Towards a conceptual framework of empowerment and job performance in project teams

2013-01-24T12:19:18Z (GMT) by Martin Tuuli Steve Rowlinson
Emerging project delivery arrangements, increasing complexity of projects and client requirements, are having substantial impact upon the roles and responsibilities of individuals and teams across the entire construction supply chain. Individuals and teams deployed at the inter-organizational interface at the project level are increasingly assuming greater responsibility for strategic aspects of projects. The concept of employee empowerment has thus been emphasized as key to engendering performance at the project level. Despite its long history however, empowerment still remains a diffuse concept, a characteristic that has retarded its development and appropriate use. An integrative conceptual framework of the empowerment process is developed as an interaction between employee cognitions (psychological empowerment) and empowerment climate, created by the dynamic interplay of contextual factors emanating from the individual, team, organization and project levels. Empowerment is then construed as a constellation of employee cognitions of autonomy and the capacity to perform meaningful work that can impact project and organizational goals. Ultimately, enhancing the job performance of individuals and teams through empowerment will depend on a better understanding of what empowerment entails and the mechanisms through which empowerment influences performance.