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SAXION UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EMPLOYEE


EMPOWERMENT AND JOB SATISFACTION IN CHINA

Author: Ninh The Duong


Student number: 427051
Deventer, June 2016

Academy of International Finance and Accounting

First supervisor: Jos Bodewes


Second supervisor: Bert van Dijk
Acknowledgement:
Firstly, I would to express my gracefulness to Mr. Jos Bodewes my first supervisor for
his motivation, guidance, and consultancy knowledge. He instructs me background of the
study and adjust my English academic languages during the writing process. This paper
could not have been possible without his great support.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge my mentor Mrs. Miranda Bens and the course
director Mr. Vossen for the enthusiastic support during my study at Saxion.

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between employee


empowerment and job satisfaction in China. The main question in this paper is What is
the influence of Empowerment of the employees on their job satisfaction in China?
Literature review is the methodology in this research. The results which are based on the
literature suggest that (1) there is a positive relationship between employee empowerment
and job satisfaction, (2) The impact of Chinese cultural power distance on the effect of
employee empowerment on Job satisfaction is depended on the types of employee
empowerment were applied. While the effect of leadership empowerment and
psychological empowerment on job satisfaction are enhanced or still remained, the effect
of discretionary empowerment is constrained in high power distance culture like Chinese
cultural dimension. This study primarily contributes to the understanding of the impact of
cultural factor on the relationship between employee empowerment and job satisfaction. In
addition, it has some managerial implications for implementing employee empowerment
process.

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Contents
1 Introduction: ............................................................................................................................................... 6
1.1 Problem background ......................................................................................................................... 6
1.2 Research question: ............................................................................................................................. 8
1.3 Methodology ....................................................................................................................................... 8
1.4 Research Objective: ......................................................................................................................... 10
1.5 Thesis structure: ............................................................................................................................... 10
2 Theoretical framework: ........................................................................................................................... 12
2.1 Chinese cultural background which impact on the EE efficiency ............................................... 12
2.1.1 Confucianism culture in China .................................................................................................. 12
2.1.2 Chinese cultural values from Hofstedes perspective: ............................................................... 14
2.2 Definition employee empowerment: ............................................................................................... 18
2.2.1 Structural (or discretional) approach to employee empowerment: ........................................... 19
2.2.2 Psychological approach to employee empowerment: ................................................................ 19
2.2.3 Leadership empowerment: ......................................................................................................... 21
2.3 Definition of Job satisfaction:.......................................................................................................... 23
2.3.1 Defining Job satisfaction as an affective or emotional response: ............................................. 23
2.3.2 Defining Job satisfaction as an attitude: ................................................................................... 23
2.3.3 The effect of Job satisfaction on organizational outcome: ........................................................ 24
2.3.4 Measurement of Job satisfaction: .............................................................................................. 24
2.3.5 The impact of Cultural factors and employee empowerment on Job satisfaction: .................... 25
2.4 Review the relationship between the effect of employee empowerment on job satisfaction ...... 25
2.4.1 Review result from previous studies: ......................................................................................... 25
2.4.2 Theoretical model portray the interrelation and effect of the three empowerment concepts on job
satisfaction.................................................................................................................................................. 26
2.5 Review the impact of Power distance on the relationship between EE and JS: Case study in
China 29
2.5.1 The impact Power distance culture on the effect of Structural (or discretionary) empowerment
on Job satisfaction ...................................................................................................................................... 29
2.5.2 The impact Power distance culture on the effect of Psychological empowerment on Job
satisfaction.................................................................................................................................................. 30
2.5.3 The impact Power distance culture on the effect of leadership empowerment on Job satisfaction
31
3 Conclusion:................................................................................................................................................ 34
4 Policy.......................................................................................................................................................... 39
5 Limitations ................................................................................................................................................ 41
6 References ................................................................................................................................................. 42

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INTRODUCTION

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1 Introduction:
1.1 Problem background
The empowerment is one of the main concepts in management. According to business
dictionary (2016), this concept is defined as a practical method in which employees would
be given authority and responsibility at a certain level from their managers. The research
of Conger and Kanungo (1988) proved that the empowerment has many positive effects on
psychology of employees such as self-determination, the sense of job fulfilling which are
crucial characters for successful career. Therefore, there is a positive link between
empowerment and job satisfaction.

This management concept oriented from Western culture that was one the cradle of
democracy. In fact, the theory of empowerment has been applied commonly in the
European countries and the US. However, when the concept spread out to China, where
the cradle of Confucian was well-known, there are many concerns over whether the
application of this theory in workplace of China is effective or not. This thing leads to some
disputations surround this issue. Zhang and Wu (2004) claimed that the concept of staff
empowerment has yet to be adopted in China, although there are tentative steps being made
in this direction. By contrast, Lis (2000) results from his research supported that job
performance would be improved if this Western concept of empowerment applied in a
conducive environment in China. There are some reasons relate to the culture background
of China for this issue.

Firstly, Chinese people still have been affected deeply by the Confucian culture, which has
been seen as one of the most constrains for adopting the empowerment concept. While the
empowerment requires the equally at a certain degree for employees to take the
responsibility without caring their positions, the culture of Confucius enhances the
hierarchy in every relationship. Wayle (1938) explained a code amongst the Confucius
analects, for instance, the role of a manager is managing, and the role of a worker is
working. Thus, many Chinese people have believed that the order of an organization could
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be broken, if the inferiors received much more power than their positions that could lead
to decrease the influence of their superiors. Additionally, according to a result of a study,
Louie (1980) proved that the lack of ability in making decision of Chinese employees was
caused by excessive obeying in a belief of Confucian culture.

Another crucial factor which impacts on the efficiency of manipulating the empowerment
in practice that is freedom. There is evidence from previous quantitative researches of
Cooper (2003) and de Jong and de Ruyter (2004) shown that freedom in workplace is an
important and valuable element for employers to instruct the employees to follow the
empowerment. There is a major part of Chinese managers who have untrusted yet the
empowerments effectiveness and it seems to them that the concession to grant power is
just for the weaker. In their mind, the freedom to sharing power for the staffs, are
extremely conservative and require from the managers a lot of consideration because this
thing could thread to their own benefit and individual reputation. In other word, they have
not yet believed the freedom factor in the management. The rooted belief of this part
managers is based on the glory of autocratic dynasties in the Chinas history. The golden
age of Chinese empire was opened by the leading of the reputed dictators such as Qin Shi
Huang, who centralized power and control military forces, conducted many invasion for
the territorial expansion and help the country to become dominating in the East Asia,
Chinas emperor was also the King of neighbour countries. Consequence, almost Chinese
managers have followed completely in the autocratic approach rather than sharing power
as the empowerment. There were many previous researches such as Chen (1995), Redding
& Casey (1976), Worm (1997) suggested that almost top managers in Chinese enterprises
chose the autocratic approach, power centralization, and enhanced obligating to hierarchy
for their leadership style and decision-making model.

Thirdly, there are also two social features which restrain the staffs in receiving authority
and responsibility from the managers have come from inside Chineses society. These
barriers are the high power distance and the Collectivism in this country. The research of

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Hofstede (1980, 2001) and Hui et al. (2004) have shown that when a society had a high
gap in power, the governance would be taken by a minor elite groups and the majority will
be limited in the control. While the high in Collectivism enhance the benefit of
communities and constrain the expression of each individual to take responsibility. As
following to the researchers, therefore, the effectiveness of the empowerment on job
satisfaction have been restrained by these social features. According to China cultural
dimensions (2016), there are respective 80% and 80% for the power distance index and the
Collectivism index in this country compare 40% and 9% with the US. That is also an
explanation for the reason why it is difficult for manipulate the empowerment in workplace
of China because these indexes has reflected a fact that the majority of Chinese managers
tend to centralized the power for their own and protect their social status rather than sharing
it for the subordinates (Worm, 1997) and an individual who dare to take responsibility
could tend to be prejudged bad character as he or she did not follow the norm of the
community (Littrel, 2002). Therefore, there is a connection between Chinese culture and
the effectiveness of empowerment on job satisfaction.
Hence, the purpose of this paper is to find out what extend empowerment influences in job
satisfaction in Chinese workplace.
1.2 Research question:
The main question of the research is What is the influence of Empowerment of the
employees on their job satisfaction in China?

In order to answer the main question, the following sub-questions are established:

What is the effect of empowerment on Job satisfaction?

What is the relationship between national culture of China on the relationship between
empowerment and Job satisfaction?

1.3 Methodology
Literature review methodology is used in this paper. This methodology is related to
collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information in prior researches.

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The relevant information to analyze the association between the effectiveness of employee
empowerment and Chinese cultural dimension is withdrawn from various scientific papers
with key words of searching namely empowerment, job satisfaction, national culture,
China, influence. The sources which the necessary information come from are:

- Websites;
- Thesis and dissertations;
- Articles from journals.
Articles from journals is taken from the following journals:

- Public Relation Review;


- Leadership quarterly;
- International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management ;
- Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences
- International Business Research;
- Spring.
- Work & Stress Journal
- Journal of Managerial Psychology
The key words for this paper are: empowerment, job satisfaction, national culture, China.

With regard to search engines, this paper uses:

- Science Direct;
- Google Scholar;
- Emeral;
- Google;
- Springer;
The articles are processed through the following steps:

- Firstly, articles are searched by key words and their title to ensure the relevance.
- Secondly, the articles are chosen by abstract.
- Finally, the selection process is conducted again based on introduction.

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Some of the articles is discovered through the references of other articles.

1.4 Research Objective:


This research paper try to investigate what extend to the effectiveness of empowerment on
job-satisfaction is impacted by culture factors in China. By finding the relationship between
the cultures relate to background of Chinese social and the connection between
empowerment and job satisfaction will provide evidences about cultural factors which
affect in the effectiveness of empowerment on job satisfaction in practice. Moreover, this
study also provide some discussion on the positive effect of empowerment on employees
and cultural factor impact on this concept. Thus, this managerial implication could support
for manager in applying empowerment concept in practice.

1.5 Thesis structure:


The next part of this paper provide the literature review which connect the definition of
empowerment, job satisfaction, cultural dimension relate to Chinese social, which
influences of empowerment on job-satisfaction, and which Chinese culture factor impact
on the effectiveness of empowerment on job-satisfaction. Then, the third part will provide
the conclusion and the fourth part will provide discussion on managerial implication.
Lastly, some limitation of this research will be presented in final part.

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THEORETICAL
FRAMEWORK

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2 Theoretical framework:
2.1 Chinese cultural background which impact on the EE efficiency
China is one of the largest economic in the world today and also an attractive place for
foreign investment activities. Moreover, Chinese culture have influenced almost parts of
Asia during the history, especially, this country is also cradle of Confucian culture. When
the employee empowerment concept spread out to China, its efficiency has been
constrained by Chinese cultural dimension. There are some reasons relate to the culture
background of China to explain this issue.
2.1.1 Confucianism culture in China

Confucius, 551-479 BC, is a Chinese philosopher who played a significant role in


establishment of Chinese culture, he's also seen as the God of the Chinese people. He was
born during The spring and autumn period which was one of the most chaotic times during
Chinese ancient history before China was unified by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC. At the era
Confucius was living, the moral standard of Chinese society was recessed by wars between
feudal states. Therefore, he decided to travel from state to state "pursue the rulers to follow
his proposals of morally correct politics." Those rules were systemized and constructed
into a doctrine which is also known as Confucianism, thus it became a governance doctrine
was operated by Chinese Dynasties such as Han (206 BC-220 AD), Tang (618-907).

From western perspective, Confucianism might be seen as a religion. However, according


to Kang (2003), Confucianism is a moral foundation which contents practical values of life
in order to maintain peace and wealth.

Confucianism concerns mainly on fundamental human relationship. Individuals held to a


specific position which represent their classes in society since they were born. However,
this thing should not be misunderstand as caste system in India, conversely Confucianism
encourages people attempting to achieve higher social status by recommending each person
have to know their current stand in society to response appropriately with circumstance
(Kang, 2003)

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Confucianism content was based on Five Cardinal Relationships between individuals in
society. These five relationship are:

Ruler and subject: the subject is required to be unconditional loyalty, to fulfill


current obligations and attempt to produce, pay taxes, not committing crimes, etc.
While the ruler has to guarantee in fairness and be generous towards the subject
Father and son: The father should be dignity for The son follows up, and in turn The
son has to obey the father.
Husband and wife: The husband has to undertake fully responsibility with family in
exchange for obedience and faithfulness from The wife.
Older and younger brother: the older brother is expected to be and behave digitally
to exchange the obedience from the younger
Friend and friend: the person who is less experiences has to show his respect towards
the expert

However, due to the vastly changing in society, these relationships are modified today. For
example, women have more equal position in nowadays. Yet, as Kang (2003), there are
still remaining in Confucianism values in Chinese society such as obeying, respecting
authority although the gap between authority and common people is not as great as before

As mention above, one of the five cardinal relationships of the Confucianism is ruler and
subject commonly accepted as natural law among Chinese people, so can empowerment
function in China workplace? According to Goodall et al. (2007), one of the biggest
challenges of management in China is to explain and manipulate to Chinese employees,
which is reasonable caused the contradiction between the concept of hierarchy in
Confucianism and the idea of empowerment in a Western context. Additionally, Wayle
(1938) paraphrased one of the Confucian analects was " a managers role is to manage; a
workers is to work to prove the hierarchal elevation of this his doctrine. Therefore, after
observing the lack of decision making ability among Chinese workers due to a deep-rooted
belief in Filial piety of the Confucian analects, Louie (1980) argued that if Confucianism

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is still strong in China, empowerment will not widely accept in this country. He explained
that the effect of Filial piety idea "has been to turn China into a big factory for the
production of obedient subjects. In the same point, Hwang (1991, 1995) conclusion that
Chinese organizations become to be more effective as long as they stay away from
traditional structures based on Confucianism values such as paternalism, filial piety.

Moreover, Romar (2002) and Hennig (2013) explained deeply the huge emphasis on
hierarchical respect of Confucianism. According the reseachers, every employee need to
know their place in organization aim to build a successful collective as Confucian taught.
Therefore, the hierarchical respect is still apparent as staffs accept to be blamed by their
superiors, in order to save "face" for their boss (Cardon 2009) and those on the top of the
respect ladder are the ones who own ultimate authority and make important decisions.
Consequence, Chinese employees are often reluctant to contribute in making decision
without authorization from their superiors (Zinzius 2004; Bucknall 1999). In order word,
every small issue is passed up for bosses, because Chinese employees fear the risk that they
could be blamed if they made wrong decision (Bucknall 1999; Redding and Hsiao 1990).
Bae & Lawler (2000) believe that "in hierarchical cultures employee empowerment is not
readily accepted either by managers or their subordinates". Labourers likely depend on
collective, and thus they less tend to have the sense of self-efficacy requisite for
independent action adapt with empowered employees.

2.1.2 Chinese cultural values from Hofstedes perspective:


Introduction

In the area of cultural research, Hofstede is one of the famous and acknowledged scholar
from Netherlands. He was early in investigating the impact of culture on the effect of
organization. Because people have different cultural backgrounds, they tend to perceive
matters and make decision from their own frame work, which could be variety among
everybody. Therefore, this thing will become a great issue for organizations in building
cross cultural competence if they have a cultural diversification in their human resource.
On the other hand, handling cultural diversification will support for organizations in

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creating competitive advance that could enable the multinational companies to manage
global client in the globalization tendency of the world today.

Cultural dimensions

After a research of IBM employees in more than fifty countries, Hofstede observed some
common basic matters across national boundaries which relate to the functioning of
societies, groups and individuals within it:

authority
self- relation between individuals and society
masculinity and femininity
dealing with conflicts

Finally, Hofstede standardized such matters into four cultural dimentions: power distance,
collectivism vs. individualism, femininity vs. masculinity and uncertainty avoidance.
Later, Bond from the Chinese University of Hong Kong developed the fifth universal
cultural dimension: short term vs. long term orientation.

Power Distance Culture

Power distance implies to the degree to which members of an organization expect and
accept that power is distributed unequally amongst themselves within the hierarchy. In
details, the high degree of power distance index indicates that subordinates in this society
are highly dependent on their superiors (Hofstede, 1980). Additionally, employee
empowerment in high power distance cultures limits information sharing because
employees think that it is employers authority to make decision and solve problems.
Furthermore, such employees believe that internal information is proportional with
educational level which managers must have higher level than the staffs, and conversely,
the managers also confuse why they should share the information with workers since they
could handle it better than those employees. (Hofstede; 1984).

Differences between High and Low Power Distance

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Low Power Distance High Power distance
Employees place high value on Employees place high value on
independence conformity
Managers make decisions after Managers make decisions
consultation with subordinates autocratically and paternalistically
Stronger perceived work ethics: Weaker perceived work ethics;
strong disbelief that people dislike more frequent belief that people
work dislike work

Close supervision positively


Close super vision negatively
evaluated by subordinates
evaluated by subordinates
Managers like seeing themselves as
Managers like seeing themselves as
decision- makers
practical, benevolent and systematic
There should be an order of
managers; they admit a need for
inequality in this world in which
support
everyone is in a rightful place; high
Power inequality in organizations
and low are protected by this order
should be minimized
Employees fear disagreeing with
Employees are less afraid of
their bosses
disagreeing with their supervisors
Employees are reluctant to trust
Employees are more cooperative
each other
All should have equal rights
Power holders are entitled to
People at various power levels feel
privileges
less threatened and more prepared to
Other people are potential threats to
trust others
one's power and rarely can be
Powerful people should try to look
trusted
less powerful than they are
Powerful people should try to look

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Cooperation among the powerless as powerful as possible
can be based on solidarity Cooperation among the powerless is
difficult to bring about because of
low faith in peoples norm

Source: Hofstede. G. (1980) Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work


Related Values, In Kaloki, P.K.K. (2001) Job Satisfaction as a Function of Cultural
Beliefs. Expectations and Goals

Hofstede also did research in China and he claimed that Chinese culture has a higher power
distance orientation than Western countries do (Hofstede 1980; Correia 1997). In fact,
many Chinese business employers feel risky by the idea of granting power as employee
empowerment. The organizational structure of a typical Chinese firm is constructed to
enhance hierarchy and stability in which internal information is not shared fully to
subordinates, exchanging of communication amongst managerial levels is inconvenient,
innovation is not supported, authority is not granted appropriately (Chen, 1995; Redding
& Casey, 1976; Worm, 1997). Moreover, the high power distance in management also
tends to result in a great emphasis on status and status symbols, decision making is based
on autocratic approach, and power is concentrated at the top. (Worm, 1997, pp. 116117).
Some Chinese managers may even believe that empowering will make them losing their
influence and that why employee empowerment is constrained in high power distance
culture like China.

In practice, Hui et al. (2004) in a meta-analysis using global study data as a basis of
comparison consistently found that the cultural value of power distance (Hofstede, 1980,
2001) moderates the effect of empowerment on job satisfaction.

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2.2 Definition employee empowerment:
Empowerment has been defined commonly in some academic framework. However,
despite such usual framework being formed, there is no fully agreed in definition of
empowerment (Peccei and Rosenthal, 2001; Wilkinson, 1998). In fact, employee
empowerment is seemed closely as managerial instrument, such as motivation, job
enrichment, communication, trust, participative management, delegation, training and
feedback, makes it necessary to examine the concept and its managerial dimension from
different perspectives. Vogt and Murrell (1997) further reported that empowerment is a
management technique to stimulate the perceived capability of employees. Additionally,
other authors based on behavior and relationship aspect in the construct of empowerment
to defined it as sharing knowledge, information and power with subordinates. Similarity,
Cunningham et al. (1996) seemed empowerment as decision making process in which are
participated fully by employees. Moreover, empowerment is also regarded as motivational
concept related to self-efficacy of employees (Conger and Kanungo1988) that feeling can
be divided into four perspective dimensions by Thomas and Velthouse (1990) that are
meaning, competence, choice and impact. In 1995, Spreitzer incorporates these four
dimensions in his definition.

Three types of empowerment:


When the literature on employee empowerment is examined, three fundamental approaches
can be observed in this study. The first of these is the structural (or discretion) dimension,
involves a formal horizontal decentralization of authority such that decisional power flows
to the employee from the formal structure (Mills & Ungson, 2003, p. 144). The second is
the psychological dimension, capturing the perception of employees towards the behavior
of employers (Conger and Kanungo, 1988; Spreitzer, 1995, 1996; Thomas and Velthouse,
1990) and the conditions prepared for them. The third is is the leadership (or behavioral)
dimension, dealing with the role of top management in employee empowering (Honold,
1997).

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However, it is possible to approach empowerment issue from others side. According to
Menon (2001), conceptualizing employee empowerment can be classified into three major
categories: Empowerment has been considered an act: the act of granting power to the
person(s) being empowered. It has been considered a process: the process that leads to the
experience of power. It has also been considered a psychological state that manifests itself
as cognitions that can be measured

2.2.1 Structural (or discretional) approach to employee empowerment:


The structural or relational view of empowerment practice settles delegation to employee
in making decision. In this view, the employees will feel more personal control over how
to perform their tasks: would be more aware of the business and the strategic contexts in
which the tasks are performed: and would be more responsibility for their performance
outcomes (Bowen and Lawler, 1995). Therefore, the socialstructural side of
empowerment has been seen by some as antecedents to psychological empowerment. That
is, if the structural view is favorable, then staffs tend to be motivated leading to an increase
in job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job autonomy and thus, enhancing
company performance in a host country. These positive relationships have been well
documented in Chinese samples. For example, empowerment has a positive association
with organizational commitment, job satisfaction and task performance, but negatively
related to withdrawal behaviors (Aryee and Chen, 2006). However, some Chinese
managers may believe that empowering subordinates will lead to lose their own power,
something that would not be willingly done in Chinese culture. Accoring to Hui et al.
(2004), in a meta-analysis using world values study data as a basis of comparison
consistently found that the cultural values of China mitigated the effect of empowerment
on job satisfaction.

2.2.2 Psychological approach to employee empowerment:


In practice, empowered employees are those who held motivational potential that induces
them to take responsibility in work, which is not achieved by structured and predetermined
routines of the organization (Maslow, 1952: Conger and Kanungo, 1988). Conger and

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Kanungo (1988) noted that the practice of empowering subordinates is a principal
component of managerial and organizational effectiveness. This view focuses mainly on
the psychological dimensions of empowerment (Liden et al., 2000) in which employees is
willing to work and their desire to improve constantly their performance. This approach
puts less emphasis on delegation of power to the subordinates, instead it advocates for open
communication, inspirational goal setting and giving encouragement and feedback to
increase commitment and involvement (Conger and Kanungo, 1988: Thomas and
Velthouse, 1990).

Thomas and Velthouse (1990) extended Conger and Kanungos (1988) to conceptualize
psychological empowerment as a set of four task assessments or cognitions that individuals
make as they attempt to interpret their work situations; meaningfulness, impact competence
and choice. Further research on these four cognitions, especially by G. M. Spreitzer (1995;
Quinn & Spreitzer, 1997), found redundant supports in the literature for the four cognitions.
G. M. Spreitzer explained and clarified the meaning of the four cognitions. The first of four
cognitions, Meaning, involves a fit between the beliefs, values, and behaviors of an
individual and the requirements of job position. Otherwise, Competence, known as self-
efficacy, is individuals beliefs in their own capacity to perform the given work role. The
third of these is Self-determination regards a persons choice in initiating and regulating
work activities such as making decisions about work progress, degree of effort, or working
methods. Impact, the last of four cognitions, measures the degree to which an individual
can influence results at work and is seen as the contradiction of learned helplessness (G.
M. Spreitzer, 1995).

From the foregoing, psychological empowerment is believed to gain many benefits for
organization by generating a positive workplace, where encourages proactive problem-
solving, innovation, optimizing and utilizing employee efforts, a high level of employee
motivation and improving company performance (Greenberger and Strasser. 1991). Thus,
replacing the 'fear and greed' hierarchy with a network of empowered employee will be
consequence in benefits like faster responses to organizational tasks, loyal customers, high

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quality, lower costs of production, greater productivity and employee orientation to work
(Greenberger and Strasser. 1991).

However, the cognitive process of employee to perceive four dimensions of empowerment


is not only based on the employees feel about their tasks but also depended on contextual
factors such as working environment and especially impact of their leaders. Therefore,
Deci et al. (1989) argued that the leader should play a critical role in providing followers
with psychological empowering experiences because the characteristics of the work shaped
by the leader contribute directly to followers intrinsic task motivation. Much of this
research has focused on leadership as a strong correlate of psychological empowerment
(Aryee and Chen, 2006; Avolio et al., 2004; Huang et al., 2006; Zhang and Bartol, 2010)

Because of practical importance of psychological empowerment, the fact that enterprises


in China have rely more on employees to enhance competitive advantages for long-term
survival (Gong et al., 2009). These results indicate that employee psychological
empowerment is related to important work attitudes and performance outcomes in modern
Chinese organizations.

2.2.3 Leadership empowerment:


Although there were many research on empowerment since 1980s and there is a redundant
resources of empowerment (G. Spreitzer, 2008), but until 1987, the leaders role in the
process of empowerment had been considered yet (Konczak et al., 2000). The term
empowering leadership only appeared in 2000 (Arnold et al., 2000; Konczak et al.,
2000). This term was call by the researchers to identify leaders who encourage follower
empowerment are different than those enhanced autocracy and hierarchy (Ahearne et al.,
2005)

Leadership empowerment is a part of leader behaviors aim to create empowerment for


subordinates. According to G. Spreitzer (2008), Empowering leadership is part of the
socialstructural side of empowerment, along with organizational structures that improve

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empowerment such as participative decision making, skill/knowledgebase pay, open flow
of information, flat organizational structures, and training.

The motive to conduct research on leadership empowerment was originally to investigate


empowering behaviors of leaders aim to establish leadership training programs that would
support organizational motivation in enhancing empowerment in both individuals and
teams.

The common measurements to estimate leadership empowerment are Leader Empowering


Behavior Questionnaire (LEBQ) which created by Konczak et al. (2000) based on the
theoretical work of empowerment and Empowering Leadership Questionnaire (ELQ)
which generated by Arnold et al. (2000) used interviews to distinguish empowering
behavior of leaders of effective empowered teams . While Konczak et al. (2000) focused
on leader behaviors that nurture empowerment in individuals, Arnold et al. focused on
empowering behaviors that influenced empowered teams.

There were numerous studies prove the effect of empowerment on job satisfaction (Aryee
and Chen, 2006; Kuo et al., 2007; Sahin, 2007; Spreitzer et al., 1997; Wang and Lee, 2009;
Babin and Boles, 1996; Yoon et al., 2001). However, if Psychological or Structural
empowerment alone, it is not sufficient factor to empower employee (Amundsen &
Martinsen, 2014a), therefore, the role of leadership empowerment to enlarge job
satisfaction of organization should be considered. Babin and Boles (1996) and Yoon et al.
(2001) found the leadership empowerment have a positive impact on job satisfaction when
employers created an atmosphere of trust, convenient communications or used
motivational techniques.

The role of leaders is even more important to enlarge empowerment process in China.
Because of living in the Confucian culture as China, the society tend to be moral oriented
and underestimated legal efficacy, these thing make leaders have significant influences in
the awareness of employee about fairness in making decision (Farh and Cheng, 2000; Farh
et al., 2008). However, Many Chinese business owners and top managers feel threatened

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by the idea of delegating authority as empowering employees. Management control is
achieved throughout controlling and limiting shared information (Chen, 1995), considering
of protecting face (Oh, 1982), favoring for loyalty (Hwang, 1987), combining with the
leaders physical presence and walking around (Lee, 1991). Those behaviors are currently
occurred among top Chinese leaders and they are seen as drawback for development of
employee empowerment in China. (Littrell, Romie F. 2008)

2.3 Definition of Job satisfaction:


Job satisfaction is how a person feels about his or her job (Balzer, et al., 1997). According
to Spector (1997), Job satisfaction is seen as an assessment of general experiences in Job
that is impacted by many compositions such as a personal relationship with boss, the sense
of happiness of work, fulfilment with salary, positive working environment

However, defining job satisfaction is still a controversial issue for researchers. There are
two common trend in defining job satisfaction. The first of these seems job satisfaction as
affective or emotional response (Cranny et al. 1992). On the other hand, Miner (1992),
Brief (1998) treated job satisfaction as attitudes.

2.3.1 Defining Job satisfaction as an affective or emotional response:

There was a consensus among three researchers Cranny, Smith, and Stone (1992) in
defining job satisfaction emotional reaction or affective to a persons job after they
conducted research to compare practical result of employees who desired their own job.
This definition is basically similar to the classical definition offered by Locke (1969). In
his paper, Lock (1969) stated that job satisfaction is a pleasurable emotional status and job
dissatisfaction is the unpleasant emotional status.

2.3.2 Defining Job satisfaction as an attitude:

However, it will be difficult to estimate job satisfaction if this term is treated as an


emotional state. Therefore, Weiss (2002) defined Job satisfaction as an attitude because he
believed that an attitude is an evaluation relates to an attitudinal subject. Moreover, in the
classic review of job satisfactionperformance research, Brayfield and Crockett (1955)

23
advised that we should not try to explain job satisfaction as spiritual value, but we have to
assume this term as a measured object which is involved many variables. When we do, we
find that job satisfaction measures, like attitude measures in other domains, ask respondents
to place the attitude object (the job or some facet of the job) along a scale of evaluation. As
Weiss (2002), it is a good idea to follow the advice offered by Brayfield and Crockett
(1955). When we do like this, we find that job satisfaction could be measured.

2.3.3 The effect of Job satisfaction on organizational outcome:

Job satisfaction is a vital factor that leads to enhance work attitude. In other work, satisfied
employees are tended to be more creative, flexible, innovative, and loyal (Mohammed &
Eleswed, 2013). Therefore, organizations should invest in developing programs or
activities that can impact staffs satisfaction. Thus, throughout the higher levels of job
satisfaction, an organizational performance can be enlarged on the long term. According
to Blanchard (1999), highly satisfied employees are likely to have better mental and
physical health, so they learn new job more quickly, have fewer mistake, like helping
colleges, enhance customers satisfaction,etc.
2.3.4 Measurement of Job satisfaction:

To measure the job satisfaction degrees of the employees, Weiss et al. (1967) developed
the employee job satisfaction scale, which is also known as Minnesota Satisfaction
Questionnaire (MSQ), includes with 20 dimensions measuring job satisfaction. The scale
was designed in order to investigate the extent to which the employees are satisfied with
the present conditions of the workplace on a five-point Likert scale. Moreover, many
researchers have underlined the fact that measuring job satisfaction provides feedback in
terms of investigating potential problems as well as productivity issues (Flores and
Rodrguez, 2008). The effect and degree of these finding will instruct managers in
enhancing operational efficiency of organization.

24
2.3.5 The impact of Cultural factors and employee empowerment on Job
satisfaction:
Previous studies indicate that job satisfaction can be impacted by employee empowerment
and national culture (Robert et al 2000; Hui and Fock, 2004; Fock et al, 2013)
After examining the effects of empowerment on job satisfaction in four nations (Mexico,
India, Poland and America), Robert et al (2000) concluded that employee empowerment
was negatively associated with job satisfaction in India, which is regarded as a high power
distance culture country.

Additionally, Hui and Fock (2004) conducted research to examine the effects of power
distance on empowerment and job satisfaction in USA and China. They found that lower
power distance created a stronger positive effect in the relationship between empowerment
and job satisfaction.

In an another research, Fock et al (2013) explored the impact of high power distance in
Chinese culture mitigated the effect of discretionary empowerment and employee
satisfaction, but they had been surprised by the results in the effect of leadership
empowerment is enhanced by high power distance that contradict with previous studies.

2.4 Review the relationship between the effect of employee empowerment on job
satisfaction
2.4.1 Review result from previous studies:
There were numerous studies in the past prove the positive relationship between employee
empowerment and job satisfaction (Chang, Shih, & Lin, 2010; Raza, Mahmood, Owais, &
Raza, 2015; Wadhwa & Verghese, 2015). According to Ongorori 2008, by the impact of
employee empowerment, the employees existence is highly enhanced in an organization
that lead to improve job satisfaction. Similarity, Kirkman and Rosen (1999) confirmed that
empowered employees will be more satisfied with their works, if they are received more
autonomy in decision making. Moreover, besides improving job satisfaction, there are
several behaviour outcomes that come from empowerment practice such as enhanced

25
organizational commitment, higher customer satisfaction, increased job involvement
(Karia & Asaari, 2006).

Additionally, Hanaysha. J, Tahir.P.R (2015) demonstrated the effect of employee


empowerment on job satisfaction that nurturing the empowerment environments such as
encouraging employee to feel responsible and authorized to take decisions that are in their
capacities will positive impact on employee and in turn it can improve effectiveness of
organizations. Psychological empowerment, for instance, enhances self-efficacy resulting
in employee satisfaction and increased organizational commitment (Kim et al., 2012;
Conger and Kanungo, 1988; Liden et al., 2000; Spreitzer et al., 1997; Bhatnagar, 2007).

2.4.2 Theoretical model portray the interrelation and effect of the three
empowerment concepts on job satisfaction
As mentioned before, there are three conceptualizations of empowerment: discretional (or
structural) empowerment, psychological empowerment, and leadership (or behavioral)
empowerment. They are thus distinct in nature, but associate in practice. Researchers have
advocated that supportive leadership behaviors have causal links with discretion
empowerment (e.g., Liden, Wayne, & Sparrowe, 2000; Peccei & Rosenthal, 2001) and
psychological empowerment (e.g., Raub & Robert, 2010; Zhang & Bartol, 2010).
Therefore, how the three concepts of family empowerment interrelate to improve job
satisfaction in practice. This thing was demonstrated by Fock, Hui, Au, Bond (2013) from
their theoretical model below:

26
Structural
empowerment

Leadership Job
empowerment satisfaction

Psychological
empowerment

Fock, Hui, Au, Bond (2013) conducted research the effect of three types empowerment on
the satisfaction of employees. Their measurement included items from major
empowerment studies were adopted for the questionnaire. These items included the
psychological empowerment scale developed by Spreitzer (1995) and adapted items from
Arnold et al. (2000), Eylon and Au (1999), and Spreitzer (1996) to capture the leadership
aspect of empowerment. This measurement also captured the extent to which the
employees perceive that they could exercise a certain degree of freedom and use their own
judgment to perform tasks at work. Fock, Hui, Au, Bond (2013) conducted two among four
surveys in China. The first survey aims to provide data for exploratory analysis in which
the empowerment measurement items appropriately reflect the distinct properties of
discretion empowerment, leadership empowerment, and the competence facet of
psychological empowerment. Additionally, the second survey was conducted to provide
data for confirmatory analysis in which data collected from 187 frontline employees in nine
major banks in Beijing, was used to verify the factor structure identified by the first
analysis. A total of 228 frontline employees contacted; usable response rate = 82%; age 21
to 30 = 58%; female = 71%; average work experience = 5.2 years. The data collection
methods were the same as those described for the first survey. Thus, Fock, Hui, Au, Bond

27
(2013) gave two conclusions about the interrelation and effect of the three empowerment
concepts on job satisfaction.

Firstly, Leadership empowerment is positively associated with discretion empowerment,


which in turn, positively affects employee satisfaction. This thing was confirmed from
previous literature such as Raub & Robert (2010) that supportive supervisors who
frequently encourage their employees to participate in decision-making processes would
enhance employees sense of self-determination at work. Similarity, Zhang & Bartol
(2010) confirmed that a minimum degree of supervision from managers who express trust
in their subordinates would encourage the employees, make them feel that they are
entrusted in making decision in their job. In other word, with the support of their
supervisors, employees feel capable of coping with special tasks and do not worry about
being blamed for any negative consequences resulting from their exercise of discretionary
power (Leach, Wall, & Jackson, 2003). Therefore, a high sense of discretion empowerment
is fostered among employees by leadership empowerment, then those employees
experience a high level of autonomy by discretional empowerment, they will be able to
resolve role conflicts and ambiguities at work, thus they should feel more satisfied with
their job ((Bowen & Lawler, 1992).

Secondly, Leadership empowerment is positively associated with psychological


empowerment, which in turn positively affects employee satisfaction (Fock, Hui, Au,
Bond, 2013). In others word, the employees will feel more important and have a distinctive
role in organization when their supervisor manipulate empowering leadership to expresses
trust and confidence in the employees work capability (Liden et al., 2000; Raub & Robert,
2010). Thus, this sense of self-importance in turn raises the employees self-confidence,
self-efficacy, and expectancy for better work performance (Eden & Kinnar, 1991).
Consequently, leadership empowerment positively associate with the psychological
empowerment of the employee. Thus, Erdogan & Bauer (2009) argued that psychologically
empowered employee would feel more satisfied with their job when they understand their
work as meaning, feel competent, and conceive of desirable job outcomes. Additionally,

28
Pelit, ztrk, Arslantrk, (2011) studied the impact of leadership empowerment and
psychology empowerment on Job satisfaction confirmed that the increase in employee
satisfaction become to be more remarkable when empowerment activities are performed in
accordance with both dimensions of empowerment (leadership and psychological).

Konczak et al. (2000) measured the effects of empowering leadership on subordinates


psychological empowerment as a part of the development of the empowering leadership
measurement instrument the LEBQ. Konczak et al. surveyed 84 managers at Fortune 500
companies in the midwest who rated their superiors empowering leadership along with
their own psychological empowerment, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment
Konczak et al. concluded that the four factors of psychological empowerment mediated
fully or partially the relationship between the six factors of empowering leadership and job
satisfaction and organizational commitment.

2.5 Review the impact of Power distance on the relationship between EE and JS:
Case study in China
2.5.1 The impact Power distance culture on the effect of Structural (or
discretionary) empowerment on Job satisfaction
Structural (or discretionary) empowerment is to define empowerment as a discretionary
construct in which manager delegates to employee with discretion and autonomy over their
job task (Hui et al. 2004). This type of empowerment encourages information sharing,
participative decision making in managerial activities so it provides employees with
primary control and thus impact on organizational development and performance (Lawer
1992).

Previous literature claimed that structural or discretion empowerment could be more


harmony with some cultures than others, especially for power-distance cultural dimension
(Hui et al. 2004). Because of establishing on the individuals prerogative for authority,
discretion empowerment depends on personal perception which could be impacted by
individuals cultural background as power distance (Hui et al. 2004). To support this point,
Hui, Au, and Fock (2004) conducted an empirical study which its data collected from 42
29
countries. The result showed that the effect of discretionary empowerment on Job
satisfaction was less pronounced in high power distance. Their study revealed that
employees from a culture high in power distance expect their supervisors to behave
autocratically and may even feel uncomfortable if supervisors consult them. Based on
convergent findings obtained from both national-level and individual-level analyses, Fock,
Hui, Au, Bond (2013) indicated that the effect of discretion empowerment on employee
satisfaction is mitigated by higher power distance in China, in accordance with previous
findings.

Therefore, power distance impact negatively the relationship between discretion


empowerment and employee satisfaction. Additionally, Oloko. M (2008) studied the
influence of Power Distance Culture on the relationship between Empowerment and
Performance in Kenya. The research was to examine the moderating influence of power
distance on the relationship between employee empowerment and its outcomes
(organization commitment, job autonomy and job satisfaction). In his conclusion, power
distance moderates the relationship between employee empowerment and empowerment
outcomes (included job satisfaction). The studys result showed that when employees are
empowered in a favorable environment (imply in less power distance culture), the
outcomes are likely to be higher.

In Chinese society which has high power distance culture, people accept the unequal in
distributing power and person believed deeply to hierarchal structures and paternalistic
leadership. Hence, volunteer in work or making decision without consultation of
supervisors as empowered behavior may conflict with Chinese social norm so manipulating
discretionary empowerment may represent a larger barrier than in Western organizations
with their lower power-distance.

2.5.2 The impact Power distance culture on the effect of Psychological


empowerment on Job satisfaction
Psychological empowerment focused mainly on perceptual dimension of employee in
conducting empowerment (Liden et al., 2000). The aim of conducting psychological

30
empowerment is to create a personal belief for employees which they could perceive they
have ability to use authority in performing work-task. There were many research conducted
in China and concluded that psychological employee empowerment has positive effect on
Job satisfaction (Aryee and Chen, 2006; (Zhang and Bartol, 2010). Because of perceiving
the effect of psychological empowerment, many Chinese companies have started to apply
it to enhance competitive advantages. However, there are rarely researches to examine the
impact of Chinese power distance dimension on the effect of psychological empowerment
and job satisfaction.

Fock and his colleges examined power distance is moderate effect of employee
empowerment and job satisfaction in both countries China and Canada (a low power
distance country) in 2013. They concluded that psychological empowerment seems to have
positive effects across both high and low power-distance cultures (Fock et al, 2013). The
result of this research congruent with the result of Au. K (1999) revealed that empowered
participants in both the high and low power-distance countries reported the approximate
degrees of job satisfaction. This thing could be explained that while discretional and
leadership empowerment are actions that organizations and leaders take to produce
empowerment, psychological empowerment is the effect of empowerment on empowered
employees, when each time employees are empowered by the acts of discretional or
leadership empowerment, the feeling of psychological empowerment is stimulated
naturally in the employees mind despite their cultural background. When the employee is
being that state, they will express fully their ability in work and thus enhancing their job
satisfaction.

2.5.3 The impact Power distance culture on the effect of leadership


empowerment on Job satisfaction
Leadership empowerment is an intentional set of leaders actions in order to create
empowerment in subordinates. According to Brymer (1991) and Bordin, Bartram and
Casimir (2006), middle managers play an important role in successful empowerment, so
thus the support of supervisory impact the relationship between empowerment and job

31
satisfaction. Some researchs on Chinese leadership also shown that Chinese employers
have strong relationship with positive employee attitudes and behaviors (Farh et al., 2006).
However, the impact of Chinese power distance on the relationship of leadership behavior
and job satisfaction is rarely mentioned.

Although, previous studies shown that the effect of employee empowerment will be
decreased in high power distance environment (e.g., Hui et al., 2004; Robert et al., 2000),
but recent research of Fock, Hui, Au, Bond (2013) in both country China and Canada has
shown unexpected results. While Fock et al (2013) argued that power distance mitigated
the effect of discretionary empowerment as the previous studies (Robert et al., 2000; Hui
et al., 2004), he and his colleges shown that the effect of leadership on job satisfaction
empowerment is enhanced in high power distance. Because of high power distance
workplace, a powerful executive is obligated to instruct and support those in relatively
inferior positions, while the inferior members are expected to be loyal and obey their
superior (Hofstede & Bond, 1988). This social norm promotes employees to accept
leadership empowerment and improve its effectiveness.

Moreover, Littrell, Romie F. (2008) studied of samples from fifteen countries found that
culture is not a vital issue in the success or failure of implementing employee
empowerment projects in an effort to improve employee productivity and job satisfaction
but a well-organized and exercised training program involving the participation of
executives, managers, supervisors, and workers, correspondent with local cultural values,
appears to be a strong determinant of success.

From those results obtained above, it seems obvious that the Western concept of
empowerment has application in job satisfaction improvement in China but need to
emphasize in the role of leaders in implementing empowerment process.

32
CONCLUSION

33
3 Conclusion:
This study focused on examining the effectiveness of manipulating of employee
empowerment in China. In other word, I try to find out the extent of Chinese cultural factors
in the impacting on the relationship between employee empowerment and job satisfaction.

Over the last two decades, empowerment has been seemed as effective management tools
to improve the satisfaction of employees in their job (Bowen & Lawler, 1992). Despite its
popularity in Western societies, managers in Chinese society still uncertain about the real
meaning of empowerment and doubt about how to apply it to their subordinates (Tjosvold,
Hui, & Law, 1998). China empowerment is not commonly embraced in Chinese
managerial culture ((Mwaura, Sutton & Roberts, 1998) due to the relationship of ruler and
subject law which universally accepted in Confucianism which culture has dominated
Chinese society over two thousand years. Thus, Chinese employees are often reluctant in
decision making without authority from their superiors, because of the contradiction
between the concept of hierarchy in Confucianism and the idea of empowerment. In fact,
according to Hofstede (1980), China is also a high power distance country in which people
expect and accept that there is an unequal in power distribution across many different levels
of hierarchy in organization. In here, we return the main question which was introduced at
the beginning in this study that is whether the application of empowerment in China is
effectively or not. To answer this question, we should turn back in defining of
empowerment.

Employee empowerment is one of those terms that everyone thinks they understand, but
few really do. The term empowerment is not always clears what it means in different
organizations. There are three main perspectives in approaching empowerment. The first
type of empowerment focuses on the structural (or discretion) conditions in organization
that enable empowerment in the workplace. The second type focuses on the empowered
psychological experiences of employee at work. The third of these concern about
behavioral (or leadership) empowerment (Honold, 1997), dealing with the role of top
management in employee empowering.

34
The first type of employee empowerment is called Structural or discretion empowerment,
the idea come from power sharing between superios and subordinates aim to grant relevant
authority to lower level of the organizational hierarchy (Liden & Arad, 1996). By sharing
decision-making power, upper management may thus have more free time to think
strategically and innovatively about how to move the organization forward.

The second approach in defining empowerment is Psychological empowerment refers to a


set of psychological states that are necessary for individuals to feel a sense of control in
relation to their work. Rather than focusing on managerial practices that share power with
employees at all levels, the psychological perspective is focused on how employees
experience their work. Hence, Thomas & Velthouse (1990) suggest to add the sense of
self-determination at work (job autonomy), meaning (perceived work value), competence
(feeling of self-efficacy), and impact (ability to influence) in constituent components of
psychological empowerment.

The third type of empowerment is leadership (or behavior) empowerment, this definition
came from the common agreement in researchers that management support and trust given
to employees are central to the effectiveness of empowerment (Erdogan & Bauer, 2009).
Such management supports include coaching, encouraging, and showing concern to
subordinates, are integral components of leadership empowerment.

After two decades of research, empowerment is now widely accepted as a potential method
to enhance job satisfaction (Bowen, 1995; Bowen & Lawler, 1992; Conger & Kanungo,
1988; Spreitzer, 1995, 1996). Th term Job satisfaction was definied by Balzer, et al.,
(1997) as the feelings of a person has about her or his job. Job satisfaction is an assessment
of overall job experience, and arises from many factors such as ones relationship with a
supervisor, the sense of fulfillment of work, perceived congruence between pay and work
production, and physical conditions of the working environment (Spector, 1997). While
these three types of empowerment have been individually investigated their effect on job
satisfaction in past studies, prior research examined rarely all three empowerment concepts
together in a single study. The correlation and integrated effect of these three types of

35
empowerment remain implicitly even though these managerial practices have been
common in business for more than 20 years ago. There were many researchers argued the
support from leadership behaviors have causal relationship with discretion empowerment
(e.g., Liden, Wayne, & Sparrowe, 2000; Peccei & Rosenthal, 2001) and psychological
empowerment (e.g., Raub & Robert, 2010; Zhang & Bartol, 2010).

Especially, Fock, Hui, Au, Bond (2013) conducted research the effect of three types
empowerment on the satisfaction of employees, they concluded that leadership
empowerment is significantly associated with discretion empowerment and psychological
empowerment, which in turn, positively affects employee satisfaction. This thing could be
explain that supportive supervisors who frequently encourage their employees to
participate in decision-making processes would enhance employees sense of self-
determination at work and the employees will feel more important and have a distinctive
role in organization when their supervisor manipulate empowering leadership to expresses
trust and confidence in the employees work capability (Liden et al., 2000; Raub & Robert,
2010).

To conclude, I return my main question in this study that whether the application of
empowerment in China is effectively or not, thus my answer is that empowerment has still
maintained an advantageous strategy to organizations in China, but depending on the type
of empowerment involved. While the discretion (or structural) empowerment is affected
by cultural factors, especially high power distance like Chinese society, so its effect on Job
satisfaction is less pronounced (Hui, Au, and Fock, 2004) Therefore, in the high power gap
culture, even organization establish empowerment structure to create power delegation for
employee, they may feel uncomfortable because such employees expect their supervisors
to behave autocratically. However, the impact of psychological empowerment is still
effective to enhance employees job satisfaction even in Chinese culture. Because of Self-
efficacy, which is one of the facets of psychological empowerment in estimating the extent
of employees belief in their own capability in conducting empowerment process, is
necessary in either low or high power distance culture as Chinese workplace environment

36
(Fock, Hui, Au, Bond, 2013). In other word, if an employee is psychologically empowered,
then empowerment has had its effect despite impacting of culture factors. Finally,
leadership empowerment is enhanced in high power distance environment so this type of
empowerment could be applied effectively in China. Because of high power distance
workplace, a powerful executive is obligated to instruct and support those in relatively
inferior positions, while the inferior members are expected to be loyal and obey their
superior (Hofstede & Bond, 1988). This social norm promotes employees to accept
leadership empowerment and improve its effectiveness. Thus, my conclusions imply that
the leaders play an important role in implementing employee empowerment despite of
cultural differences in the workplace so designing and exercising training programs for
leaders about cross cultural employee empowerment is really necessary for organization in
effort of improving employees satisfaction.

37
POLICY

38
4 Policy
The study emphasizes on employee empowerment as a significant managerial instrument
in enhancing job satisfaction thus enlarging the organizational performance in China.
Although there were many previous literatures shown the empowerment is a crucial factor
for a successful company. These researches focused so much on the direct relationship
between employee empowerment and employee outcome (include employees job
satisfaction) without caring the impact of power distance cultural dimension on this link.
That is, in a high power distance culture as in China, the effect of empowerment is likely
decrease caused by the inconsistencies between culture and managerial practices. Thus, the
policy in this study will be made for leaders and empowered employee in accordance with
high hierarchy culture as Chinese culture aim to implementing effectively employee
empowerment process.

Firstly, managers have to understand the basic concept of employee empowerment and its
contribution to organizational performance. Thus, the leaders could be able to introduce
and explain clearly to subordinates about empowerment process such as how it will work,
what is expected outcome.

Secondly, foreign managers who work for multinational companies in China need to
understand hierarchy culture (power distance). The main reason is that the difference in
cultural background will impact managerial operation, the managers will frequently deal
with the dilemma caused Culture discrepancy, especially in implementing employee
empowerment. For example, Chinese employees sometime feel their empowering leaders
as weaker for assigning work task that such employees think its the responsibility of the
boss.

Moreover, the employers have to understand the measurement of empowerment and others
employee outcome such as job satisfaction or organizational commitment to create the
measurement of empowerment process in organization, hence this the managers not only
evaluate the effect of empowerment on employees but also improve the empowering of
company in general.

39
One important thing needs to be known that the World is changing gradually, modern
Chinese society is becoming open up with Western culture. The new Chinese generation
is now more oriented toward globalism, equality idea, and stay away gradually
Confucianism culture, therefore the application of employee empowerment is increasingly
easier than before. However, the leader should avoid empowering junior employees
immediately, because constraining from cultural dimension as mentioned above will make
the new employee being confused. Therefore, the a clear explanation of empowerment
concept combines with training program will help those junior employees take step by step
approach empowerment process.

40
Limitations
Firstly, it should be note that a research paper always has some limitations. Firstly, the
thesis studies about China which is huge country and contents culture and ethnic
diversification. Therefore, the paper took two sample was Confucianism culture and power
distance culture from Hofstedes perspectives may not reflected fully the impact of Chinese
culture on the effect of employee empowerment. Thus, this gap could be fulfilled for future
research about remaining perspective of Chinese culture.

Secondly, the conclusion and policy recommendation of the study is taken from previous
literatures. This thing could lead to the discrepancy between theory and practices caused
using old-dated data to evaluate the effect of empowerment in China which country is
changing gradually by globalization.

41
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Appendix:
In this part, Ill add some materials relate to process of estimating the effect of power
distance on the relationship between employee empowerment and job satisfaction from
outstanding previous studies.

Table1: Host country culture estimation: Indicate the extent to which you agree with the
following statements in respect of power inequality in your organization (Indicate the
appropriate numbers on the scale below). (Oloko. M, 2012)

Very great Great Moderate Little Not


extent extent extent (3) extent at all
(5) (4) (2) (1)
1. Employees have independence in
executing their duties
2. Managers do consult with the
subordinates
3. Top managers and lower cadre
employees mix up freely in the
organization
4. Non-managers are free to take up
positions different from that taken by
managers
5. Non- managers take initiatives in
matters pertaining to their work
6. Managers and non-managers hold
joint meetings
7. Non-managers have power and
authority to execute their duties
8. Power is equally distributed in the
organization
9. Non-managers disagree with the
managers
10. Non-managers trust each other
11. Non-managers are allowed to
participate in decision-making
12. Non-managers are less afraid of
disagreeing with their supervisors
13. All should have equal rights in
the organization
14. Non-managers are much more

49
cooperative
15. Non-managers have a stronger
perceived work ethics
16. Non-managers are not allowed to
make decisions on behalf of
managers
17. Non-managers have no authority
and power
18. Managers direct the non-
managers on the way forward
19. Non-managers are reluctant to
trust each other
20. Non-managers fear disagreeing
with managers
21. Power holders are entitled to
privileges
22. Powerful people should look
more powerful
23. Managers like seeing themselves
as decision makers
24. Non-managers place high value
on conformity
25. Cooperation among the
powerless is difficult to bring about
due to low faith in
peoples norms
26. Non-managers do fear
disagreeing with the supervisors
27. There should be an order of
inequality in this world.
28. Managers make decisions
autocratically
29. Power is centralized in the
organization
30. Managers do not delegate
important tasks to the non-managers

Table 2: Questionnaire of employee empowerment measurement (Fock et al, 2013)


Question 1= strongly disagree;
7= strongly agree
Competence facet of psychological empowerment

50
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. I am confident about my ability to do my job.
2. I am self-assured about my capabilities to perform my work
activities.
3. I have mastered the skills necessary for my job.
Discretion empowerment
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. I can decide on my own how to go about doing my work.
2. I have considerable opportunity for independence and
freedom in how I do my job.
3. I have a great deal of control over what happens in my
department/team.
4. I have significant influence over what happens in my
department/team.

Leadership empowerment
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. My supervisor suggests ways to improve my work groups
performance.
2. My work group members are encouraged to express
ideas/suggestions.
3. My supervisor explains his or her decisions and actions to
my work group.
4. My supervisor takes the time to discuss work group
members concerns patiently.
5. My supervisor shows concern for work group members
success.
6. My supervisor stays in touch with my work group.
7. I usually trust statements made by my supervisor.
8. My immediate supervisor is friendly and easy to approach

Table 3: Job satisfaction measurement (Oloko. M, 2012)

Very great Great Moderate Little Not


extent extent extent (3) exten at all
(5) (4) t (2) (1)
1. Major happiness of my life comes
from my work
2. My work is fascinating
3. 1 live, eat and breathe my job
4. My job gives me a sense of
accomplishment

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5. My opportunities for advancement
are very good
6. My job gives me better mental and
physical health
7. I'm able to learn new-job related
tasks quickly
8. 1 experience fewer on-the-job
accidents
9. Fewer grievances in the
organization
10.1'm highly satisfied with my job
11. My morale is boosted
12.1 have a perfect relationship with
my boss
13 My job has little impact on the
success of the company
14 My job is highly meaningful
15 Most part of my day is spent day-
dreaming about a better job
16. Customers are satisfied with
company products
17. Customers' increased loyalty
18. I'm less likely to leave my job
19. My level of motivation is higher
20 I'm likely to exhibit pro-social
citizenship

52