The effects of employee empowerment on employee job satisfaction

There is no fully agreed definition of empowerment. The fact that employee empowerment is closely related to management techniques and instruments, such as motivation, job enrichment, communication, trust, participative management, delegation, training and feedback, makes it necessary to examine the concept and its managerial dimension from different perspectives. From Cunningham point of view, it relegates the power to make a decision in a manner that will cover employees without the power to make decisions. Conger and Kanungo (1988) regard empowerment as a motivational concept related to self-efficacy and define empowerment as improving the feeling of self-efficacy of employees. Thomas and Velthouse (1990) defining empowerment as “internal motivation that can be explained by four perceptive dimensions, which are sense, competence, choice and impact”, Spreitzer (1995) incorporates these four dimensions in his definition.
Studies conducted on employee empowerment reveal that it gives rise to organizational commitment, motivation, performance and customer satisfaction. The studies conducted so far have overwhelmingly placed importance on the relationship of psychological and behavioral empowerment with job satisfaction as separate constructs. However, when psychological and behavioral empowerment are treated as a whole, their relationship with job satisfaction will be handled in a more efficient and effective fashion, in that it is thought to be more comprehensive.
Regarding behavioral empowerment, another dimension of empowerment, convenient communications, an atmosphere of trust, and motivational tools being provided by employers lead to a positive impact in creating job satisfaction.
Taking empowerment as two separate constructs such as behavioral and psychological, will illuminate the relationship between “empowerment” and “job satisfaction” in a more wide-ranging manner. In terms of the managerial aspects, the main objective is the conditions required for empowerment. On the other hand, the perception of the conditions by employees and how employees perceive themselves make up the psychological dimension of the empowerment. Hence, the two dimensions together will elaborate the relationship between empowerment and job satisfaction. When the literature on employee empowerment is examined, two fundamental approaches can be observed. The first of these is the behavioral dimension, dealing with the role of top management in employee empowering. The second is the psychological dimension, encompassing the perception of employees towards the behavior of superiors and the conditions prepared for them.
Employee empowerment brings decision-makers and employees closer, hence shortening the duration of tasks. Empowered individuals will have a more active role in the organization, will take on initiatives, and their participation in the activities of the organization will be enhanced.
The importance of empowerment becomes two-fold, in that hotels offer services, as is well known, production and consumption occur simultaneously, and problems necessitate on-the-spot solutions to promote customer and job satisfaction.
There are a number of factors affecting job satisfaction related to the establishment, such as employment status (permanent, temporary), duration of employment, location of the establishment, content of the work (the work itself, its nature), employment position, opportunities to sharpen skills, the routine of the work, wages, promotion opportunities, opportunity for self-development, managerial style of superiors, relations with colleagues, benefits, job security, physical conditions, shifts, job-family adaptation, organizational support, participation in the decision-making process, organizational culture, organizational climate, job orientation, employee empowerment, understaffing and job-employee adaptation, as well as such demographic factors as age, gender, marital status, and level of education.
Studies of behavioral empowerment and psychological empowerment bring the question of the level of impact of behavioral and psychological empowerment on job satisfaction to the surface. In this perspective, two hypotheses were developed:
 The behavioral empowerment activities implemented in hotel establishments affect the job satisfaction of employees positively.
 The psychological empowerment activities implemented in hotel establishments affect the job satisfaction of employees positively.
The perception of the employees regarding managerial implementations is of great significance, which makes up the psychological aspect of empowerment.
In order to perform a comprehensive examination and analysis on the relation between empowerment and job satisfaction, the concept of empowerment should be dealt with encompassing both psychological and behavioral dimensions. Thus, the third hypothesis of the study is:
 A collective implementation of psychological and behavioral empowerment activities in hotel establishments affects the job satisfaction of employees at a higher level than behavioral and psychological empowerment taken individually.
The population of this study consists of the employees of five-star hotels in Turkey. Due to the facts that hotels in Turkey are spread over a vast geographical area and that the number of employees in these establishments is very high, a sample group was chosen. Hotels from four cities were chosen: the hotels in Antalya, Mug˘la, Ankara and Istanbul. The study was conducted primarily on employees working in five-star hotels in these cities and also on the employees working in hotels run in other cities as much as possible. In order to find out the managerial empowerment activities (behavioral empowerment) the empowerment scale used and a questionnaire with 27 statements was formed. The questionnaire included statements about the distribution of information and resources, authority and responsibility, participation, reliability and employee support, job enrichment, motivation, communication, teamwork, training, learning, rewarding and feedback. To identify the employees’ perceptions of psychological empowerment, Spritzer’s “psychological empowerment perception” inventory was used. The inventory for psychological empowerment has 12 statements, consisting of three statements for each dimension and covering titles such as value, sufficiency, choice free will and influence. These results reveal that employees are not satisfied with the policies of the establishment due to the fact that they do not have enough say in decision making processes and they are not allowed to work individually. Thus, managers should enforce implementations such as job enrichment and/or rotation, which are also a significant part of empowerment. It is a clear fact that employee dissatisfaction is closely related to the payment policies of the establishment. Job enrichment and/or rotation practices, which are important components of empowerment, should be given more importance by enterprises. Indeed, these practices as an important component of empowerment will contribute to the morale and motivation of employees and their job satisfaction and organizational devotion and will be reflected positively. It was concluded that an empowered employee would have a higher level of motivation and organizational commitment as well as job satisfaction. This study concludes that behavioral and psychological empowerment has a positive effect on the job satisfaction levels of employees. The findings suggest that the most positive aspects related to job satisfaction are relations with the colleagues and physical conditions, while the most negative aspect is the wage issue like unfair payment. Furthermore, correlation and regression analyses indicate that psychological and behavioral empowerment has a significant effect on job satisfaction, and the effect is much greater when psychological and behavioral empowerment are taken as a whole.

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