|Ph.D Student||Biron-Ben-Gera Michal|
|Subject||Social-Structural Empowerment: Dimensionality and Effects|
on Individual Wellbeing and Performance in a
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Mr. Peter Bamberger|
|Full Thesis text|
Recognizing the potential conflict between operational pressures on the one hand and concerns with employee wellbeing on the other, we examine whether and how service employees’ job authority may be enhanced without harming operational efficiency. Viewing social-structural empowerment as varying along two dimensions -- namely (1) the depth of enacted empowerment or the degree to which the intervention is rhetorical (aiming to influence employees’ sense of mastery, what we refer to as surface empowerment) as opposed to actual (aiming to influence the actual degree of employee job authority, what we refer to as deep empowerment), and (2) the breadth of enacted empowerment or whether authority is allocated on the basis of equality or equity principles -- we examine the relative efficacy of alternative empowerment initiatives in the context of two lab-based experiments. The results of these experiments highlight the advantages of deep over surface empowerment initiatives with respect to employee performance, but suggest that the advantages may be more limited with respect to employee wellbeing. Results also indicate that the benefits of deep empowerment initiatives with regard to performance may be enhanced when such initiatives are applied on the basis of norms of equity.