Factors related to empowerment of women employees in a streotypical job (CD)

By: Sarkar, Anita
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Ahmedabad IIM, Ahmedabad 2010Description: 224 p.Subject(s): Women employees - JobDDC classification: TH 2010/12 Summary: 1990s as has been noted as empowerment era by some writers (e.g., Hardy, & Lieba-Sullivan, 1998; Wall, Wood, & Leach, 2004). Empowerment plays a significant role in realizing human potential (Spreitzer, 1992). Right from the initial socialization of a new comer (Chen, & Klimoski, 2003), to growth and even survival of employees in the face of organizational downsizing (Mishra, & Spreitzer, 1998), in every sphere of employees organizational life, empowerment plays a critical role.Conger & Kanungo (1988: 474) defined empowerment as a process of enhancing feelings of self-efficacy among organizational members through the identification of conditions that foster powerlessness and through their removal by both formal organizational practices and informal techniques providing efficacy information. As per Thomas & Velthouse (1990) empowerment is intrinsic motivation manifested in four cognitions (meaning, competence, self determination, and impact), reflecting an individuals orientation towards his/her work role. In the field of management, empowerment has been studied from four different perspectives, such as structural or role empowerment (Kanter, 1977), psychological or individual empowerment (Conger & Kanungo, 1998; Thomas & Velthouse, 1990; Spreitzer, 1995), relational empowerment and organizational empowerment.In this research we define individual empowerment as employee experienced powerfulness. This research examined the relationship of empowerment to the relational support provided to the individual from various quarters (e.g., family, superior and colleagues) and structural support available to the individual (resource availability, information sharing, work environment, and development and recognition). We also looked at two important work- outcomes of empowerment, job involvement and innovative behavior. We have conceptualized empowerment as a broad concept which takes into account intra-individual sense of powerfulness coming from both work-life and family life of an employee. We have developed a new construct termed as control and tested it as an additional dimension of individual empowerment. It emphasizes that to derive enhanced sense of powerfulness, individuals belief of control over outside-work domain (and not necessarily work domain in particular) is important. Although other ideas have helped to shape this construct, yet especially the dimensions off-the job association with non-work domain, makes it appealing to both practitioners and theoreticians. The present research has provided initial support for control as an important dimension of empowerment, in addition to the already well researched four dimensions of empowerment. The data also re-emphasizes the importance of non-work aspects of an employee in human resource studies and organizational behavior area. Our empirical findings show that family support can significantly enhance individual empowerment. This is an important contribution to the existing literature, since empirical support for family support as an antecedent of empowerment has not been tested earlier. We received empirical support for the linkage of empowerment and tangible work environment, which despite being identified as a major research gap (e.g., Mainiero, 1986) has not been empirically tested earlier. Also the study shows different structural and relational factors have different impact on each of the dimensions of empowerment. We chose women primary school teachers associated with elementary education in the schools of West Bengal, India as our sample for this research. Our choice of sample was influenced by Kabeers (2005) assertion that empowerment studies should necessarily be carried out in those sectors where individuals do not have many choices in their lives. In May 2007, we contacted and visited women primary school teachers located in the states of Gujarat and West Bengal in India. Initial one-to -one interaction with almost thirty teachers helped us to gain insights about teachers context. In March 2008, we conducted detailed interviews with seven teachers, who identified the major sources of teacher's powerfulness. The interviews were face-to face and it lasted from one hour to one and half hour. In the interviews the focus was to define empowerment, the factors which help to enhance empowerment (or might be deterrent to empowerment), and the likely outcomes of empowerment based on individual teachers personal experience. From the information of these interviews, our questionnaire was tailored for this particular research. For face validity and content validity of our instrument we involved both teachers and experts in the field. Some initial pre-testing of the instruments was conducted on a sample of 288 teachers. We started detailed survey with the final instrument since July till December, 2008. We received total 401 valid teachers responses from 54 schools for the study. We used structural equation model to test the hypotheses. We found support for control as an additional dimension of empowerment. We also found that family support, superior's support, colleague support, development & recognition and work environment increased empowerment. We did not get support for access to resource in enhancing empowerment of individuals. Access to information for enhancement of empowerment received only weak support. Results showed that empowerment leads to job involvement and innovative behavior.
List(s) this item appears in: Human Resource and Organization behavior
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Reference
Reference TH 2010/12 (Browse shelf) Processing Center (Restricted Access) CD001668

Singh, Manjari (Guide) Thesis advisory committee: Prof. Manjari Singh (Chairperson), Prof. Biju Varkkey, Prof. Neharika Vohra

1990s as has been noted as empowerment era by some writers (e.g., Hardy, & Lieba-Sullivan, 1998; Wall, Wood, & Leach, 2004). Empowerment plays a significant role in realizing human potential (Spreitzer, 1992). Right from the initial socialization of a new comer (Chen, & Klimoski, 2003), to growth and even survival of employees in the face of organizational downsizing (Mishra, & Spreitzer, 1998), in every sphere of employees organizational life, empowerment plays a critical role.Conger & Kanungo (1988: 474) defined empowerment as a process of enhancing feelings of self-efficacy among organizational members through the identification of conditions that foster powerlessness and through their removal by both formal organizational practices and informal techniques providing efficacy information. As per Thomas & Velthouse (1990) empowerment is intrinsic motivation manifested in four cognitions (meaning, competence, self determination, and impact), reflecting an individuals orientation towards his/her work role. In the field of management, empowerment has been studied from four different perspectives, such as structural or role empowerment (Kanter, 1977), psychological or individual empowerment (Conger & Kanungo, 1998; Thomas & Velthouse, 1990; Spreitzer, 1995), relational empowerment and organizational empowerment.In this research we define individual empowerment as employee experienced powerfulness. This research examined the relationship of empowerment to the relational support provided to the individual from various quarters (e.g., family, superior and colleagues) and structural support available to the individual (resource availability, information sharing, work environment, and development and recognition). We also looked at two important work- outcomes of empowerment, job involvement and innovative behavior. We have conceptualized empowerment as a broad concept which takes into account intra-individual sense of powerfulness coming from both work-life and family life of an employee. We have developed a new construct termed as control and tested it as an additional dimension of individual empowerment. It emphasizes that to derive enhanced sense of powerfulness, individuals belief of control over outside-work domain (and not necessarily work domain in particular) is important. Although other ideas have helped to shape this construct, yet especially the dimensions off-the job association with non-work domain, makes it appealing to both practitioners and theoreticians. The present research has provided initial support for control as an important dimension of empowerment, in addition to the already well researched four dimensions of empowerment. The data also re-emphasizes the importance of non-work aspects of an employee in human resource studies and organizational behavior area. Our empirical findings show that family support can significantly enhance individual empowerment. This is an important contribution to the existing literature, since empirical support for family support as an antecedent of empowerment has not been tested earlier. We received empirical support for the linkage of empowerment and tangible work environment, which despite being identified as a major research gap (e.g., Mainiero, 1986) has not been empirically tested earlier. Also the study shows different structural and relational factors have different impact on each of the dimensions of empowerment. We chose women primary school teachers associated with elementary education in the schools of West Bengal, India as our sample for this research. Our choice of sample was influenced by Kabeers (2005) assertion that empowerment studies should necessarily be carried out in those sectors where individuals do not have many choices in their lives. In May 2007, we contacted and visited women primary school teachers located in the states of Gujarat and West Bengal in India. Initial one-to -one interaction with almost thirty teachers helped us to gain insights about teachers context. In March 2008, we conducted detailed interviews with seven teachers, who identified the major sources of teacher's powerfulness. The interviews were face-to face and it lasted from one hour to one and half hour. In the interviews the focus was to define empowerment, the factors which help to enhance empowerment (or might be deterrent to empowerment), and the likely outcomes of empowerment based on individual teachers personal experience. From the information of these interviews, our questionnaire was tailored for this particular research. For face validity and content validity of our instrument we involved both teachers and experts in the field. Some initial pre-testing of the instruments was conducted on a sample of 288 teachers. We started detailed survey with the final instrument since July till December, 2008. We received total 401 valid teachers responses from 54 schools for the study. We used structural equation model to test the hypotheses. We found support for control as an additional dimension of empowerment. We also found that family support, superior's support, colleague support, development & recognition and work environment increased empowerment. We did not get support for access to resource in enhancing empowerment of individuals. Access to information for enhancement of empowerment received only weak support. Results showed that empowerment leads to job involvement and innovative behavior.

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