Empowerment in organisations : a study of the Taiwanese hotel industry
This study synthesises Spreitzer's work on psychological empowerment, the job characteristics model (Hackman and Oldham, 1980) and Porter's attitudinal organisational commitment, and is linked to the philosophy that work empowerment is a organic procedure, energising people at work. Empowerment is conceptualised as a self-developing capacity generalised from interactive motivation reinforcing elements within and between the following sets of variables - motivating job characteristics, constructive contextual conditions, commitment, and internal work motivation. Data from 468 employees at 16 Taiwanese hotels were examined. The concept of empowerment was factor analysed into a multidimensional construct - the perceived control, efficacy, and meaningfulness. Results of the hypotheses proposed indicate that: (1) empowerment is an on-going process, interwoven with interdependent variables, individuals and situations; (2) knowledge enlargement is more empowering than task enla rgement and job rotation; and (3) there are additive effects of variety, autonomy and feedback upon empowerment, commitment, and internal motivation of employees. The concept of task interdependence within the groups and organisations is also a central issue in different aspects of this study. It is argued that empowerment in service organisations should recognise the importance of cross-functional collaboration in attempts to improve group effectiveness and maintain the quality cycle. In addition, this study investigates the interactions between the multidimensional constructs of perceived empowerment and commitment and illuminates that commitment is a synergistic outcome at the individual and organisational levels, deriving from motivating job design, constructive structural conditions, and the service workers' three aspects of empowerment. Such outcomes lead to newly enhanced outcomes at the very core of all organisational functions. This outcome is the interaction of individuals and work experience in an ongoing process in which people's work attitudes, values and beliefs are shaped.