Employment Empowerment

Employee Empowerment

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PSY/428 ??“ Organizational Psychology

September 16, 2008

In this paper I am going to discuss techniques for training employees at all levels for shifts or changes in individual and group decision making responsibilities. I will also look at the changes in the observation of a flat organizational model and what the benefits are in empowering employees. I will attend to discuss what empowerment means and how employees are empowered in the workplace.
Empowerment is the method of allowing or permitting a person to think, believe, perform, be decisive and be in charge of work and decision making in an independent way. It is a feeling of self-empowerment to have power over own future.
Shifts and changes occur in many organizations over years. Because employees are the determining factor for any company??™s success level, change has to be embraced and understood by the employees in order for the benefits to be seen in advance. A theory that shows its face in organizations is called a flat organization. In a flat organization, there are limited barriers when making decisions between the employees and management. This type of organization model empowers the employees to make executive decisions along with management. In the decision making process, both group and individual components can be involved, however, sometimes it is difficult to know when to involve others in the decision-making process and to what degree. As the old saying goes, ???two heads are better than one,??? however, most groups will out-perform individuals who work alone because groups problem-solving are usually of higher quality than individual solution.
One appealing result is that the best isolated worker may surpass the group but in general, for a range of responsibilities, most groups will surpass the majority of people who work alone. This is one of the main advantages of groups over individuals, which is also the subject of limitless research. One obvious reason is that groups can assemble and merge their talent and information. By bringing their resources together, the group increases access to an assortment of facts and data that is better and more than a single individual. This information and knowledge allows the group to eliminate noticeably wrong methods and presents a check on the risk of performance errors. Also, being a part of a group encourages motivation and inspiration among the team members by enhancing one??™s contribution level. The stimulation alone brings heighten commitment to a team. Additionally, in most cases, rewards are given to those in a team that contributes significantly to a group effort, which also motivate individual within a group or team.
For example, congratulations, appreciation, and a feeling of value to a group is a strong incentive for a person to apply better effort in getting legitimate information and assessing decision choices. Another benefit with a group is dividing the group??™s assignment into smaller sections, choosing delegated parts of the group for different assignments, which will make the task or assignment more manageable.
There are also various potential hindrances to group decision-making such as, limited or controlled view of choices caused by highly organized groups, which is called groupthink. Groupthink is where a group is so organized; it will not allow new or refreshing perspectives, information or ideas into the group that may disagree with the way the group thinks. Groups may also move toward excessive points of view if a considerable amount of risk or danger is involved. In most groups, members tend to group among themselves and sometimes feed off of each others eagerness or apprehensions, which researchers refer to as risky and cautious shifts.
The risky shift is the tendency for decisions taken by a group after discussion to display more experimentation, be less conservative and be more risky than those made by individuals acting alone prior to any discussion. In group conditions, people with relatively moderate viewpoints tend to assume that their group members hold more extreme views, and to alter their own views in compensation–a phenomenon known as groupthink. This can occur simultaneously and in isolation: all group members might adjust their views to a more conservative or liberal position, thus leading to a consensus that is totally false. The risky shift occurs when the group collectively agrees on a course of action that is likewise more extreme than they would have made if asked individually. (www.answers.com)
Another possible problem is that group decision-making is inclined to be more costly than individual decision-making. Because of the time and energy element that meetings can entail, it is usually better to set aside group decision-making for high quality important decisions solutions due to the opposition and discord that can occur from group discussions. This kind of opposition and discord can occur when group members have conflicting opinions on other courses of action. Additionally, group decision-making sometimes are inclined to be controlled by the relative status or position of group members, which may sometimes cause members who have less status with good suggestions to be rejected. In some companies, there may be changes or shifts that happen over a period of years. In most cases, the shift or change is not easy but with time, success of the change happens. Because the employees are the success determining factor, the change must be explained and understood by everyone so benefits can be seen sooner in the change process.
A theory that comes up in organizations is called a flat organization. Flat organization refers to an organizational structure with few or no levels of intervening management between staff and managers. T he idea is that well-trained workers will be more productive when they are more directly involved in the decision making process, rather than closely supervised by many layers of management. This structure is generally possible only in smaller organizations or individual units within larger organizations. When they reach a critical size, organizations can retain a streamlined structure but cannot keep a completely flat manager-to-staff relationship without impacting productivity. Certain financial responsibilities may also require a more conventional structure. Some theorize that flat organizations become more traditionally hierarchical when they begin to be geared towards productivity. The flat organization model promotes employee involvement through a decentralized decision making process. By elevating the level of responsibility of baseline employees, and by eliminating layers of middle management, comments and feedback reach all personnel involved in decisions more quickly. Expected response to customer feedback can thus become more rapid. Since the interaction between workers is more frequent, this organizational structure generally depends upon a much more personal relationship between workers and managers. Hence the structure can be more time-consuming to build than a traditional bureaucratic/hierarchical model. (www.small-business-owners.com).
References
A.Kofman, Fred; Senge, Peter M.; Organizational Dynamics, Vol 22(2), Fal 1993. Special
issue: The learning organization. pp. 5-23. [Journal Article]
Learning organization. BusinessDictionary.com. Retrieved September 10, 2008, from
BusinessDictionary.com website: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/learning-
organization.html.

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