The importance of empowerment regarding employee motivation

Term Paper, 2020

13 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Table of contents

Table of contents

Table of figures


1. Introduction
1.1 Problem
1.2 0bjectiveandstructure

2. Definition of the terms
2.1 Empowerment
2.2 Leadership

3. Employee motivation by empowerment
3.1 Empowering Leadership
3.2 Being an empowering leader
3.3 Increasing employee motivation by empowerment
3.4 Disadvantages of empowering leadership

4. Conclusion and outlook


Table of figure

Figure 1: Structural Theory ofPower (Sprafke, N. (2016): Kompetente Mitarbeiterund wandlungsfähige Organisationen. SpringerFachmedienWiesbaden. p. 99.)


In this assignment, the generic masculine is used for reasons ofbetter readability. Female and other gender identities are expressly meant as far as it is necessary for the statement.

1. Introduction

The term “empowerment” is all over the media for many years now. Mostly regarding to “female empowerment” and feminism. But in the last decade the term “empowerment” became an inherent part ofbusiness matters. The idea of empowering employees is not revolutionary, and started in the early 1920s with the Hawthome-Experiments. Those experiments began with classic test arrangements for researching physical factors influencing labor productivity.1 After evaluating the test results, they came to the conclusion that the decisive reason for the increases in productivity was not to be found in the wage system or external working conditions, but in the emotional realm.2 This crucial observation then became the basis for further Hawthorne investigations, especially regarding the employee-employer relationship. Since then scientists are dealing with employee empowerment and the advantages and disadvantages. A research from Harvard Business Review demonstrates the perks of empowered employees, like strongerjob performancejob satisfaction, and commitment to the company.3

Especially in the last two decades the working society has changed and employees are more thoughtful about their mental and physical health. Because of the change in the working society the leadership style also neeeded to change.

But not all workers or leaders are the same, that’s why sometimes compromises have to be made. Not every leadership style is compliant with the current situation, the current leader, or the current employee. These advantages and problems will be further discussed in the assigment.

1.1 Problem

This assignment deals with the importance of empowerment regarding employee motivation. Its about the opportunities for employees, leaders and organizations an empowerd employee can achieve. Employees who are empowered need a good leader. But not all workers can handle the responsibility and have to be encouraged differently. Likewise, not all managers can give up power and have to find another way to lead.

1.2 Objective and structure

The aim of the assignment is to present the importance of employee empowerment, and to give a brief strategy for leaders how to motivate their employees. This is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the topic employee empowerment and leadership. The first chapter defines the terms that are relevant for this assignment. Followed by a presentation of the options leadership and employees have by being empowered at a company. Finally, a critical overview of the previously discussed topics and an outlook are given.

2. Definition of the terms

2.1 Empowerment

The term empowerment itself is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as the “process of gaining freedom and power to do what you want or to control what happens to you.”4 Regarding business issues the term empowerment is defined as a term for measures initiated by management that expand the autonomy and participation opportunities of employees around their workplace. Empowerment defines itself as the transfer of decision-making powers and responsibility from superiors to employees.5

2.2 Leadership

The term leadership itself is self-explanatory. But leadership in business referrs mostly to the management of companies and organizations. The reason for this is the suggestive power of the term, which offers much more than pure leadership. Leadership encompasses all the special features of a manager with whom it is possible to convince others of one's own visions, goals, values or ways of actingjust like a role model.6 The term suggests the existence of a charisma, the knowledge of the execution of a mission, the necessity of the achievement of goals and visions.7 And above all the employees believe, that a leader has all of these characteristics and has to be successful.

3. Employee motivation by empowerment

3.1 Empowering leadership

In order to explain and analyse the conditions for the implementation of employee motivation through empowerment and the importance of it, it is necessary to briefly define the leadership style “empowering leadership”. It means to empower and therefore to give up power. By leaving more decision-making authority, the employees are actively involved in the decision-making process.8 The leader promotes the employee in a variety of ways along the way. In particular, the leader's focus is on the employee's self-confidence and opportunities.9

3.2 Being an empowering leader

Productive and creative employees are one of the greatest benefits for a company. Employees usually have the desire to grow and develop at their workplace.10 Rick Maurer says that people want even more from work: “Meaning, results, challenge and opportunity to learn, respect and recognition, control over their own part of work, affiliation, or knowing they are part of a bigger team.”11 All of these requirements can be fulfilled by empowering them.

Tobean empowered leader means to pay attention to a lot of actions. They have to give their employees tasks and power, that represent their trust in them. Leaders should talk about the employees interest and expectations on both sides. On the other hand the employees also should be able to express their needs and thoughts without thinking about consequences or disappointing them.12 Communication is key in an empowered relationship between leaders and employees. A leader needs to be deliberate about sharing an extensive perspective for the Companys focus.13

When it comes to giving up power the error rate increases at the beginning. Hereby it is important to respect the employees decisions even if they don’t seem right for the leader and accept that mistakes are going to be made. Empowering employees includes the trust not only by their leader, but by their company that they make the right decisions. When employees are given the authorization to control their work on their own, they are inspired to invite others to problem solve.14 Likewise every right decision should be valued by the leader and accordingly rewarded with either more responsibility or encouragement to stable the connection between employee and manager. An empowering leader not only recognizes the needs of their employees, they also try to raise the level of these needs to a higher level of maturity. This manager transforms the motives, values, goals and trust of their employees.15

3.3 Increasing employee motivation by empowerment

Especially in the last decade workers focus more on their personal and indivdiual needs, goals and mindsets. In order to be motivated in their workplace, their personal needs like having a voice, being trusted by or being valued have to be satisfied as well. The more motivated employees are, the better their work for the organization will be. To achieve that, the workers have to be empowered by their leaders.

According to the scientists Laschinger and Kanter the work behavior of employees is a reaction to working conditions and situations and thus less a sequence of personality traits.16 This resulted in the Structural Theory ofPower (Figure 1), which provides a framework model to explain how work-related individual behavior comes about depending on the environment. The following figure describes power as dependent on formal and informal aspects. In this perspective, formal power is derived from the work position and the associated freedom of choice, the visible recognition in the company and the importance of the position in the company that a person holds. Informal power, on the other hand, is primarily related to network and alliance activities of the person. A person receives increased informal power through cooperations that the person enters into within and outside the organization, as well as through alliances that they form with clients, employees and colleagues. Ifboth forms of power are granted, employees can use the resulting accesses and opportunities to carry out their work in a meaningful, more efficient manner. 17

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Structural Theory ofPower

The Harvard Business Review researched how to motivate employees with empowerment and came to the conslusions that empowering leaders are much more effective at influencing employee creativity and citizenship behavior than routine task performance.18 The empowerment seems to encourage employees to generate novel ideas, to help others, to volunteer for extra work or over hours and to support their company ouside office hours.19 The study also gives two statements about the psychological facts beyond:


Excerpt out of 13 pages


The importance of empowerment regarding employee motivation
AKAD-Fachschule München
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Leadership, Empowerment, employee, BWL, Mangagement
Quote paper
Vanessa Metz (Author), 2020, The importance of empowerment regarding employee motivation, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: The importance of empowerment regarding employee motivation

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free