Psychological empowerment refers to how an individual’s self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation are influenced by their own values and needs, organizational structure, job description, and leadership behavior. Various psychological empowerment theories have attempted to explain why and when efforts to empower individuals are likely to be successful or not. Programs that make employees feel part and parcel of the business, as well as participative practices, do not necessarily make the workers feel that their work is worthwhile and meaningful. Delegating specific responsibilities to employees would not be empowering if the individual assigned the task lacks the required skills. Various scholars have attempted to describe the elements of psychological empowerment. However, there has been limited research conducted on the same subject.
According to the chapter, psychological empowerment comprises four distinct elements: impact, self-efficacy, self-determination, and meaning. An individual will feel more empowered when the consequences, as well as the contents of a task, are consistent with their values (Yukl 126). Additionally, he or she will experience empowerment when given the opportunity to decide when a particular task can be undertaken to produce the best results. A leader can positively influence a worker’s behavior by providing the resources needed to deal with challenges at the workplace, encouraging innovative thinking, and inspiring the staff to view problems as opportunities. The impact will consequently have a positive effect in self-efficacy, as well as self-determination of the team which is psychological empowerment. In essence, psychological empowerment encompasses a combination of self-determination, high self-efficacy, meaningful work, and the ability to influence different events (Yukl 131). Besides, whether an employee feels powerless or powerful depends much on the organizational structure, job description, and leadership behavior.
Yukl, Gary. Participative Leadership and Empowerment. In Leadership in organizations. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2013.