Sharing the power : knowledge management, empowerment, employee self service and the NZDF : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Information Systems at Massey University
This thesis investigated employee views of the Defence Kiosk System (DKS) through a questionnaire, and compared the results with two empowerment methodologies. These methodologies were Spreitzer and Quinn's Five Disciplines For Empowerment, and Horibe's Employee Decision Making methodology. The DKS is the Employee Self Service (ESS) system of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). The DKS is a web-based system that employees can use to access their personal records, thereby empowering employees to access their own personnel information and removing the need for them to ask human resources related questions of their administration unit. This provides the NZDF with administrative savings and accurate up to date information that can be used for Knowledge Management (KM). The research begins with a literature review. The literature review established links between Empowerment, KM and ESS. It found that for ESS systems to provide benefits employees must be willing to use them. A questionnaire was developed and sent to a sample of 1000 NZDF employees who had access to the DKS. The response was 350 completed and returned questionnaires, which exceeded the 180 responses required to enable the results to be generalised for the entire NZDF population. Analysis of the questionnaire responses showed that employees believe that the DKS, as an ESS system, meets their personnel information needs and that they were willing to use the DKS. When the results of the survey were compared with the empowerment methodologies the research supported Spreitzer and Quinn's five disciplines model, particularly the fourth and fifth disciplines. The results raised questions about the suitability of using Horibe's employee decision making methodology in the field of personnel management, especially with the advent of employee self service systems.