinmanagement
a)Inactivetradeunion
b)Chancesofsuspicion
c)Employeemayleadacarelesslife
d)Industrialanarchy

PrerequisitesforParticipation

1. Adequatetimetoparticipate
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Potentialbenefitsgreaterthancosts
Relevancetoemployeeinterests
Adequateemployeeabilitiesdealwiththesubject
Mutualabilitytocommunicate
Nofeelingofthreattoeitherparty
Restrictiontotheareaofjobfreedom.

ContingencyFactors
DIFFERINGEMPLOYEENEEDSFORPARTICIPATIONDifferentemployeeneedforparticipationwill
determinewhetheremployeeswillacceptandbesatisfiedwiththedegreeofparticipationofferedby
organization

RESPONSIBILITIESOFEMPLOYEESANDMANAGERAcriticalcontingencyelementinthesuccessof
anyparticipativeprogramisthedegreetowhichallemployeesrecognizethattheopportunities
providedareaccompaniedbyasetofresponsibilities.Ideally,allemployeeswouldagreeto

Expectationsforemployees

..Befullyresponsiblefortheiractionsandtheirconsequences
..Operatewithintherelevantorganizationalpolicies
..Becontributingteammembers
..Respectandseektousetheperspectivesofothers
..Bedependableandethicalintheirempoweredactions
..Demonstrateresponsibleselfleadership

Theseresponsibilitiesofemployeesprovideabalancetothoseofthemanager:

Expectationsformanagers
..Identifyingtheissuestobeaddressed
..Specifyingthelevelofinvolvementdesired
..Providingrelevantinformationandtraining
..Allocatingfairrewards

PROGRAMSFORPARTICIPATION

MethodsforimplementingWorkersparticipationinmanagement

a)Copartnership/coownership
b)Workerscommittee
c)jointmanagementcouncil

d)suggestions
e)boardrepresentation
ConsultativeManagement

Consultativemanagementisthekindofparticipationthatmanagersoftenpracticeeventhoughthe
peopleabovethemdonotapplyit.Consultativemanagement,asthenameimplies,meansthat
managersasktheiremployeestothinkaboutissues,sharetheirexpertise,andcontributetheirown
ideasbeforeamanagerialdecisionismade.
SuggestionPrograms

Suggestionprogramsareformalplanstoinviteindividualemployeestorecommendwork
improvements.Inmostcompaniestheemployeewhosesuggestionresultsinacostsavingsmayreceive
amonetaryawardinproportiontothefirstyearssavings.
QualityEmphasis

Formanyyears,bothunionandnonunionfirmshaveorganizedgroupsofworkersandtheirmanagers
intocommitteestoconsiderandsolvejobproblems.Thesegroupsmaybecalledworkcommittees,
labormanagementcommittees,workimprovementtaskforces,orinvolvementteams.Theyhavebroad
usefulnessforimprovingproductivityandcommunicationsbecausemostoftheemployeescanbe
involved.Popularapproachesforthispurposearequalitycirclesandtotalqualitymanagement.

QUALITYCIRCLESVoluntarygroupsthatreceivetraininginstatisticaltechniquesandproblemsolving
skillsandthenmeettoproduceideasforimprovingproductivityandworkingconditionsareknownas
qualitycircles.
Tobesuccessful,qualitycirclesshouldbeusedaccordingtotheseguidelines:
..Usethemformeasurable,shorttermproblems.
..Obtaincontinuoussupportfromtopmanagement.
..Applythegroupsskillstoproblemswithinthecirclesworkarea.
..Trainsupervisorsinfacilitationskills.

..Viewqualitycirclesasonestartingpointforothermoreparticipativeapproachestobeusedinthe
future.

TOTALQUALITYMANAGEMENT
TheTQMapproachgetseveryemployeeinvolvedintheprocessofsearchingforcontinuous
improvementsintheiroperations.Thetotalqualitymanagementapproachconstituteaformalprogram
withdirectparticipationofallemployees.Almostanyissueissubjecttoexploration,andtheprocessisa
continuingoneoflongduration.Consequently,TQMholdspromiseasasubstantialprogramin
participativemanagement.
MiddleManagementCommittees

MiddleManagementCommitteesaregroupmechanismstoimproveparticipationofmanagersbelow
toporganizationlevels.Theircoreisajuniorboardofdirectorsthatisgiventheopportunitytostudy
anyproblemandtorecommendcoursesofaction.Suchprogramsencouragecarefulstudyofideas
beforetheyarepresentedtotopmanagement:thereforetopmanagementrarelyvetoesa
recommendation.

SelfManagingTeams

Somefirmshavemovedbeyondconsultativeanddemocraticformsofparticipation,allowinganumber
ofmajordecisionstobemadebyemployeegroups.
Amoreformalversionofthegroupdecisionapproachistheselfmanagingteam.Sometimescalled
semiautonomousworkgroupsorsociotechnicalteams,selfmanagingteamsarenaturalworkgroups
thataregivenalargedegreeofdecisionmakingautonomy;theyareexpectedtocontrolheirown
behaviorandresults.Akeyfeatureisthediminished(ordramaticallychanged)roleofthemanageras
theteammemberslearntoacquirenewskills.

EmployeeownershipPlans

Employeeownershipofafirmemergeswhenemployeesprovidethecapitaltopurchasecontrolofan
existingoperation.Thestimulusoftencomesfromthreatenedclosingsofmarginallyprofitableplants,
whereworkersseelittlehopeofotheremploymentinadevastatedlocaleconomy.
Guidelinesforparticipationprogramsuccess

1. Letworkersprogressfrominvolvementonsimpleissuestomorecomplexones.
2. Provideemployeeswithrelevanttrainingsothattheyunderstandbroaderorganizationalissues
andfinancialstatements.
3. Communicateinadvancetheirareasofdecisionalfreedomandtheassociatedboundaries.
4. Dontforceworkerstoparticipateiftheydonotwishtodoso.
5. Providecounselingforsupervisorssothattheywillknowhowtohandlepowersharing.
6. Setrealisticgoalsfortheearlystagesofanyparticipativeprocess.
7. Keeptheguidingphilosophybehindparticipationfirmlyinmindatalltimes.
8. Neverattempttomanipulateadecisionundertheguiseofparticipation.
9. Maintainadelicatebalancebetweenoverparticipationandunderparticipation.
10. Monitoremployeeperceptionsofthelevelofempowermentexperienced.

NewRolesForManagers

Managersneedtostartrelinquishingtheirrolesofjudgeandcriticandbeginviewingthemselves
aspartnerswithemployees.Theystillneedtocommunicateadirectionfortheirunit,helpset
challenginggoals,andmonitorresources.Buttheirnewroleinvitesthemtoviewthemselvesas
stewardsofabroadrangeofhumanandtechnicalresources.Thisstewardshipparadigmshiftstheir
emphasisfromdirectionandcontroltothatofservantleadership,wheretheirchallengeistohelp
othersattainrelevantgoalswhiledevelopingtheirskillsandabilities.

Questions
1. WhatisEmpowerment?Describetheprocessofempowerment.

2. Writeshortnoteson(a)RandolphsEmpowermentmodel(b)Strategicperformance

empowermentmodel
3. WhatisParticipation?DescribethefeaturesofWorkersparticipationinmanagement
4. WhatarethebenefitsofParticipation?Whataretheprerequisitesofparticipation
5. Statewithexamplestheexpectationsfromemployeesandmanagers.Inthisconnection
describetheguidelinesforparticipation
6. DescribethedifferentProgramsforparticipation.Whatarethecontingenciesofparticipation.