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Wikipedia Wednesday, July 07, 2010 8:52 PM Empowerment Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of individuals

and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities. Definitions The term empowerment covers a vast landscape of meanings, interpretations, definitions and disciplines ranging from psychology and philosophy to the highly commercialized self-help industry and motivational sciences. Sociological empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through - for example - discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Empowerment as a methodology is often associated with feminism: see consciousness-raising. Marginalization and empowerment "Marginalized" refers to the overt or covert trends within societies whereby those perceived as lacking desirable traits or deviating from the group norms tend to be excluded by wider society and ostracised as undesirables. Sometimes groups are marginalized by society at large, but governments are often unwitting or enthusiastic participants. For example, the U.S. government marginalized cultural minorities, particularly blacks, prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act made it illegal to restrict access to schools and public places based on race. Equal opportunity laws which actively oppose such marginalization, allow increased empowerment to occur. It should be noted that they are also a symptom of minorities' and women's empowerment through lobbying. Marginalized people who have no opportunities for self-sufficiency become, at a minimum, dependent on charity or welfare. They lose their self-confidence because they cannot be fully self-supporting. The opportunities denied them also deprive them of the pride of accomplishment which others, who have those opportunities, can develop for themselves. This in turn can lead to psychological, social and even mental health problems. Empowerment is then the process of obtaining these basic opportunities for marginalized people, either directly by those people, or through the help of non-marginalized others who share their own access to these opportunities. It also includes actively thwarting attempts to deny those opportunities. Empowerment also includes encouraging, and developing the skills for, self-sufficiency, with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group. This process can be difficult to start and to implement effectively, but there are many examples of empowerment projects which have succeeded. [citation needed] One empowerment strategy is to assist marginalized people to create their own nonprofit organization, using the rationale that only the marginalized people, themselves, can know what their own people need most, and that control of the organization by outsiders can actually help to further entrench marginalization. Charitable organizations lead from outside of the community, for example, can disempower the community by entrenching a dependence on charity or welfare. A nonprofit organization can target strategies that cause structural changes, reducing the need for ongoing dependence. Red Cross, for example, can focus on improving the health of indigenous people, but does not have authority in its charter to install water-delivery and purification systems, even though the lack of such a system profoundly, directly and negatively impacts health. A nonprofit composed of the indigenous people, however, could insure their own organization does have such authority and could set their own agendas, make their own plans, seek the needed resources, do as much of the work as they can, and take responsibility - and credit - for the success of their projects (or the consequences, should they fail). Numerous critical perspectives exist that propose that an empowerment paradigm is present, Clark (2008) showed that whilst there was a degree of autonomy provided by empowerment, it also made way for extended surveillance and control, hence the contradiction perspective (Fardini, 2001).

The process of empowerment

help them develop within themselves or in the society. However.The process which enables individuals/groups to fully access personal/collective power.) Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making Having positive-thinking about the ability to make change Ability to learn and access skills for improving personal/collective circumstance. By sharing information with everyone. create autonomy through boundaries and replace the old hierarchy with selfmanaged teams. Replace the old hierarchy with selfmanaged teams – this is the third and final key to empowerment which ties them all together. and the ability to visualize oneself overcoming problems. in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation. The three keys are that managers must use to empower their employees are: share information with everyone. where "traditional" hierarchical East-Coast models of control encountered individualistic pioneer workers. recent research suggests that the opportunity to exercise personal discretion/choice (and complete meaningful work) is an important element contributing to employee engagement and well-being. people already have plenty of power. and motivation power that people already have. Ken Blanchard. There is evidence [2] that initiative and motivation are increased when people have a more positive attributional style. the authors. Involving in the growth process and changes that is never ending and self-initiated Increasing one's positive self-image and overcoming stigma Increasing one's ability in discreet thinking to sort out right and wrong Workplace empowerment One account of the history of workplace empowerment in the United States recalls the clash of management styles in railroad construction in the American West in the mid-19th century. so as to make them work harder rather than giving them any real power. capabilities:The ability to make decisions about personal/collective circumstances The ability to access information and resources for decision-making Ability to consider a range of options from which to choose (not just yes/no. By opening communication through sharing information. In Management: In the book Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute. it helps to build that trust between employer and employee. In this case. Create autonomy through boundaries – this is the second key to empowerment which also builds upon the previous one. and Wilkinson (1998) refers to this as "attitudinal shaping". Share information with everyone – this is the first key to empowering people within an organization. Empowerment to employees in the work place provides them with opportunities to make their own decisions with regards to their tasks. either/or. “Empowerment is not giving people power. John P. by allowing all of the employees to view the company information. and should be positioned in the broader and wider context of an 'enabling' work environment. illustrate three simple keys that organizations can use to effectively open the knowledge." It encourages people to gain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to overcome obstacles in life or work environment and ultimately. you are giving them a clear picture of the company and its current situation. education and engagement. Carlos. This influences self-belief. and Alan Randolph. to do their jobs magnificently We define empowerment as letting this power out (Blanchard. authority and influence. Now-a-days more and more bosses and managers are practicing the concept of empowerment among their subordinates to provide them with better opportunities. the idea of which is to change the attitudes of workers. experience. it opens up the feedback about what is holding them back from being empowered. Another strong point that this brings is trust. institutions or society. The implication is that 'empowerment' suits some more than others. empowerment at the level of work teams or brigades achieved a notable (but short-lived) demonstrated superiority[1] Empowerment in the workplace is regarded by critics as more a pseudo-empowerment exercise. resilience when faced with setbacks. By replacing the old . Empowerment includes the following. In other words. and to employ that strength when engaging with other people. strongly supplemented by methods of efficiencyoriented "worker responsibility" brought to the scene by Chinese laborers. or similar. K). Ability to inform others’ perceptions though exchange.

Empowerment comes from the individual. It is the state of feeling self-empowered to take control of one's own destiny. People think that "someone.hierarchy with self-managed teams. It has been suggested that Yoga is one such tool that can be used for more than the obvious physical benefits. the reporting staff members "wait" for the bestowing of empowerment. with the concept of empowerment in many organizations. Through this connection. When Yoga is practiced consistently the mind / body connection is apparent. mostly undeserved. This is one of the problems organizations have experienced with the concept of empowerment. rather than providing them with social welfare. Empowerment can be attained through one or many ways. as the process of an individual enabling himself to take action and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. for example. empowerment advocates have adopted the word "empowerment" to offer the attractions of such power. increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence. When thinking about empowerment in human relations terms. . try to avoid thinking of it as something that one individual does for another. and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. the individual finds him or herself with a stronger sense of self and the ability to change areas where bad habits rule. take action. with emphasis placed on continuous learning. Employee Empowerment Wednesday. negative emotions run rampant. in many previously colonized African countries[4]. Consequently." usually the manager. the empowerment approach focuses on mobilizing the self-help efforts of the poor. This led to a general unhappiness. [3] Economics and empowerment In economic development. July 07. The organization has the responsibility to create a work environment which helps foster the ability and desire of employees to act in empowered ways. Empowerment is ultimately driven by the individual's belief in their capability to influence events. Think of empowerment. Personal development and empowerment In the arena of personal development. Economic empowerment is also the empowering of previously disadvantaged sections of the population. behave. has to bestow empowerment on the people who report to him. Realizing the solipsistic impracticality of everyone anarchistically attempting to exercise power over everyone else. and the manager asks why people won't act in empowered ways. The work organization has the responsibility to remove barriers that limit the ability of staff to act in empowered ways. The concept of personal development is seen as important by many employers. more responsibility is placed upon unique and self-managed teams which create better communication and productivity. empowerment forms an apogee of many a system of Self Realization or of identity (re-)formation. An important factor in the discovery and application of the human "self empowerment" lies within the tools used to unveil the truth. What can be more empowering than gaining control over self. instead. but they generally constrain its individual exercise to potentiality and to feel-good uses within the individual psyche. even controlling addictions through understanding them for what they are. 2010 8:57 PM Definition: Employee Empowerment Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think.

John empowered himself to discuss the career objectives he wished to pursue with his supervisor. social or economic strength of individuals and communities. frankly. The post of Mike Griffiths recently triggered (or empowered?) me to rethink empowerment. that if the opportunities were not available in his current company. Empowerment can refer to both individuals and communities. that’s what Wikipedia reads. It refers to empowering a person or the collective.[h3Also Known As: Employee involvement and participative management are often used to mean empowerment. that I feel that it is misused more often than that it is used correctly. Examples The manager of the Human Resources department added weeks to the process of hiring new employees by requiring his supposedly "empowered" staff members to obtain his signature on every document related to the hiring of a new employee. Ok. I can recall some papers I’ve read some years ago at the university about the subject. It is used on so many occasions (both verbally and in written text).. he would move on to another company. He told his supervisor. 2010 A term that is used in many circumstances. July 07. because it can be interpreted in so many ways. 2010 9:21 PM Bas Reus' quest on self-organization and online collaborative spaces Empowerment. I also remember the debate it triggered there. a management fad? Wednesday. [. political.] Empowerment is the process that allows one to gain the knowledge. a management fad? Posted in self-organization by Bas Reus on April 19. skill-sets and attitude needed to cope with the changing world and the circumstances in which one lives. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities. They are not really interchangeable. like BPR or TQM? Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual. How does this work? Some questions come to mind here: . Or is it just a management fad. is empowerment. Empowerment..

. however. I think it can easily be or become a management fad. That makes a company a great company. for obvious reasons.] empower employees for self-organization?‘. Maybe it is self-management. both individually or in a collective. Empowered employees are able to manage themselves. have great results. they know what their clients want and make sure that their employees know as well. If empowerment is a management fad. but some core-principles that can be attributed to empowerment are really valuable and here to stay. They are not alone and unattainable at the top of the pyramid. Companies that have some similarities with these characteristics are Zappos and Semco. To be continued… . These places have some things in common. I’d like to look at some real world examples where I think that empowerment is taking place. humane and part of the science of empowerment. I made an assumption by stating ‘how to [. I prefer to make use of self-organization. You just feel that you would like to work for them. Perhaps it is. To come back to some of the questions I posed earlier in this post. if you ask me. for example the question ‘Why is the term interpreted in so many ways?‘. It can be the manager that tries to make others only work harder instead of really making them really more responsible for what they do. is hard to answer. or it can be the employee that feels like not having enough resources or information he or she needs. they make sure that employees are involved not only in their own tasks and responsibilities. These and some other characteristics are practices by only a few leaders. leaders that dare to make extraordinary decisions. It seems this assumption still stands for me. These are universal. or to feel more involved. Another question I asked in this post is ‘Is empowerment of an individual or group a prerequisite for selforganization?‘. but run their companies not like their competitors do..Is empowerment something that benefits only people without any power? Who is powerful enough to empower others? Who knows what is needed to empower someone? (perhaps only the unempowered) Who or what benefits from empowerment? Why is the term interpreted in so many ways? Is empowerment of an individual or group a prerequisite for self-organization? Without answering these questions immediately. In the problem statement I stated some time ago. that give control to their employees. I’d like to call these companies examples of the real empowering companies. These places generally have a leader that leads the company quite different that the common leadership practices. I can say it depends heavily on who used the term. for example. These are companies that make quite ordinary products.

or to feel more involved. Empowered employees are able to manage themselves. Another question I asked in this post is ‘Is empowerment of an individual or group a prerequisite for self-organization?‘. or it can be the employee that feels like not having enough resources or information he or she needs. In the problem statement I stated some time ago. I prefer to make use of self-organization. I think it can easily be or become a management fad. It can be the manager that tries to make others only work harder instead of really making them really more responsible for what they do. however. but some core-principles that can be attributed to empowerment are really valuable and here to stay. humane and part of the science of empowerment..] empower employees for selforganization?‘.term. To be continued… . Maybe it is self-management. Perhaps it is.. for obvious reasons. It seems this assumption still stands for me. I made an assumption by stating ‘how to [. is hard to answer. If empowerment is a management fad. These are universal. both individually or in a collective.

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