Re-conceptualization of psychological empowerment
Ng, Thomas Wai Hung
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This dissertation provides a re-conceptualization of the construct of psychological empowerment. This effort is motivated by the observation that the definition proposed by Thomas and Velthouse (1990), which is frequently used in the organizational behavior literature, has some conceptual shortcomings. Based on the research on the behavioral approach/inhibition theory of power, psychological empowerment is conceptualized as a psychological state in which individuals are aware that they have the freedom to take the responsibility for and to have influence over the ideas, decisions, actions, and standards of quality in undertaking their areas of job duties. Further, a measurement scale was developed for this new construct with data from two organizations. This measurement scale demonstrated acceptable psychometric properties. A theoretical model of psychological empowerment was also tested. Implications for theory development and practices are discussed.