An exploratory study of the contextual meaning and consequences of empowerment in project teams
conference contributionposted on 21.01.2013, 13:56 by Martin Tuuli, Steve Rowlinson
Empowerment means different things to different individuals. The factors that engender feelings of empowerment and the consequences that ensue are thus multifarious. Using the Critical Incident Technique (CIT) in semi-structured interviews with project participants in Hong Kong, the contextual meaning and consequences of empowerment are explored. Two broad categories of meanings were ascribed to the concept “empowerment” and related to “what individuals or teams feel or experience” and “what organisations or leaders do”, confirming the extant literature’s dichotomous conceptualisation of empowerment into the structural and psychological perspectives. Positive and negative consequences of empowerment and disempowerment were evident. The need to capture the different individual conceptualisations of empowerment in the implementation of empowerment initiatives is shown and that a contextual fit is essential for empowerment to take place.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering