2Empowerment has been and remains one of the most promising but least understood concepts in business to date. First introduced in the 1980s, it quickly became a buzzword full of promise but short on delivery. Who could argue with the end result of empowerment? Ask senior managers if they want employees who accept responsibility, have a proprietary interest in the company, and want to work hard for company results, and the answer is, of course, yes. Ask employees if they want to feel valued, be involved in their jobs, and feel pride in the work they do, and the answer is, of course, yes.

Essentially, managers and employees want the same outcome. So why has it been so hard to achieve empowerment? ...

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