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Giving subordinates the power and authority to make decisions that the management team would typically make is a practice known as employee empowerment. Employees are motivated to ensure they make the proper selections as a result of being held accountable and responsible for their own choices in this manner (Kokemuller, 2012).
On the other side, delegation of authority refers to the procedure by which the top management group instructs their subordinates on what to do. When tasks are delegated, managers inform their employees what to accomplish, and they are expected to carry them out according to the guidelines. Empowerment of employees differs from delegation of authority in that empowerment allows for decision making by employees there by fostering innovative ideas and enhancing leadership skills as part of the main benefits. On the other hand, delegation of authority means that the employees have to follow the instructions provided to the letter.
In most cases, empowerment takes place where the leader is democratic and values the opinions of his or her employees. He or she is not insecure about diluting control to his or subordinates and believes that the company’s goals and objectives are better achieved by obtaining input from employees who are usually the ones handling core operations and facing consumers (Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble & Strickland, 2014) Empowerment also inspires leadership since by allowing people to make important decisions for the company, you are also allowing them to exhibit some of their leadership skills. Such organizations are highly decentralized.
Delegation of authority, on the other hand, happens in an organization where the manager adopts an autocratic style of leadership. Such organizations are highly centralized and the management team are keen on ensuring that control is not diluted and it is retained at the top. Managers are keen at ensuring everyone does their duties and responsibilities as set out under their job descriptions. Such organizations are highly bureaucratic and rigid and miss out on the opportunity of obtaining innovative ideas from employees (BPP Learning Media, 2016).
Empowerment of employees can aid the cause of strategy execution mainly by motivating employees. When you allow employees to make decisions in the company, they feel appreciated and part of the organization. They therefore strive to prove that they are valuable members of the organization. This leads to a motivated workforce that strives to achieve organization goals and objectives. The management team also does not have to remind the employees about their duties and responsibilities as they are always ready to execute them. Empowerment also fosters a competitive environment where people are eager to come up with the best ideas so as to earn that recognition from their managers. This also keeps people focused on the company’s core goals and objectives.
Good strategy execution also involves having a team that is ready to easily adapt change. It also leads to a team that actually leads to beneficial change within the organization. Empowerment allows employees to question and come up with better ideas on how to achieve strategy (Richards, 2010). Since employees are the ones facing the consumers, they are better versed at ensuring that strategies adopted focus on providing value to the consumers which is one of the key strategies for most organizations. Empowerment also leads to a loyal workforce who eventually are able to become an edge over your competitors who may be experiencing high staff turnover.
BPP Learning Media. (2016). F1: Accountancy in Business. London: BPP Learning Media.
Kokemuller, N. (2012, September 03). Differences Between Empowerment & Delegation. Retrieved April 06, 2017, from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/differences-between-empowerment-delegation-4298.html
Richards, L. (2010, June 24). What Are the Benefits of Employee Empowerment? Retrieved April 06, 2017, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-employee-empowerment-1177.html
Thompson, A. A., Peteraf, M. A., Gamble, J. E., & Strickland, A. J. (2014). Crafting and executing strategy the quest for competitive advantage; concepts and cases. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
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