ایجاد فرهنگ توانمند سازی : بررسی رابطه بین فرهنگ سازمانی و ادراک توانمندسازی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3973||2000||26 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Quality Management, Volume 5, Issue 1, Spring 2000, Pages 27–52
A study of front line employees in four textile plants located in the Southeastern United States is used to examine how organizational culture may support empowerment efforts. Our results indicate that organizational cultures that were perceived as being more collective and more doing-oriented were related to significantly greater perceptions of empowerment. Power distance was related to empowerment and organizational commitment in unexpected ways. Implications for both theory and practice are discussed.
Empowering employees is an important component of total quality management (TQM). TQM has been defined as “… a set of organizational strategies, practices, and tools for organizational performance improvement” (Lawler et al., 1995, p. 45) and TQM advocates argue that it cannot be successful without employee involvement (Deming, 1986). Cardy (1996) notes that empowerment programs have become strongly associated with TQM in the United States and may be the critical factor in explaining successes and failures. “One of the most important principles of TQM concerns employee involvement, or as it is often called, empowerment” (Lawler, 1994, p. 68). Empowered employees support TQM efforts by (1) calling attention to quality problems in the work place and (2) continuously trying to improve the way they do their jobs. Empowerment efforts support these goals by giving employees the power to make decisions formerly made by managers, by providing employees with the information needed to make good decisions, by providing training necessary to understand the business, and by tying employee rewards to their performance (Lawler et al., 1995). In one review of the TQM literature, Zeitz et al. (1997) found that empowerment or employee involvement was identified as a TQM-related dimension in a large number of studies Berry, 1991, Carr & Littman, 1990, Dean & Evans, 1994, Denison, 1996, Hofstede, 1984, Hunt, 1992, Juran, 1995, Lawler et al., 1995, Litwin & Stringer, 1968, McMillan, 1989, Payne & Mansfield, 1973, Ross, 1993, Schmidt & Finnegan, 1992, Scholtes, 1988 and Weatherly & Beach, 1994. Organizations that (1) aspire to involve employees in organizational decision-making (such as that required by quality programs), (2) value the mental labor of all employees (a key to quality success) and, (3) work under the assumption that all employees can contribute to improving the organization might take comfort in being on their way to creating an “empowering culture,” and, thus, ready to reap the associated benefits regarding quality. Our objective in this paper is to further examine the importance of organizational culture in understanding the employee perceptions of empowerment that are necessary to support TQM efforts. Researchers are beginning to examine the relationship between organizational culture and empowerment. In a study of front line service workers in the hospitality industry, Sparrowe, 1994 and Sparrowe, 1995 found that a constructive organizational culture (that is, a culture with humanistic-encouraging, affiliative, achievement, and self-actualizing beliefs) (Cooke & Lafferty, 1986) fostered perceptions of empowerment. Similarly, Spreitzer (1996) found that a participative organizational climate (that is, a climate in which acknowledgment, creation, and liberation of employees are valued) was significantly related to perceptions of empowerment. Drawing from these results, we propose that organizational culture will be related to employee reactions to empowerment programs Liden & Tewksbury, 1995, Sparrowe, 1994 and Sparrowe, 1995.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study provides empirical evidence that organizational culture (as measured by doing orientation, collectivism, and power distance) helps us understand variation (from 6% to 11% per value) in employee perceptions of empowerment. Thus, organizations attempting to empower their employees in pursuit of TQM are advised to examine their organizational cultures. Our results indicate that employees who work in organizations high in doing orientation and collectivism feel more empowered than employees who work in organizations that tend toward being-oriented and individualistic. In doing cultures where people want to take charge and control their environment, employees felt more empowered. In interviews, employees expressed their preference for “doing” in a variety of ways: … They pay me eight something an hour, I am going to do eight-something-an-hours' worth of work. I like it because I am up and moving … I am basically doing the same thing but, you know, you have got to get your mind on what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. And, being on the go helps … I like it because I don't get bored. Likewise, employee empowerment was higher in collective cultures where emphasis on the group or team was the norm. For example, some employees voiced a desire to work for the good of the group, a collectivist preference: I mean it is a good thing. We are “A” team and we have a certain number of frames. We all have something in common. We all, you know, feel that we do too much, but we are a team. We are trying to make the shift good overall. Some people have a tendency, if they know more than others, not to say nothing to them, makes them look better. But in the long run, it's gonna make the shift look worse. So we try to help the other guys … that way it makes us look good overall, not just singly … You might as well help everybody out. To make the shift the best shift. Well, and I say, second shift is the best shift, not because I'm on it but, um, efficiency-wise from the other three shifts we know that we have the higher efficiency. And, if you have the higher efficiency, you know more production is coming out. We also found that organizations low in power distance may have to work to increase employee perceptions of influence. These findings for power distance were quite unexpected. As noted in the test of hypotheses, the significant relationship between power distance and perceptions of influence was opposite the direction that we predicted. We expected to find that employees would feel more empowered when they saw little distance between employees and managers. However, we found that employees who reported large power distance (large differences in status and power between levels) also reported greater perceptions of influence than did employees who perceived a more equitable sharing of power. A possible explanation for these findings is that, when power distance is reduced, employees may be forced to take on some responsibilities typically reserved for managers. If employees feel they do not have a choice about these responsibilities or feel that their actions will not have an impact on the workplace, they feel less empowered. For example, when asked about confronting a poor-performing team member during a team meeting, one employee described the experience as a: … disaster! Don't nobody say nothing because you are scared to say anything. Because you have to work with these people everyday, and if you say something negative they are going to take it out on you when you get back out on the floor. One way that organizations attempt to empower employees and reduce the power distance between employees and managers is to share responsibility for evaluating the performance of co-workers. However, when asked about the possibility of implementing a peer appraisal system, the human resources manager of one plant said: We have looked at peer reviews which are very tough from what I understand … we are getting some resistance … And we are already hearing, ‘Well that is the supervisor's job. We are not getting paid to do that.’ I can see it happening if we go to peer reviews. ‘I'm not going to review you. I have to work with this person every day, if I give them a bad review you know, they are not going to like me anymore.’ Or, you know, ‘I am in a social activity outside of work. I don't want to be the one to give this person a bad review. That is your job, that is your problem.’ Tough to overcome. So we have not done anything like that. I don't know of any [Company 2] plant that does peer reviews. We also found that organizational culture helped explain variation in employee performance and organizational commitment. Employees reported higher performance and organizational commitment when they perceived that they worked in a “doing” culture. That is, when employees believe that the proper thing to do at work is to take charge of and actively control the environment, they report higher performance and commitment levels. Employees also reported higher levels of commitment in cultures they perceived as collective. Our results indicate a significant relationship between power distance and organizational commitment. Surprisingly, employees who perceive that they work in an organization with greater power distance report higher levels of organizational commitment. Many attempts to empower and involve employees include real and symbolic efforts to reduce the power differences between managers and employees. In contrast, our results suggest that efforts to decrease power distance by making differences between the levels less evident may be met with resistance and may lead to decreased organizational commitment. While further research on this finding is warranted, it may be that commitment is negatively affected by the sharing of power. While previous research on psychological empowerment has theorized Spreitzer, 1995, Thomas & Tymon, 1994 and Thomas & Velthouse, 1990 and found empirical evidence Kirkman & Rosen, 1999, Sparrowe, 1994, Spreitzer, 1995, Spreitzer, 1995 and Thomas & Tymon, 1994 for a four-factor empowerment construct, our participant responses yielded only three factors. Whereas in this study and one other (Fulford & Enz, 1995), the meaning items and the competence items factored as expected, the choice and impact items factored together into an “influence” factor. Fulford and Enz (1995) explained the three-factor finding by noting that the employees in their sample worked for small organizations with few layers of managers and had direct contact with customers. Like those sampled by Fulford and Enz (1995), the employees in this study worked for relatively small organizations (150–250 employees) and had few layers of management (three levels between employee and plant manager). Also, it is possible that the technology of the textile environments studied here may make the choice and impact factors indistinguishable in employees' minds. Employees in this particular environment may feel that opportunities to impact their work or the performance of their departments are limited to choices they make about tending their machines. The organizations in this study have attempted to increase individual choice on the job (for example, by allowing employees to set their own pace in the sewing operation, or having a group of employees responsible for a set of spinning machines). But, it may be that these attempts have not been strong enough to make employees feel that they have choice and that they make an impact. It should be noted, also, that the perceptions of influence factor had the lowest mean score (M=4.88) compared to the means for perceptions of meaning (M=6.03) and perceptions of competence (M=6.28) on a seven-point scale where higher scores indicate greater perceptions of empowerment. We proposed that the only direct influence on performance and organizational commitment was perceptions of empowerment. Perceptions of empowerment did explain significant variance in performance and organizational commitment in this study. But, the results of this study provide limited support for our claim. We found both direct and mediated relationships between organizational culture and the outcome measures. Questions linger regarding if and how the perception of empowerment acts as a mediator. It is important, therefore, to continue to study empowerment because of its significant relationship with relevant outcome variables. Finally, the study provides support for measures traditionally used in comparative international research as tools for understanding differences among organizations within the United States. Differences in value orientations across different groups of people (both people from different countries and people from different organizations) demonstrate the importance of understanding cultural influence as a predictor of individual and group behavior. Previous results indicate that participative organizational climate/culture (Spreitzer, 1996) and constructive organizational culture Sparrowe, 1994 and Sparrowe, 1995 can be significantly related to perceptions of empowerment. The results reported here provide further support of organizational culture as a key to understanding perceptions of empowerment.