CONSEQUENCES OF TEAM EMPOWERMENT
Some criteria of work team effectiveness from previous research include organizational commitment (Amason & Sapienza, 1997), job satisfaction (Kozlowski & Ilgen, 2006; Seibert et al., 2004; Uhl-Bien & Graen, 1998), quality, and productivity (Seibert et al., 2004; Buller & Hell, 1986). Kirkman and Rosen (1997) categorized different work team effectiveness criteria into two major groups: performance outcomes, and attitudinal outcomes. In the following section I will use this framework to analyze the consequences of team empowerment.
Kirkman and collegues (2004) investigated the relationship between team empowerment and virtual team performance and found team empowerment to be positively associated with virtual team performance. Frequently cited performance outcomes include productivity, innovation, and customer service.
Productivity. Several studies focused on the effect of empowerment on team productivity. Kim and colleagues (2010) found that strong team voice improves labour productivity and having high levels of both team and representative voice yields better productivity than having low team and low representative voice combined. Gorn and Kanungo (1980) found employees were more productive when they actively involved in the decision-making process and perceived their jobs as meaningful.
• Through team empowering practices such as eliminating forty supervisory and management positions, K Shoes gave its teams more authority, more input, and more communication. Within one year on-time delivery rate increased from 80 percent to 97 percent, and a 19 percent in productivity was reported.
Innovation. Decisions in the innovation process should be delegated to the innovation teams to avoid delays caused by waiting for management’s agreement. Innovative companies such as 3M, IBM, Sony, and Proctor & Gamble typically give very high autonomy to their teams. Bantel and Jackson (1989) found that more innovative banks are managed by more educated teams who are from diverse...