Empowerment in terms of theoretical perspectives: Exploring a typology of the process and components across disciplines

Motivation and Empowerment

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            Motivation has been defined as the various forces which can either be internal or external forces which cause an individual to become aroused and enthusiastic in their questing of pursuing a particular objective through a specific course of action (French, & Emerson, 2014). Motivational is normally brought about by the kind of reward that one is to gain after completion of certain actions. These rewards can be intrinsic which involves personal satisfaction; extrinsic rewards which are rewards given to another different person such as a pay increase and job promotions. A system-wide reward simply applies to all people within a certain category or group of people who perform similar duties within any given organization (French, & Emerson, 2014). Motivation leads to empowerment whereby empowerment simply means the act of sharing power or delegating of authority or power to the subordinates within an organization.

            Empowerment is part of motivation which helps in enhancing performance of the personnel within an organization (Hur, 2006). Empowerment has also been described simply as the ability and capability of an individual or a group of people to gain some form of understanding as well as the control over forces on issues related to their personal, economic, social and even political life. This is done in order for them to be able to certain actions which best suits them in improving and enhancing their situations in life (Bagheri, Matin, & Amighi, 2011). Empowerment is also considered as the process through which communities, groups of people and individuals are enabled to have a grasp on power and take effective actions in gaining social justice, efficacy and greater control in terms of changing the environment within which they live as well as their lives.

Elements/ Components of empowerment

            There are various components or elements of empowerment which include: Access to information and the flow of information from the source; Accountability; Strategy sharing; Inclusion and participation; Authority and power sharing as well as the relevant training. It is important that people should be provided with information that is relevant and the information needs to flow from the source to the recipient in a systematic manner (Hur, 2006). Empowerment also requires training so that one has got the necessary skills and knowledge that will enable to handling the power or authority delegated to them (Bagheri, Matin, & Amighi, 2011). Training will help to impart the skills required in achieving the goals and objectives set out within an organization.

            Accountability is also a component of empowerment whereby an individual is required to know what is expected. Individuals should be able to understand the impact and the meaning that their job has within the community or organization so that they are able to make decisions which are substantive and in line with the objectives of the organization or community. Another component of empowerment is inclusion and participation which leads to collaboration and teamwork (Bagheri, Matin, & Amighi, 2011). People or personnel to be empowered needs to be included and engaged in active participation in the operations within the organization. This helps in enhancing innovation and creativity within an organization as well as motivates the employees to take charge of their actions. For complete empowerment, there must be the component of authority or power sharing with the subordinates (Narayan, & Workshop on Measuring Empowerment. (2005). The people need to be given the authority or power to perform certain duties and take certain course of actions so that they can be able to bring change to their situation and their environment.


Bagheri, G., Matin, H., & Amighi, F. (2011). The Relationship between Empowerment and Organizational Citizenship Behavior of the Pedagogical Organization Employees. Iranian Journal Of Management Studies, 4(2), 53-62.

French, P., & Emerson, M. C. (2014). Assessing the Variations in Reward Preference for Local Government Employees in Terms of Position, Public Service Motivation, and Public Sector Motivation. Public Performance & Management Review, 37(4), 552-576. doi:10.2753/PMR1530-9576370402

Hur, M. (2006). Empowerment in terms of theoretical perspectives: Exploring a typology of the process and components across disciplines. Journal Of Community Psychology, 34(5), 523-540.

Narayan, D., & Workshop on Measuring Empowerment. (2005). Measuring empowerment: Cross-disciplinary perspectives. Washington, DC.

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