Development Cooperation Handbook/The development aid organization/The employee empowering organization

As organizations are increasingly asked to operate effectively they tend to focused on “outcome centred” management approaches. This implies the capacity to move from centralized bureaucratic structures to interrelated but self-governing programme/projects teams. (see projectized organization and learning organization). A consequence of this shift of managerial focus is that managers need to foster an organizational  process so that the employees assume responsibility of well defined tasks of which she/he knows the purpose and the connection with the tasks of colleagues.

Employee empowerment in an is creating an environment where others are equipped and encouraged to make personal decisions and to feel that they are in in charge of the outcomes of the tasks for which they have assumed responsibility.  Employee empowerment can be achieved where the organizational culture aims at generating a strong and healthy communication climate  and where M&E processes are aimed at fostering organizational development and learning. In organizations where senior managers do not empower junior managers decisions are continuously passed up the hierarchy for resolution. Valuable time is lost and creativity is stifled.

Empowerment can be achieved only if both the "giver of power" (i.e. the higher hierarchical level) and the "receiver of power" (i.e. the lower hierarchical level) agree upon this process and both assume upon themselves the consequential responsibilities. An empowering management needs to be a "Participative Management", i.e. a management system whereby managers include employees in the main decision making processes. Employees tend to be empowered by being part of the management process. Employees become more vested and committed to the decisions made. In this approach to management is the time required for consultation is an organizational investment.

What the leader should do in order to empower and what the follower should do in order to be empowered
Just as a philosophy of empowerment has implications for the people who make up an organization, it also has implications for organizational structures. Specifically, it calls for organizations to be more decentralized, to share more information, to have in place a system of contingent rewards, to be team-based, and to align itself with its goals and values. Such an organization will become an environment adequate for the development of an empowered workforce.

How the organization should be structured in order to empower its employees.
Employee empowerment is a key element of organizational development, and so , even is is meant to be a positive change, it is still a change and therefore its management has to carefully considering the typical dynamics of organizational and individual change. The complexity of employee empowerment in a highly technical industry requires that leaders establish channels for communication, provide ongoing training and foster emulation within the organization to ensure effective integration.

Tools edit

  Guideline: How to manage motivated and effective teams
  Manage the Performance of Project Team Members
  Decision Making in Groups

See also edit

In other sections of this handbook
  Human resources management
  Manage the Project Team
  Team Conflict Management
  Decision Making in Groups

  on Wikipedia ⇒ Learning community

On other Wikibooks
[File:Wikibooks-logo.svg|14px|Wikibooks]] Organizational Behavior
  Managing Groups and Teams
  Learning Agents


A basic assumption of this manual is that the best managerial style for a development aid organization is of designing and managing itself and its culture in such a way as to make itself :

The combination of these three factors the nurturing of a communication climate such as to work strategically, collaboratively and cost-effectively, being innovative and accountable.