Thus, it is evident how important motivation is in the workplace as this affects the caliber of an organisation’s performance and ultimately, success. The employees are the greatest asset of any company and most often are the sole component that can set a company apart from its competitors. With proper personnel management that develops an empowered workforce, the competition experienced by virtually all industries can be overcome.
Empowerment is defined as a means to allow employees to carry out decisions and a intrinsic drive to have accountability for one’s behaviours (Bowen & Lawler 1992, 1995). This implies that empowerment is an outcome of management and employee efforts. Corsuon & Enz (1999) note that contemporary research has focused on psychological empowerment, particularly on the phenomenology of the employee, whereas in the past, the concept has focused on decision making and delegation of tasks (Blau 1964)
Thomas and Velthouse (1990) further defined the construct as an intrinsic drive apparent in four clusters. These are meaning, competence, self-determination, an impact; these mirror an employee’s evaluation and perspective of her job and role.
The first cluster, competence, refers to the extent to which an employee can carry out activities with competence when he attempts to do so; it pertains to proficiency of a skill. On the other hand, meaning is the premium attached to an objective or a mission, which is evaluated through a person’s own set of values or personal criteria. Moreover, meaning is the match between one’s job and contribution to work on one hand, and the cognition, affect, and behaviours on the other. Empowerment allows for an increase in employee motivation because empowered employees see meaning in what they do and since the goals of the company are consistent with what they attach value to (Staples 1990).
Self-determination pertains to having a sense of freedom in managing one’s