Scholarly article on topic 'Effective Factors on Psychological Aspects of Employee Empowerment. Case Study: Employee's Point of Views in one of the Sub-Organizations of Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology'

Effective Factors on Psychological Aspects of Employee Empowerment. Case Study: Employee's Point of Views in one of the Sub-Organizations of Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Faranak Mokhtarian, Reza Mohammadi

Abstract In this article, the employees points of view about employee empowerment have been studied. The data collection instrument was a prepared questionnaire of Sprietzer (1996). 115 employees were selected randomly and questionnaires were distributed among them. 67 employees filled up the questionnaires. Data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of research showed that there is no significant difference among employees’ points of views about effective factors of psychological empowerment. Furthermore, among the factors under study, autonomy, work structure and having explicit goals had the highest average and modeling, autonomy delegation and awarding system had the lowest average.

Academic research paper on topic "Effective Factors on Psychological Aspects of Employee Empowerment. Case Study: Employee's Point of Views in one of the Sub-Organizations of Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 30 (2011) 786 - 790

WCPCG-2011

Effective factors on psychological aspects of employee empowerment. Case Study: employee's point of views in one of the sub-organizations of Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and

Technology

Faranak Mokhtariana *, Reza Mohammadib

aExpert of research in National Organization for Educational Testing, Ph.D Candidate of educational management in University of Tehran, No

204 Karimkhan Street, Tehran, 15875-4378, Iran b Faculty member in national Organization for Educational Testing, Ph.D Candidate of higher education management in Shahid Beheshti

Uniersity, No 204 Karimkhan Street, Tehran, 15875-4378, Iran

Abstract

In this article, the employees points of view about employee empowerment have been studied. The data collection instrument was a prepared questionnaire of Sprietzer (1996). 115 employees were selected randomly and questionnaires were distributed among them. 67 employees filled up the questionnaires. Data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of research showed that there is no significant difference among employees' points of views about effective factors of psychological empowerment. Furthermore, among the factors under study, autonomy, work structure and having explicit goals had the highest average and modeling, autonomy delegation and awarding system had the lowest average.

© 2011PublishedbyElsevierLtd.Selectionand/or peer-review under responsibility of the 2nd World Conference on Psychology, Counselling and Guidance.

1. Introduction

Nowadays, the role of social position and capabilities of people in the process of development have been widely recognized [1]. In 1960, Theodor Shultz believed that the empowerment of human capitals was the reason of progress in development countries [2]. It is also stated that the poor quality of products and services are not always the results of the limitation of budget and equipments; but misusing of human resources is the main reason [3]. Progressive organizations have to enjoy from general structural and behavioural health and be able to recognize information, employ it and show a fast and adequate reaction to the rapid evolutions of the environment [4]. In this situation, the effective management of employees' empowerment, as the main factor of organizations management, is considered [5]. Empowerment can help organizations keep their best employees through better education and extending their area of responsibility [6]. According to Rappaport (1981, 1984), empowerment is a construct which connects the individual strengths and competencies with activate behaviours, in line with the main policy and social changes [7]. Empowerment can be considered as a process or result. Empowerment as a process is the process of individual learning and as a result, refers to the level of power experience in the individual's life [8]. According to Lashley (1999), employees are able to manage their feelings in the work environment if they are given the opportunity to understand and modify their power and role in the presentation of organization services [9].Therefore, employee empowerment in these organizations should be the main concern of managers.

* Faranak Mokhtarian. Tel.: +9888904442; Fax: 009888923791. E-mail address: mokhtarian_fa@yahoo.com.

ELSEVIER

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the 2nd World Conference on Psychology,

Counselling and Guidance.

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.153

2. Problem statement

For the first time, the framework of psychological empowerment had introduced by Zimmerman and his colleagues in 1992 [10]. Different researchers such as Conger and Kanungo (1988), Hartline and Ferrell (1996), Spreitzer (1995), Thomas and Velthouse (1990) believe that empowerment is the incentive of organizational efficiency and proficiency [11]. Empowerment is the phase of identification and elimination of situations which eradicate the power and, in the other hand, increase the feelings of self-efficacy [12]. Empowerment means delegating power and releasing potentials of individuals [13]. Job empowerment is the process which extends the individual feelings of trust and control on him/her self as well as his/her organization [14]. Thomas and Velthouse conceptualized empowerment as the change in cognitive variables [15]. The American Office of Vocational and Adult Education has divided job abilities into two groups: hard and soft abilities. Hard abilities can be learned during a short-term course or thorough observing the way they are carried out. Soft abilities are implicitly created in people through the processes and programs of professional development and also educational courses [16]. In general, empowerment theories include process and results and consider the results of the implementation of such activities, besides introducing measures, activities or empowering structures [7].

3. Literature Review

Empowerment is a multidimensional concept and different scholars have studied some aspects of these features. Spreitzer (1992, 1997) has considered empowerment factors in the job environment and identified the following characteristics: Individual, Psychological, job empowerment and empowerment as a dynamic phenomenon [17]. Empowerment is an idea that emanated in the experiences such as democratic leadership, collaborative management and quality cycles [18]. The factors of employee empowerment are divided in two categories: Factors which increase motivation and improve the proficiency of employees, Factors which provide the facilities for the quality improvement of customer services [19]. In the ARCTIC model, six alignment factors which are objectives, resources, coaching, training, information and organizational atmosphere have been considered for the employee empowerment [20]. Zimmerman (1995) suggested three components of psychological empowerment: the intrapersonal component refers believes regarding individuals' competency in making effective decisions. The interactional element is related to the individuals' capabilities for analyzing and understanding environment. The behavioural component is related to the action accomplishment and has a direct impact on the results of empowerment process [21]. According to Lashley (2001), different types of empowerment enable employees to make decisions, supervise their job and work in a better way [9]. There are various factors affecting the employee empowerment. Some of them, which also have been considered in this research, are presented below:

• Having clarified objectives: Employees are not concordant to the organization mission [22]. If the expected goals of employees are not clear, it is expected that individuals do not work using all their power [23].

• Modeling: managers should provide opportunities for their employees to be trained by successful individuals [24].

• Supporting: According to Sullivan and Howell (1996) managers act as coaches and let their employees involve in solving the problems [25].

• Emotional inspiration: Thomas and Velthouse (1990) argue that psychological empowerment causes individual's motivation [26]. By increasing the motivation, morality, satisfaction, commitment and innovation of employees, they considered as competitive capabilities [27].

• Providing information: Public participation in information collection is the basic part of the empowerment. [28].

• Resource accessibility: Having appropriate resources make employees to carry out their tasks in the best way. So, they should be provided with necessary resources [29].

• Authority delegation: some scholars consider empowerment as delegating power and decision- making authority to employees [26]. Most people join organization because they want to do good works and the authority delegation phenomenon enables them to actualize their desires [30].

• Rewarding system: According to Conger and Kanungo' (1988), when organizations don't give rewards to employees or when rewards are not based on competency, the feeling of disability increases in employees [24].

• Participative Management: Because of the synergy of the members' efforts, groups show more wisdom and gain more support from people who try to behave in an empowered manner [28].

• Team Building: According to Robertson and Minkler (1994) and Zimmerman (1990), interaction between individual characteristics and contextual aspects of social processes and situations can also influence the empowerment [31].

• Work Structure: In empowered organizations, work structure is designed in a way based on which employees can work toward achieving their demanded results and carrying out the requirements [24].

• Appraisal Performance: Bowen and Lawler (1992) define empowerment as employees' participation in four organizational components: information, organizational performance-based rewards, knowledge, having the power for decision making [24].Evaluation and giving feedback is an important factor in empowerment [32].

• Independency: Dunst considers empowerment as the combination of Establishment of organizations that foster independency and responsibility in people; providing situations in which people are able to offer their capabilities [33].

One of the most advantageous tactics for facing the problem of limited resources is the maintenance of the skilful employees [34]. Therefore, it is necessary to study the employees' view about effective factors on their empowerment.

4. Research method

This research aims to study factors affecting the employee empowerment in a service organization. For this purpose, the below research questions were offered and investigated:

1. What are the employees' viewpoints about effective factors on psychological empowerment of employees?

2. Is there any meaningful difference among employees' points of view in determining the effective factors on the

employee empowerment?

3. Is there any correlation among demographic characteristics of employees (gender, marriage, education) and their viewpoints about effective factors on the employee empowerment?

Concerning to the method of data collection, it is a descriptive research. Furthermore, regarding to the research goal, it is considered as a practical research. The number of studied population is 500 employees. By using the accounting sample formula [35], 115 employees were selected as research samples and questionnaires were distributed among them. 67 employees answered questionnaires.

4-1.Data collection tools

The data collection tool is a pre-designed questionnaire produced by Spreitzer [36] and previously applied by Abdollahi and Naveebrahim (2007). It consists of 38 questions in 13 fields2. The reliability coefficient of this questionnaire was 0.95. Its validity was computed according to the construct validity of the research of Abdollahi and Naveebrahim (2007).

4-2.Data analysis method

In order to analyze data, descriptive statistics as well as inferential statistics methods such as T-test, Pearson's correlation coefficient and ANOVA, have been used.

5. Findings

5-1. What are the viewpoints of employees about effective factors on psychological empowerment of employees?

Table (1) indicates that the highest calculated means are related to autonomy (4.54), work structure (4.14) and having clarified goals (4.03). On the other hand, the lowest means are respectively related to modelling (3.54), authority delegation (3.62) and rewarding system (3.69). Furthermore, authority delegation is also low and they have no positive view about the current reward system.

Table 1. Mean of employee's view about effective factors of employee empowerment

Standard deviation 2.21 1.98 1.72 2.00 2.08 1.98 1.86 1.85 1.89 2.01 1.97 1.77 1.76

2 Having clarified goals, modelling, supporting, emotional aspiration, providing information, resource accessibility, authority delegation, reward system, collaborative management, team building, work structure, appraisal performance, and autonomy

5-2. Is there any meaningful difference among views of employees in determining the effective factors of employee empowerment?

To answer this question, T- test was conducted. Table (2) indicates that the calculated F was 0.95, so there was no significant difference among employee's viewpoints about effective factors of employee empowerment.

Table 2. T-test for examining the differences of employee views about effective factors of employee empowerment

Factor

> ■> 13

Inferential statistics

u 0 0 k

O CD m c/5

ro 3 v

i ö § g

Mean difference -.268 .160 .144 -.198 -.412 -.104 -.247 .204 .413 .185 .141 .425 .23 8

df 60 58 49 60 58 59 60 59 61 61 62 61 63

T -.471 .307 .290 -.383 -.754 -.201 -.515 .423 .857 .359 .282 .937 .53 8

F .748 .366 .005 2.767 .479 1.684 .000 .084 .009 .519 .659 .705 .09 0

Significance level .390 .548 .944 .101 .491 .199 .999 .773 .925 .474 .420 .144 .76 5

5-3. Is there any correlation among demographic characteristics of employees (gender, marriage, education) and their view about effective factors of employee empowerment?

To answer this question, Pearson correlation coefficient was used. Table (3) shows that at the significance level 0.9 5 there is no meaningful correlation between demographic characteristics and employees view about effective factors on employee empowerment.

Table 3. the results of the Pearson correlation for investigating the relation of demographic characteristics of employees and their views about

effective factors of employee empowerment

o § t

ro 3 v

§ a a b g o

Q O at

e i §

0 r ai

S 20 O 1—'

Gender Correlation -.068 -.119 -.036 -.046 -.109 -.055 .066 .026 .099 .049 -.041 -.040 .061

Significance .593 .352 .779 .721 .395 .674 .608 .841 .454 .703 .773 .760 .639

Marital Correlation -.176 -.129 -.145 -.049 -.071 -.117 -.015 -.018 .070 -.042 .092 -.001 .024

status Significance .165 .319 .256 .705 .582 .370 .911 .889 .596 .751 .526 .991 .853

Education Correlation -.121 -.138 -.086 -.114 -.079 -.074 -.177 -.123 -.065 -.134 -.025 -.169 -.062

Significance .337 .279 .497 .373 .539 .571 .169 .346 .622 .298 .862 .196 .631

6. Conclusion

Empowerment is the key for benefiting from all capacities of human resources in organization. Many researches have been conducted in this field. For example, the results of Khateri (2006) indicate that there is a significant difference between views of female and male employees and those with different educational level about factors of empowerment [37]. But, in the current research no significant difference was observed between employee's gender and education with their viewpoint about effective factors of the employee empowerment. There was also no significant difference between employee's gender and their views about effective factors of employee empowerment. Furthermore, the results of Sadeghzade (2004) shows that the meaningful relationship between reward, supporting of management, leading, focus on results, team building and the effective factors of employee empowerment [38]. Moreover, in the present research, rewarding, supporting and team building were investigated. But the mean obtained from investigating employee's view in this area shows that the factors of supporting (3.94) and rewarding (3.69) are less considered and just the team building mean (4.00) is relatively desirable. In the study of Zimmerman and Rappaport (1988), there has been also a positive relationship between participation and empowerment [39]. However, in this research, the mean related to the employees' participation was 3.97. In general, empowerment can create new cognitional, behavioural and performance aspects in the employees. According to Spreitzer (1995), Thomas and Velthouse (1990) having higher level of psychological empowerment results in more effort, harder activity, resistance and flexibility in work, Mitchell and Daniels (2003) also considered abovementioned behaviours as actions that lead to performance improvement [40]. Therefore, organizations can benefit from empowerment strategies to improve their employee's performance and achieve their goals at a more desirable level.

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