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Eight critical principles of empowerment

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Typical organizational improvement initiatives emphasize operational issues such as systems, plans, structures and processes. Relatively little emphasis is placed on releasing the power of human beings into the improvement initiative. To improve successfully, organizations must balance the operational and human factors in the change initiative. The balance begins to emerge as managers internalize eight critical principles of empowerment, namely: protect the dignity of all employees; manage perceptions, not just the "facts"; use organizational authority to release rather than inhibit human potential; use consensus decision making; clarify vision, mission, objectives, goals and job descriptions; unshackle the human desire to be of service to others; come from values; provide the feedback requested by employees. When management is guided by these eight principles, human and operational issues tend to stay in balance. This allows improvement to be unifying, innovative, continuous and permanent.
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Keywords: Customer Orientation; Decision Making; Empowerment; Feedback; Management; Organizational Development; Participation; Values

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1995

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