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Empowerment and Accountability: Evidence from the UK Privatized Water Industry

Stuart Ogden, Keith W. Glaister and David Marginson

Journal of Management Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 3, 521-555

Abstract: abstract Empowerment initiatives have become popular in recent years in programmes of organizational change, but their impact as a practical managerial policy remains shrouded in ambiguities. We attempt to provide a fuller understanding of their impact, firstly by exploring managers' understanding of what constitutes empowerment, and secondly by locating the analysis of changes in managers' experiences of empowerment in the context of their experiences of changes in accountability practices. Drawing on data from interviews with managers and a mail questionnaire, we argue that the experience of empowerment is multi‐faceted, and shaped by managers' attitudes towards it. Moreover we find that accountability plays a more significant and independent role in encouraging managers to engage in empowerment than has hitherto been acknowledged.

Date: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:43:y:2006:i:3:p:521-555