How to Empower Employees: Using Training to Enhance Work Units' Collective Empowerment

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract Purpose - The purpose of this study was to examine, theoretically and empirically, whether an employee training program can enhance the collective perception of empowerment of work units within an organization. We hypothesized that training participation relates to empowerment by enhancing the potency, meaningfulness, impact, and autonomy of the employees. Design/methodology/approach - We collected data at two time points, before and after the training intervention. Over the two periods, the sample consisted of an average of 2,383 employees nested in 36 work units of a large multinational company. Findings - The results indicated a positive relationship between training participation and increased levels of collective psychological empowerment, with differential effects on the dimensions of empowerment. Practical Implications - This study provides evidence of the positive relationship between training and empowerment, suggesting training effects across levels of analysis. The results indicated dimensions of empowerment that are more and such that are less prone to training. Such knowledge may help to inform organizations in developing training strategies. We provide recommendations for a respective training program. Originality/value - This is one of the first studies to investigate the relationship between training participation of individual employees and shared empowerment perceptions within their work units, adding an important antecedent to the research on empowerment. In addition, we propose ways of how individual employees can affect shared perceptions among work unit members. The study offers insights into the development of empowered work units, the vertical transfer of training across levels-of-analysis and implications for training programs.
Authors Voegtlin, Christian; Böhm, Stephan A. & Bruch, Heike
Journal or Publication Title International Journal of Manpower
Language English
Keywords Empowerment, Training, Motivation (psychology), Employee involvement, Human Resource Management
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 1 May 2015
Publisher Emerald
Place of Publication Bingley UK
Volume 36
Number 3
Page Range 354-373
Number of Pages 20
ISSN 0143-7720
ISSN-Digital 1758-6577
Publisher DOI
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Stephan Alexander Böhm
Date Deposited 25 Jun 2013 11:49
Last Modified 30 Jan 2023 01:23


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Voegtlin, Christian; Böhm, Stephan A. & Bruch, Heike (2015) How to Empower Employees: Using Training to Enhance Work Units' Collective Empowerment. International Journal of Manpower, 36 (3). 354-373. ISSN 0143-7720

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