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The Role of Empowerment in Crisis Management in Business Organizations

The Role of Empowerment in Crisis Management in Business Organizations

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Published by: drahmad764 on May 07, 2013
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Asian Journal of Business Management 3(3): 188-195, 2011ISSN: 2041-8744© Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2011Received: June 02, 2011Accepted: July 18, 2011Published: August 20, 2011
Corresponding Author:
Ahmad. Y.M. Areiqat, Business Administration Department, Faculty of Financial and AdministrativeScience, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman, Jordan. Tel.: +962 788555321
188
The Role of Empowerment in Crisis Management in Business Organizations
1
Ahmad. Y.M. Areiqat and 
2
Ahmad M. Zamil
1
Business Administration Department, Faculty of Financial and Administrative Science,Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman, Jordan
2
Faculty of Administrative Science, Riyadh Community College, King Saud University,P.O. Box 28095, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Abstract:
The study aims to show the role of empowerment in the management of the crises to which theorganization is exposed. This study will concentrate on empowerment of workers as an effective weapon toencounter crisis in addition to availability of the information related to the crisis. Other points of attention bythis paper are the presence of alert leadership which senses the future from the events of the past and from whatis taking place at the present time and the existence of an effective system of communication with channels of advanced technological means of communication. Moreover, and for sound empowerment of workers thereshould exist a flexible organizational structure which makes allowance for delegation of powers to guaranteeeffective participation of working staff members to encounter crisis.
Key word:
Business organization, crises management, empowerment
INTRODUCTION
The study concentrates on the role of those who work in the business organizations as a basic resource of theorganizations, how the workers are empowered and  prepared for facing crises and how to act when they take place and making sure that properly utilize the resourceswhich are available for the organization through theintegration of the role of the human power with the role of communication, the role of information and the role of theorganization leadership to form one strong and powerfulfront which is capable of facing any crisis.There are many states which are suffering now froma financial economic crisis because of the global financialcrisis which stormed all countries without exception. Thesize of the damage which strikes states varies accordingto the linkage of the state with damaged global financialinstitutions (Al-Ashmouni, 2009).You may find a certain state which has no economicor financial relation with the state in which the financialcrisis took place, but the national banks in this state keeps balances of deposits in the banks of the country where thecrisis erupted; in addition to the fact that there areinvestments for the citizens of the country in the shares of the stricken state or the state which was caused the crisiswhich will inevitably impact the economy of the affected country. One close example of this impact are the banksof the state of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti investors inexternal securities (Al-Subai‘i, 2009)The organization itself may be a cause of creating alocal crisis which affects it in particular whether in its products, employees, or stakeholders. The mostsignificant causes of this type of crisis includeadministrative corruption in the organization, the strikesof workers therein etc. There are numerous examples of such crisis such as the crisis which led to the collapse of Petra Bank in Jordan and the strike of railway workers inFrance as well as other examples.Here, the crisis lies in the fact that this corruptionworsens and spreads in the organization so much as to become a part of its culture especially since the cure of the crisis caused by corruption lies in the eradication of corruption and its makers from the organization and rebuilding the latter in a way based on professional valuesand ethics (Faris, 2008).Thus if the organization administration patronizesand encourages the process of the employees'empowerment, it must in this case prepare thecircumstances which allow the individual employees to practice their proficiencies and capabilities of supervisingtheir work. This strengthens their spirit of initiative and  performance of meaningful work (Milhim, 2006).As regards to the employee, he should have a feelingof his personal capacities. Here comes the role of empowerment to support this employee's consciousness of his personal abilities. This comes through theorganization's removal of all that which may cause thefeeling of inability (Spreitzer, 1996).
 
 Asian J. Bus. Manage., 3(3): 188-195, 2011
189For the good planning for crisis management maycontribute to the prevention of certain crisis. In additionsound planning for crisis management may help inavoiding the element of surprise when a crisis takes placeoutside the organization (Rao
et al
., 2007).
Importance of the study:
The importance of this studyemerges from its concentration on how strong theseorganizations are in equipping themselves to face crises before they come. This can be achieved through themobilization of their resources, expertise, potentials and abilities to firmly stand against such crisis rather thansurrendering to the crisis leaving it to do what it likes and than the organization, after the end of the crisis, will try torecover, only to fall into a new one and try to rebuild a part of what was destroyed by the crisis.
Aims of the study:
The study aims at the following:
C
Acquainting the reader with the concept of workers'empowerment, its requirements and how it isachieved.
C
Showing the role of empowerment in themanagement of the crises to which the organizationis exposed.
C
Showing the difference between the organizationwhich applies empowerment and the organizationwhich does not believe in empowerment in themanagement of each organization's management of crises.
The problem of the study and its questions:
The problem of the study was formulated in accordance withthe following statement: "Empowerment of the workershas a basic role in crisis management". This problem wasstudied according to the following questions:
C
What are the qualities of the organization whichempowers its employees?
C
What is the effect of empowering the employees inmaking the organization emerge from the crisisvictorious or with minimum losses?
C
Does empowerment have other benefits than crisesmanagement?
Study hypotheses:
C
HO- There is no relation of statistical significance between the readiness of the organization asrepresented by its management to empower itsemployees and their empowerment (Table 1).
C
HO There is no relation of statistical significance between the process of empowerment of employeesand the effective management of crisis(Table 1).
C
HO There is relation of statistical significance between the strength of empowerment and emergence with minimum losses from the crises(Table 1).
THE STUDY TECHNICAL TERMSReadiness of the organization to empower employees:
The variable points out to the necessity of the availabilityof empowerment requirements in the organizationincluding a leadership that believes in the importance of empowerment embodied in the organization's culture. Theleadership in the organization should highly esteeminventiveness, reward and bless creative ideas, develop anatmosphere of mutual respect among employees and modify its operations and organizational structure to become more flexible and readiness to delegate powers inapplication of the methodology of work teams (Al Ma‘ani, 2008).
B
Empowerment of employees:
There are severaldefinitions for empowerment. The researcher contents himself here with the following definitionswhich are in harmony with the requirements of thisstudy.
B
Empowerment
is the process of acquiring thestrength which is needed for taking decisions and contributes to laying down the plans and especiallythose that belong to the position or office of theindividual and using the expertise of individual toimprove the performance of the organization(Effendi, 2003).
Table 1: Model of the studyIndependent variablesDependent variables
C
Readiness of the organization to empower employees
C
Empowerment of employees
B
Relation based on mutual trust
B
Their qualification to assume greater responsibilities
B
Training of employee
B
Giving them powers to take decisions
B
Delegation of powers
B
Self-supervision
B
Flexible organizational structure, horizontal form
C
Effective crisis management
C
Empowerment of employees
B
Expectation of crisis
B
Ability to assume responsibilities
B
Preparation for facing It
B
Ability to make decisions
B
Preparation of emergency plan
C
Strength of empowerment
C
Emergence from crisis with minimum losses
B
Support of administration to the empowerment process
B
Updating and development of emergency plan
B
Incentives and their role in empowerment
B
Adjustment with crisis
B
Direct and indirect feedback.
B
Dealing with damage and losses one by one
 
 Asian J. Bus. Manage., 3(3): 188-195, 2011
190
B
Empowerment
is a strategy that aims at the releaseof inherent energies in individuals, and makes them participate in the operations of building theorganization, taking account of the success of theorganization depends on the harmonization of theindividuals' needs with the organization's vision and distant aims (Brown and Harvery, 2006).
B
Empowerment
is a transfer of responsibility and  power, a call for employees to participate in theinformation and knowledge which are provided bythe organization via its database, and in the analysisof problems, making of decisions and consequentlyin the power of decision-making. This is for makingthe subordinate responsible for the good quality of the works he decides or does. This, in turn, leads tothe transfer of power from the boss himself in arelative way (Al-Utaibi, 2004).
Strength of empowerment:
The existence of anorganization which is capable of the empowerment of itsemployees through the availability of empowerment tothis organization, results in having empowered employees. An empowered employee is the one who feelsownership of and belonging to the work which result fromhis ability to assume the responsibility of decision-makingand the responsibility for its consequences (Al-Ma‘ani,2008). Empowerment becomes stronger whenever theorganization prepares the circumstances which make theemployees supervise their study via their own proficiency.This enhances the spirit of initiative among them and makes them insist on the performance of the tasks (Cook and Hunsaker, 2001). This in addition to encouraging theemployee, rewarding him and motivating him to releasethe spirit of initiative and creativity through freeing himfrom restrictions (Zemek and Schaff, 1989).
Effective management of crises:
A crisis is defined as being the moment whenever the organization is exposed to danger (Stone, 1995), John Bert defined it as acontinuous chain of events which start with a smallincident that develops to a larger event, then changes intosomething like conflict and ends up with reaching thedegree of crisis.Incident
6
Accident
6
Conflict
6
CrisisMoreover, the crisis can be defined as a kind of shattering and deterioration which actually affects thesystem of the organization, threatens its fundamental bases, its self- consciousness and entity (Al-Jammal and Ayyad, 2005).Effective crisis management is based on the following props:
B
Diagnosis and defining the causes of the crisis
B
Defining the goals desired from the crisismanagement
B
Restriction of the crisis exacerbation
B
Defining the possible alternatives (Hwanway online,Maktoob10g.com)Crisis management is based on several aspects whichare related the leader's qualities and the leadership patternwhich is followed in the organization. These aspectsinclude the house or the body and flexibility, creativity,simplicity and delegation of powers (Smith, 2000).In the circumstances of crises the leader should beopen to accepting the suggestions which help in theresolution of the crisis and he must be determined to allowthe emergency team leaders to give help. He must also becalm and self-possessed. He has also to be characterized  by decisiveness in dealing with the crisis and quick indealing with, relying in that on his excessive skill in thespeed of decision making, delegation of powers to hisassistants and to the leaders of working teams.
Emerging from the crisis with minimal losses:
In oftenhappens that many crises are preceded by signs,indications or warnings that there is an impending crisis.Those signs and warnings are expressed as an earlywarning that the organization has to discover throughvisible things and the unusual things that take place in thegeneral or special environment of the organization. Inaccordance with these items of information, organizationsassume that the crisis is inevitably happening, so thatthese organizations must take precautions to face thecrisis through the principle of "prevention is better thancure". The aim of prevention or protection is to discover the weaknesses in the protection system of theorganizations, which means re-assessment of the protection system in order to develop it and make sure of its ability to face the crisis before it takes place (Al-Ammar, 2005).The main aim of the protection and readiness systemis to contain the damage resulting from the crisis so thatthe organization may emerge with minimal losses. Thisstep largely depends on planning. For good planning for crisis management may contribute to the prevention of certain crisis. In addition sound planning for crisismanagement may help in avoiding the element of surprisewhen a crisis takes place outside the organization (Rao
et al
., 2007).
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Crises, in themselves, are of different types and forms. Some of them are frequent while others are rare.Some have disastrous consequences and effects, othershave limited effects. In addition, there are local crises and there are global ones. On the other hand, at the level of 

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