Empowerment Inconsistencies in a Learning Culture LO26160

From: Bill Harris (bill_harris@facilitatedsystems.com)
Date: 02/17/01

Replying to LO26136 --

Peggy Stuart <pstuart@c2t2.ca> wrote:

> For empowerment, I received answers such as "empowerment is having the
> ability to make changes within the scope of my responsibilities"
> "empowerment gives me the confidence to do my job," "empowerment means I
> don't have to report to anyone," and "empowerment means people can make
> decisions with their supervisor's guidance."

> I see this as a problem since different interpretations of empowerment
> leads to varying levels of empowerment. Person A will be more empowered
> than Person B, which may lead to Person B resenting/envying Person A's job
> flexibility. Person C may see her or his level of empowerment change when
> she or he changes leaders/positions, depending on both the leader's and
> employee's frame of reference. This can lead to feelings of being
> "micromanaged" or feeling "lost" without the accustomed
> structure/guidance. These inconsistencies lead to confusion, and may
> subsequently lead to an employee's refusal to accept being empowered, all
> of which will significantly impact the learning culture. (Note: this is
> happening at my org. AFTER a job evaluation process where supervisors and
> employees sat down and negotiated what EXACTLY they thought were their job
> responsibilities.)

How can one person empower another (unless empowerment is synonomous with
authorization)? If I empower you to do something and later take that away
from you, were you really empowered? Or were you simply authorized?

Does empowerment only come from within?


Bill Harris                                  3217 102nd Place SE
Facilitated Systems                          Everett, WA 98208 USA
http://facilitatedsystems.com/               phone: +1 425 337-5541

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