Impediments to empowerment and learning within organizations

Impediments to empowerment and learning within organizations Looks at the concepts of “empowerment” and “learning”, and examines the difficulties in making “empowered learning” a reality. Drawing on a series of case studies in the Australian manufacturing industry, shows that empowerment and learning present challenges for both managers and employees. For managers, empowerment and learning raise the prospect of loss of control. To ensure that they do not surrender control, managers sometimes act in ways that disempower employees and undermine opportunities for learning. Like managers, employees may be wary of empowerment and learning, partly because of the potential for hostility and blame. Employees may feel that the risks of empowered learning are high while the potential benefits are low. As with managers, personal security seems to be the basic, underlying issue. Also argues that technoculture (the organization’s human and technical systems and associated assumptions) can perpetuate control‐oriented ways of operating even if management has made a genuine effort to foster empowerment and learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Learning Organization Emerald Publishing

Impediments to empowerment and learning within organizations

The Learning Organization, Volume 4 (4): 10 – Oct 1, 1997

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0969-6474
DOI
10.1108/09696479710170842
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Looks at the concepts of “empowerment” and “learning”, and examines the difficulties in making “empowered learning” a reality. Drawing on a series of case studies in the Australian manufacturing industry, shows that empowerment and learning present challenges for both managers and employees. For managers, empowerment and learning raise the prospect of loss of control. To ensure that they do not surrender control, managers sometimes act in ways that disempower employees and undermine opportunities for learning. Like managers, employees may be wary of empowerment and learning, partly because of the potential for hostility and blame. Employees may feel that the risks of empowered learning are high while the potential benefits are low. As with managers, personal security seems to be the basic, underlying issue. Also argues that technoculture (the organization’s human and technical systems and associated assumptions) can perpetuate control‐oriented ways of operating even if management has made a genuine effort to foster empowerment and learning.

Journal

The Learning OrganizationEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 1997

Keywords: Empowerment; Learning; Management; Organizations; Employees

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