A spatiotemporal perspective on empowerment
conference contributionposted on 2013-01-21, 12:00 authored by Enoch Sackey, Martin Tuuli, Andrew R.J. Dainty
The complex and dynamic nature of project environments presents both opportunities and challenges for the empowerment of individuals and teams. Yet, empowerment is a complex concept in its own right, taking on multiple forms across people, is contextually embedded and shifts over time. As research on empowerment in projects continues to grow, pertinent questions are emerging aimed at promoting the growth of empowerment theory and its applicability in practice. For example, how do organizations empower employees at different levels and still be able to achieve goal congruence across the organization?; how does empowerment manifest itself across project phases?; and how does empowerment manifest across co-located or geographically/physically spaced individuals on the same or different projects/teams across the same organization? The multiplicity and dynamism of empowerment in projects across three aspects - space, time and levels, and their intersections are examined within the context of the complex, dynamic and uncertain operational realities of projects. It is argued that such a spatiotemporal agenda is better understood through the lens of chaos and complexity theory, a perspective that reveals the way in which empowerment is intertwined with other managerial interventions and business strategies for the successful delivery of projects.
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