Empowerment in a New Zealand organisation : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

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Massey University
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This research examined the structure and behavioural outcomes of psychological empowerment among a group of non-managerial employees, in a New Zealand workplace. Participants worked for a large, complex, multi-site manufacturing organisation, and responded to a self-report questionnaire measuring dimensions of empowerment, affective commitment, and work performance. The main aims of the study were to investigate a four factor structure of empowerment, and the associated "gestalt" of empowerment formed by the combination of these factors. The remainder of the study was devoted to investigating the extent to which the empowerment construct predicted desirable work-related outcomes, such as affective commitment and work performance. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to test the four factor empowerment structure, and the contributions of the factors to the overall empowerment construct, while a structural path model was used to test the predictive value of the empowerment construct. Results of the analyses demonstrated that the four factor structure, combining to form an overall empowerment construct, is a meaningful way to describe empowerment in the New Zealand organisation. Results of the structural path model supported the utility of empowerment in predicting the outcomes variables of affective commitment and work performance in the New Zealand organisation. Future research directions were discussed, with suggestions that researchers could profitably explore cultural dimensions specific to New Zealand, which could be implicated as factors in New Zealand employees' experience of empowerment.
Employee empowerment, New Zealand, Employee motivation