Empowerment has been added to the long list of environmental hazards facing the organizationally endangered species known as “middle managers”. For the sake of balance and interest, the author asked middle managers for their views regarding empowerment. This article presents the views of middle managers along with those found in the literature. Definitions are set forth, pros and cons are covered, and dos and don’ts are delineated. The author closes with the following advice for those seeking to implement empowerment: organizations should set the unifying vision for empowerment at the top management level; organizations should train and develop their line employees prior to giving them full empowerment; and organizations should rely on middle managers to provide two‐way communication and coaching for line employees as they are trained for empowerment. The article concludes that organizations should view middle managers as “bridges” rather than “blockages” to the implementation of empowerment.
Journal of Management Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 1998
Keywords: Communications; Empowerment; Implementation; Management