Showing posts with label empowerment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label empowerment. Show all posts

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quality Leadership

By Dr. Susan Sasiadek

In today’s society there are ongoing changes to our economy, healthcare, education and numerous other areas; all of which are impacted by leadership. The way each community views leadership and the manner in which leaders are followed dictates the results that impact our world. There are many theories that define various models of leadership. These range from Transformational leadership, Servant leadership all the way to Transactional leadership. All of these have unique traits that classify a leader based on their style into one category or another. Today, leadership is expanding, as the demand for high quality leadership continues to be on the rise; organizations continue to grow and the expectation of the employee’s increase. What constitutes as a high quality leader? There are three attributes that are essential for the leaders of the 21st Century; Empowered Leadership, Empowered Emotional Intelligence and Hybrid Leaders.

Empowered leadership consists of two elements. First the ability to empower the employees in a positive and productive manner that will help the organization in addition to helping the employees continue to grow. The empowerment of employees is not a means of assigning additional work to an employee or expecting the employee to make decisions they are not qualified to make. Empowerment is a way of working with employees through encouragement to partake in various aspects of the organization through planning, developing strategies, searching for new ideas and developing better methods within the organization (Sasiadek, 2006; Goddard & Brown, 1995). The second element to empowered leadership pertains directly to the organizational leader in an effort to inspire, captivate imaginations and raise the bar in terms of the level of expectations. In a recent study it was shared that “leaders need to create environments in which employees trust each other; only then will people feel comfortable about experimenting with new ideas and safe enough to take reasonable risks” (2006, pg31; Dobbs, 1993).

Emotional intelligence is closely related to empowered leadership as the combination of the two allow leaders to have a clearer understanding of the people they work with and how to motivate them. According to Jamieson (2014) “empowerment through emotional intelligence is the way to utilize one’s communication skills, the ability to create rapport and empathy with people, to influence outcomes and the behaviors of other people” (para 4). As human beings emotions play a significant part of our life. These emotions can and do carry over to our work environment. “When an emotion is triggered in one’s brain, the nervous systems responds by creating feelings in the body and certain thoughts in one’s mind (Lamia, 2010, para1). These thoughts and feelings can impact the motivation one has in terms of completing a task or participating in work projects. There are five key areas that are important to understand when it comes to emotional intelligence. They are: self-regulation, motivation, social skills, self-awareness and empathy (EQmentor, 2009). As a leader it is important to have the ability to work with people and understand these emotions and the impact they have on individuals. Leaders that are able to ask the right questions of employee(s) are better able to manage the emotions and lead employee in the right direction to continue to be motivated and productive. 

Hybrid leadership is defined as a “blend between the strengths of male leadership behaviors and values with the strengths of female leadership behaviors and values” (Bourgeois, 2003, pg4). It has been established that when one blends the leadership styles of both men and women; the results equate to a more impactful and effective leader (Bourgeois, 2003). In a study conducted by The Center for Workforce Excellence Company it was established that there are several key characteristics that men and women tend to favor. In the study it identified that men tend to be more strategic thinkers, visionaries, independent thinkers, analytical and values leadership and the drive in others (Bourgeois, 2003). Women on the other hand, tend to be more collaborative, open communicators, support empowerment, understand the need for work/life balance, attention to details and openly demonstrates value placed on others (2003). By combining the strengths of both genders, leaders are able to work more effectivity in addition to optimizing better results for the organization. 

Leadership behaviors continue to change with the times. Many of the leadership styles used in the 21st Century were unheard of in the 20th Century. According to Steve Denning, the 20th Century was more” focused on finite goals of delivering goods and services to make money” (2010, para 1). However today there is a more “infinite goal of delighting customers…” (2010, para 1). The understanding of stakeholders; both internally and externally will impact not only the reputation of the organization, but also the manner in which employees operate and thrive. The recession of 2007-2009 forced many companies to change the manner in which they operate, which included the styles and behaviors of leadership. In order for the 21st century leader to be successful it is important that they understand the traditional styles of leadership. It is even more important today that leaders are able to incorporate the styles of empowered leadership, emotional intelligence and the understanding and application of hybrid leadership.

Dr. Susan Sasiadek has worked in higher education for the past 16 years. She holds a Doctorate in Organization and Management with a specialization in Leadership, two master degrees; MBA with an emphasis in Marketing and M.A. in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Human Resources and a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a specialization in Vocal Performance. Susan has an interest in empowerment, organizational behavior and strategic leadership. Dr. Sasiadek can be reached at


Bourgeois, Trudy . (2003) . The leadership evolution: creating the hybrid leader . The Center for Workforce Excellence Company . Retrieved from i=2&ved=0CCoQFjAB& 2Freferences%2F1266_creatingthehybridleader.pdf&ei=W_XsU_XTOs_woATpxI CQBg&usg=AFQjCNHAGqnYVbv4Bab0Jw0uu9tmPkWwsA&sig2=ZWv8kjUcXxH 5Khyw0Xk06Q

Denning, Steve . (2010, Aug-24) . The biggest difference between 20th and 21st Century Management . Retrieved from the-biggest-difference-between-20th-and- 21st-century-management

Dobbs, J. (1993-Feb) . The empowerment environment . Training and Development Journal . 47(2), 55-57

EQmentor Inc. (2009) . EQpowerment: emotional intelligence achieved . Retrieved from d=0CFwQFjAI& 2Fsales%2Fdocs%2FEmotional%2520Intelligence%2520WP.pdf&ei=lvDGU6n9 Acz_oQSC8ILYAw&usg=AFQjCNEYaje9HFCA6TvMBRsimTdgdHpShg&sig2=6T ZsE7aRqL6Ss88UzgXtcQ

Jamieson, Ray . (2014-Feb) . Empowerment through emotional intelligence . Life Change 90 . Retrieved from through-emotional-intelligence/

Lamia, Ph.D., Mary C. (2010-Dec 31) . Like it or not, emotions will drive the decisions you make today . Psychology Today . Retrieved from feelings/201012/it-or-not-emotions-will-drive-the-decisions-you-mak

Sasiadek, Ph.D, Susan . (2006-May) . Individual influence factors that impact employee empowerment: a multicase study . Ann Arbor, MI. ProQuest Information and Learning Company

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hotel Management and Service Improvement Through Job Embeddedness

Casa del Mar
Hotels and resorts hire a higher percentage of service employees and are constantly seeking ways to improve on service delivery. To create seamless service it is necessary to have stronger performance the moment the bell person takes the customers bags to the server who delivers their order. Research in job embeddedness helps to highlight how training, empowerment, and rewards can lead to higher levels of performance by service workers. Yet this research also indicates that rewards and training may not be the most important consideration.

Job embeddedness is a concept that refers to, “the combined forces that keep a person from leaving his or her job” (Yao et. al, 2004,pp. 159). This concept can include compensation, organizational fit, personal abilities, management style, etc… The concept is closely associated with employee satisfaction in terms of how and what employees feel about the organization.

Turnover rates and poor performance can be expensive for organizations. In many low skilled positions turnover rates can be excessive costing both time and money for recruiting and training. Higher absenteeism, resistant behavior, and poor customer relations can take a toll on a company’s profit margins. Understanding and improving upon job embeddedness will also improve upon the human relations and performance within the organization.

Job embeddedness theory indicates that when there are strong links and proper organization fit between employees and organizations, employees will be more motivated to display strong performance (Lee, et. al, 2004). This performance has a whole range of important improvements for organizations. Consider a few of the following:

-Stronger service and service recovery.
-Lower turnover rates and improvement costs.
-Less resistant behavior.
-Higher human efficiency and performance.
-Higher customer return rates and impression.

As you look through the list above you might be able to figure that each of the costs are associated with poor employee embeddedness. When customers have a poor impression of the organization they are not likely to return and this can limit present and future sales. Resistant behavior and poor performance can cause mistakes within the workplace and an inability to improve upon operations as employees avoid change and direction. As organizations are socio-economic groups these concepts are central to a well-run business.

According to a study conducted by Karatepel and Karadas (2012) job embeddedness has a huge factor on organizational success. They collected sample data from 7 hotels ranked in the four and five star resort area of Poiana Brasov region of Romania. All participants were direct front-line workers hired as desk agents, food servers, door attendance, guest representatives, bell attendants and bar tenders.

-Training, empowerment, and rewards enhance front-line employee job embeddedness.
-Association of empowerment and service recovery.
-No association between training and service recovery.
-Training and empowerment increase extra-role behavior.
-No association of rewards and extra-role behavior.
-Job embeddedness as a concept increase service performance.


The concept of job embeddedness entails the perception of employees and their positions within the organization. The study has encouraged a better understanding of how training, empowerment, and rewards can improve upon this perception and increase overall performance. Since training was not associated with service recovery while empowerment was associated employees should feel free to find unique ways to meet customer needs. This would be difficult if were not allowed to go outside necessary procedures when necessary. Furthermore, since training and empowerment also increased extra-role behaviors of employees it would be a beneficial focus of management leaders. Together the concepts of training, rewards, and empowerment enhance embeddedness which has a tangible result on extra-role behavior and overall service recovery.

Lee, T. , Mitchell, T., Sablynski, C.,  Burton, J.& Holtom, B.(2004). The effects of job embeddedness on organizational citizenship, job performance, volitional absences, and voluntary turnover, Academy of Management Journal 47(5): 711–722.

Yao, X., Lee, T., Mitchell, T.& Burton, J. & Sablynski, C. (2004). Job embeddedness:
current research and future directions, in Griffeth, R.; Hom, P. (Eds.). Understanding Employee
Retention and Turnover. Greenwich, CT: Information Age, 153–187.

Karatepel, O. & Karadas, G. (2012). The effect of management commitment to service quality on job embeddedness and performance outcomes. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 13 (4).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Improving Employee Empowerment in Organizational Culture

Empowering employees is more that offering a few trinkets of appreciation and turning a backside to fundamental principles. Improving employee empowerment requires consistent positive affect of behavior that builds trust and commitment to organizational expectations. Through proper management techniques employee empowerment can lead to a higher functioning organization.

Empowering employees has a number of benefits for companies that seek to make improvements within their organizational approaches. Employee empowerment has been seen as a way to increase motivation, morale, satisfaction, commitment and innovation (Ford & Fottler, 1995). These elements work together to create a stronger organizational approach to employee management.

According to Thomas and Velthouse (1990) empowerment is associated with intrinsic task motivation. Such task motivation reflects four cognitive approaches which include meaning, competence, choice and impact. Through positive affect in these areas employees are able to create higher levels of positive orientation and empowerment.

Meaning: The work should have meaning to the employee and the organization.

Competence: The employee should feel as though they are gaining mastery over their work.

Choice: The employee should feel their line of employment and their work tasks are of interest to them and a personal choice.

Impact: The employee should feel their work is making a difference.

Importantly, the empowerment requires a level of organizational fairness. The perceptions of fairness are influenced by the equity of reward distribution and interpersonal respect (Lind & Tyler, 1998). Employees who view the reward process as unfair and who are not treated appropriately will not be empowered to work harder, solve problems or engage the organization.

The concept of fairness can often be perceptual by nature. Such perceptions abound when employees feel that they have not been treated with ethical appropriateness associated with common understandings of civility and dignity (Greenberg, 1990). It is these socialized understandings the contribute greatly to the level of willingness to be proactive within the workplace.

Despite these benefits there are a number of barriers that impact the success of employee empowerment approaches. These barriers are often related to the trust and fear between management and labor (Andrews, 1994). Without strong work relations and social equity there is a lack of trust that management will follow through with expectations and fear associated with management styles that impact the feelings of fairness among employees.

Even small negative events can add up overtime to reduce empowerment (Abelson, 1985). Employees who have been treated unfairly, inappropriately, or have witnessed failures of management will accumulate such instances to make an impression of their work environment. Encouraging these detractors from empowerment within the workplace over time can even create a culture lacking of empowerment that impacts the financial abilities of the organization.

Detractors are not just one-off instances of unfair treatment. Such actions drains motivational energy which further creates ineffectiveness in managerial effectiveness and innovation within their departments (Spreitzer, 1995). The longer such detractors exist the more ineffective the manager will become in his/her approaches. On an organizational scale this can have large financial consequences.

Through trust organizations can improve labor management relationships and overall organizational effectiveness. Trust impacts the overall outcome of individual cooperation and group cohesiveness (Alexander & Ruderman, 1987). It is through this group cohesiveness with shared senses of behavior and understanding that a positive organizational culture can be built.

Empowerment is not a workplace concept that can be implemented and pulled at the whim of executives. It must be fostered throughout the organization, management techniques, and organization culture. Those managers who detract from an empowerment strategy should be removed and replaced by those who can realize higher levels of worker performance as well as organizational development. 

Abelson, R. (1985). A variance explained paradox: when a little is a lot. Psychological Bulletin, 97.

Alexander, S. & Ruderman, M. (1987). The role of procedural and distributive justice in organizational behavior. Social Justice Research, 1.

 Andrews, G. (1994). Mistrust, the hidden obstacle to empowerment. Human Resource Magazine, 39 (9).

Ford, R. & Fottler, M. (1995). Empowerment: a matter of degree. Academy of Management Executive, 9.

Greenberg, J. (1990). Organizational justice: yesterday, today and tomorrow. Journal of Management, 16. 

Kane, K & Montgomery, K. (1998). A framework for understanding disempowerment within organizations. Human Resource Management, 37 (3/4).

Line, D. & Tyler, T. (1988). The social psychology of procedural justice. New York: Plenum Press.

Spreitzer, G. (1995). Psychological empowerment in the workplace: dimensions, measurement and validation. Academy of Management Journal, 38

Thomas, K. & Velthouse, B. (1990). Cognitive elements of empowerment: an interpretive model of task motivation. Academy of Management Review, 15.