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Title: An investigation of what employee empowerment means in theory and in practice
Author: Huq, Rozana
ISNI:       0000 0001 3584 8405
Awarding Body: Queen's University of Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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This research aimed to investigate what employee empowerment means in theory and in practice. There is high consensus in the management literature that employee empowerment is necessary for the survival and success of organisations. However, there are still considerable gaps in our knowledge and understanding of a range of issues. concerning employee empowerment, both at the conceptual and practice levels. This is further exacerbated by the relative paucity of empirical research in the management context, which has led to limited understanding of empowerment and provided little evidence of it as a distinct construct and how it can be operationalised (Huq and Hill, 1999). The knowledge drawn from the management literature proved unsatisfactory, hence it was deemed necessary to draw knowledge from another discipline, namely social work (Huq and Hill 2005), where empowerment is an important construct. This research was informed by a subjective ontology and constructionist epistemology which proposes that there is no objective social reality independent of human cognition, but that the social world is constructed by individuals and groups. Thus, an interpretivist approach employing qualitative methods was adopted; it involved conducting two in-depth information-rich case studies. In achieving its research objectives, this study makes a number of significant contributions. The findings demonstrate that among other things, employee empowerment may have little to do with power or its redistribution. This research is a first attempt to provide some important evidence, both at the conceptual and practice levels about employee empowerment. Few studies to date have contributed to both levels with regards to the enhancement of knowledge about employee empowerment, which this study does. Furthermore, a 'Framework for Implementing Employee Empowerment' is proposed to assist in bridging some of the gaps in knowledge about the practice of employee empowerment. Recommendations for future research are also made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available