Download The Business of Employee Empowerment: Democracy and Ideology by Thomas Potterfield PDF

By Thomas Potterfield

The preferred and influential thought of worker empowerment could have the emancipatory capability its supporters declare, however it is also topic to constraints and inhibitions. Potterfield demands activities to chop throughout the ideological inhibitors on the company point and likewise for tactics to change the present socioeconomic constitution, how you can improve the relative energy of staff an a variety of kinds of agencies. His booklet presents a synthesis of significant empowerment theories and viewpoints, a dialogue of its historic and highbrow roots, in inquiry into empowerment practices at a Fortune a hundred corporation, and a dialogue of either the emancipatory power and ideological constraints in empowerment theories and practices. With particular strategies for company and societal motion, Dr. Potterfield's e-book should be vital for execs, academics, and scholars in administration, organizational reviews, human assets, and organizational swap. Potterfield starts via situating empowerment within the greater ancient context of long-standing attempt to supply extra participatory paintings environments. He studies the social and highbrow roots of the empowerment proposal, together with easy contoures of modernity equivalent to the increase of capitalism, and examines the improvement of the concept that in the realm of social motion events through the Nineteen Fifties, Sixties, and Nineteen Seventies. He offers a close explication of the fundamental dimensions and middle parts of empowerment because it is espoused by means of top organizational theorists and administration specialists, then seems to be on the real perform of empowerment in a Fortune a hundred corporation that has a big, ongoing dedication to the empowered place of work. With this as a starting place he discusses ways that those theories and practices both improve the reason for democracy and freedom within the office or make stronger company organizational strength and employee dominations. He concludes with concrete feedback for overcoming ideological affects and facilitating the emancipatory power of empowerment.

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Extra info for The Business of Employee Empowerment: Democracy and Ideology in the Workplace

Sample text

A recent survey by The Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California found that 68 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies report using some form of empowerment-related programs (Dumont, 1994). Similarly, Schaaf and Zempke (1989), in a study of over 100 ‘‘excellent” service companies, Page 7 found that the empowerment theme was a common thread running through most of them. Books extolling the virtues of empowerment-related management concepts such as Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment by Byham and Cox (1988), The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge (1990), and several of Tom Peters’s books, including In Search of Excellence, co-written with Robert Waterman (1982), Thriving on Chaos (1988), and Liberation Management (1992) have sold millions of copies.

For example, if a company needs to offer high-volume service at low prices, then a traditional, production-line approach with its well-defined job descriptions and rigid reporting structures may be best. Conversely, if a company needs to provide highly personalized service and customized products, then an empowered approach where front-line employees are given the training and autonomy to make quick decisions aimed at meeting emerging and sometimes changing customer desires and needs may be most effective.

In part, the advocates of humanistic management approaches call for expanding the responsibilities of workers, more demo- Page 9 cratic and participatory work environments, and a general shift of decision-making power from upper management to lower-level employees. These are ideas that are frequently expressed in the writings of empowerment advocates. In addition, Lawler (1986, 1992) argues that the ideas of Argyris, Likert, and McGregor have directly influenced the development of another empowerment-related management approach, participatory management.

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