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Ways to Empower People: Group Methods Report (Assessment)

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The characteristic differences between group empowerment and moment of truth empowerment concern the techniques used and the period of empowering the staff members. For instance, group empowerment includes decisions employees make “on a day-to-day basis” (Lockyer, 2007, p. 111) while the moment of truth is more related to the particular “instant of customer contact” (p. 115). In this respect, the main difference between these two ways of empowering the individuals concerns the moment as a period in the case of a moment of true empowerment and the daily activities in the case of the group empowerment. Also, it is necessary to emphasize that these two methods of improving the quality of services provided to customers through the empowerment of the staff members include a different number of participants.

Ways to empower people and gain empowerment using group techniques

As suggested in the study by Risler and Holosko (2009), employees empowered with the help of group empowering techniques “have a higher degree of satisfaction among their members” (p. 75). At the same time, Barron-Mckeagney (2002) emphasizes the role of individual empowerment and its contribution to the introduction of group empowerment (p. 13). As contrasted to the idea suggested by Lockyer (2007) about the fact that moment of true empowerment is related to a particular moment, Bodaken and Fritz (2006) think that this technique includes people “who are involved, consistently improving their performance over time” (p. 28), and contribute positively to the quality of services. The role of the moment of truth empowerment was also focused on by Landrum (2006) and Silva (2005) as a good strategy for motivating sportsmen and in management while dealing with customers. In other words, the main differences include the period when results of empowerment are seen and the number of people as group empowerment requires interactions between groups while the moment of truth is the issue of one person.

To answer the question concerning the impacts that may result from limiting the range of empowerment, it is necessary to think about the situation presented by Vijay Wanchoo, General Manager, (Corporate Planning, Fortune Park Hotels, New Delhi, India) where lack of empowerment leads to inefficient use of resources including involvement of employees, the time spent for solving the problem, and financial consequences of such limited, if any, empowerment (Lockyer, 2007, p. 110). In this respect, the impacts of limiting the range of empowerment may be negative when the lack of experience of employees that work directly with customers results in the necessity of involvement of the employees that occupy higher positions for the decision-making process.

Negative consequences of limiting empowerment can range from lack of effective decision-making to financial losses due to poor reputation caused by inadequate responses to customers’ questions. Lucas (2004) provides an example of negative consequences when “actual levels of discretion and responsibility (were) low because managers deployed various mechanisms to limit empowerment” (p. 165). At the same time, some authors report about the positive aspects of limiting empowerment when it should be done for particular purposes. As such, “it is possible…for some forms of social protection to limit empowerment if they foster a culture of dependency” (Stern, Dethier & Rogers, 2005, p. 143). So, when empowerment concerns management where employees should provide adequate responses promptly, empowerment is beneficial while limiting the level of empowerment can result in several problems up to financial losses.

The advantages of empowerment for the sector of management and administration are obvious; otherwise, the companies all around the globe would not implement empowering tools to make their employees more autonomous in terms of operation and decision making. Besides, the lack of strict hierarchy in the process of making decisions may be a very important aspect of management in the hotel business when problems should be solved immediately. The same concerns all areas when customers’ interests are of primary importance. As reported in the study by Saxena and Awasthi (2010), the advantages of empowerment include strong motivation and an increase of the “total amount of power in an organization” (p. 155). Besides, “employees, often having direct interaction with guests, are more aware of the problems and solutions…” (Lockyer, 2007, p. 111). In this respect, the employees contribute positively to the image of the organization by providing adequate services promptly and have a higher level of commitment to the company.

The major disadvantages of empowerment include such aspects as power abuse when employees are free to act on their own and bear responsibility for this; having more responsibility may be considered one of the reasons why empowerment may fail to be accomplished. The problem of disadvantages of empowerment was reviewed by Gill (2006) who suggests that resistance to empowerment roots in the minds of middle-class managers who do not want to bear responsibility, are afraid to lose control over the situation, and have many other fears and reasons for doing so (p. 226). Abuse of power employees receive and lack of confidence in skills and knowledge can be the reasons for all other problems that arise in this case.

Reference List

Barron-Mckeagney, T. (2002). Telling our stories: The lives of Midwestern Latinas. London: Routledge.

Bodaken, B., & Fritz, R. (2006). The managerial moment of truth: The essential step in helping people improve performance. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Gill, R. (2006). Theory and practice of leadership. London: SAGE.

Landrum, G. N. (2006). Empowerment: The competitive edge in sports, business & life. Burlington, Ontario: Brendan Kelly Publishing Inc.

Lockyer, T. (2007). The international hotel industry: Sustainable management. New York: The Haworth Hospitality & Tourism Press.

Lucas, R. (2004). Employment relations in the hospitality and tourism industries. New York, NY: Routledge.

Risler, E. A., & Holosko, M. J. (2009). Blueprint for a youth empowerment model (YEM) through volunteerism. In M. J. Holosko & T. W. Lo (Eds.), Youth empowerment and volunteerism: Principles, policies and practices (pp. 58-81). Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.

Saxena, S., & Awasthi, P. (2010). Leadership. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Silva, A. (2005). The ten commandments of quality management: Best practices to develop new leaders and create a quality environment. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.

Stern, N. H., Dethier, J.-J., & Rogers, F. H. (2005). Growth and empowerment: making development happen. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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