The Psychology of Employee Empowerment
Concepts, Critical Themes and a Framework for Implementation
The complexities of employee empowerment have been largely underestimated and it is clear that organisations struggle with putting the concept into practice. Rozana Ahmad Huq recognises that effective utilisation of human resources is a strategic issue for organisations. Hierarchical organisations struggle to survive. The growing trend for downsizing and merging of organisations means that they can no longer maintain the 'command and control' approach and employees are given more responsibility and expected to take decisions. However, simply burdening employees with extra responsibility without empowering them does not deliver results. Drawing on her own research in organisations, Dr Huq investigates the concept of empowerment in a new way that combines themes from the disciplines of management and social work, the latter being a domain where empowerment is an important construct. This helps to bridge the gaps in knowledge in the management domain and draws attention to the positive and negative psychological implications for employees of the practice of empowerment that are often ignored by leaders and managers. Ultimately, the author offers a 'practice model' to help people in management and non-management understand the new roles and behaviours that they need to adopt if empowerment is to become a reality. This book is a resource for any business or other organisation genuinely interested in employee empowerment and for those with a responsibility for teaching about it.
Table of Contents
Contents: Prologue. Part I What is Employee Empowerment About?: Concept of employee empowerment in the management literature; The debate: why empower and why not? Part II What Does Social Work Have to Do with It?: Concept of empowerment in social work; Knowledge drawn from social work literature. Part III What Does Psychology Have to Do with It?: Psychological implications; Psychological empowerment. Part IV From Boardroom to Factory Floor: ’Let the Data Speak!’: Employee empowerment: experiences of two organisations; Psychological impact: expectations and outcomes. Part V Does it Deliver?: The story unfolded; What does it actually deliver? Part VI Changing Role of Leaders: De-skilling and re-skilling. Part VII Huq’s Model of Employee Empowerment: Call for a ’corrective response’ : Huq’s Model of Employee Empowerment. Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.
Dr Rozana Ahmad Huq is an Organisational Behaviourist. She achieved her PhD from Queen’s University Management School Belfast, UK. She lectured at the same University on BBA, MBA, MSSc courses and Strategy and Leadership Programme in Social Work. Her teaching subjects include Organisational Behaviour, Leadership, Employee Empowerment, Managing Change and Total Quality Management (TQM). Dr Huq, runs her own management and training company, RHM Training. She has wide experience in teaching, training and providing services as an educational consultant, board director, lecturer and workshop facilitator. She also delivers one-to-one leadership development sessions to leaders and chief executives, locally and internationally. Dr Huq has published journal articles, conference papers and books on employee empowerment. She has made a notable contribution to knowledge about employee empowerment. Dr Huq was appointed a Non-Executive Director of an NHS hospital in the UK; she was also Chair of the Arts Care Committee at the same hospital. She has given her time voluntarily to many projects. She has been a member of organisations in different capacities, from Chair to Committee Member, to name a few, such as, Bryson House, Community Development and Health Network, Health Promotion Agency, Patient's Forum, Multi-Cultural Resource Centre and UK Public Health Alliance. Dr Huq was invited to meet her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of her contribution to education and work in the community.
‘Understanding, and effectively managing, the relationship between Empowerment and Leadership is one of the central issues of our time. Dr Huq’s research and analysis not only makes an important scholarly contribution to the theory of the subject but, in her well-presented and readable book, she makes invaluable suggestions on the critical area of the practice of employee empowerment. All individuals with leadership roles urgently need to rethink their ideas, roles and behaviours within Dr Huq’s insightful "Framework for Implementing Employee Empowerment Model".’
Professor Bruce Lloyd, London South Bank University, UK
‘This book makes a helpful contribution to employee involvement and empowerment in relation to organisational improvement. Much of the existing literature in this area comes from an operations management and TQM background. Hence the current work's grounding in psychology gives a much needed new perspective. This approach gives a more rounded view of employee empowerment from both theory and practice and avoids overly simple assumptions which often pervade the literature in this area. The work is effectively supported by Dr Huq’s extensive experience of researching and consulting in this area. I strongly recommend this text to academics and practitioners seeking a fuller understanding of employee involvement and empowerment leading to increased organisational effectiveness.’
Professor Rodney McAdam, Ulster University Business School, UK
‘"Managerialism" is seen by many as the cause of social work's loss of professional confidence which can only be recovered through the reassertion of "relationship" as the discipline's core. So it is intriguing to find in Huq a writer who looks to social work for key insights, not to fend off management but to strengthen it. With "empowerment" as the bridge she shows how both disciplines can engage with one another to mutual benefit. To achieve effective management through empowerment, Huq argues convincingly in her "Framework for Implementing Employee Empowerment Model D" for a synergy of the managerial goals of effectiveness, efficiency and innovation with social work insights into power, personal relationship and psychological well being. She challengingly highlights a paradox that if a sustainable, productive future is to be found, would-be powerful leaders need to learn the lessons of how to create enabling and empowering environments from a profession who works with those pushed to the social margins.’
Professor John Pinkerton, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
‘A really refreshing insight by Dr Huq where she has captured the behavioural significance of relationships in the strategy of organisational improvement. Gaining the involvement and desire of individuals to believe in the goal of the organisation is incredibly challenging and often under invested in programmes of transformation and a reason why change can fail to achieve its ultimate objectives. Therefore the insight that Dr Huq shares through her research and vast experience on why it is imperative to focus beyond the obvious and the surface is incredibly valuable. Her desire to understand the inner workings of why people act and behaviour in a certain way is clearly at the core of her work and reinforces the point that if you decide to empower your people you must have the courage, capability and conviction to manage the outcomes if the empowerment is to be felt by those impacted as genuine. A great read for anyone challenged with transforming the culture of a business and wanting to engage and involve those impacted for maximum return on investment.’
Karen Lefty, President, BQF