Empowerment and delegation are management tools that are widely used by top managers in order to achieve specific goals of an institute or an organization. Although both empowerment and delegation deal with employee management, they differ from each other. Empowerment is a tool that managers use to transfer the power of making decisions to their employees, thereby making them responsible for the actions they do. On the other hand, a delegation is a tool used by managers to allocate various tasks and duties to employees, giving them instructions on what they have to do and take responsibility for their actions upon themselves (Kokemuller).
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In general, delegation means nominating or choosing someone as a representative of others. The roles of leaders and followers are very distinct in the delegation, as the employees are completely dependent upon the managers for every act they do, and the responsibility falls only on the managers. In general, to empower means giving one’s authority and power to someone else. In empowerment, people change the roles of leaders and followers, as power is allocated to each shareholder that participates in a particular process. In this case, every shareholder takes responsibility for their actions (Mac Phail-Wilcox and Ward 4).
Organizations that implement delegation use a more traditional approach. They have a fixed hierarchy, more levels of rank, and a certain system of allocating tasks and duties by higher-ranking officers to lower-ranking workers. The structure of an empowered organization presupposes a flexible hierarchy, fewer levels of rank, and a certain system of empowerment (Kokemuller).
Additionally, there are other differences between delegation and empowerment. First, in the short-run, delegation, in contrast to empowerment, means less work for leaders and more work for followers. Conversely, in the long-run, delegation means more work for leaders and less work for followers. Second, in the delegation, managers are the center of leadership, whereas, in empowerment, there are no distinct leaders.
Third, in general, empowerment creates more leaders, while delegation creates more followers. Fourth, the main disadvantage of empowerment for leaders is that they risk losing power and authority, as they make their employees almost equal to them, while the main drawback of delegation for leaders is that they have to take responsibility for all actions made by their employees. Fifth, empowerment enhances the employees’ level of confidence, whereas, in the delegation, employees entirely depend on managers and, therefore, do not have much confidence in their actions. Sixth, in empowerment, apart from shared power, shared values are also required, while in the delegation, neither of these matters (“Difference between Delegation and Empowerment”).
Thus, the system of empowerment is an innovative approach to organizing a company’s structure, while the system of the delegation that utilizes a traditional approach is currently considered less effective. In terms of my experience, I think that delegation is easier than empowerment, and although currently the number of organizations that implement the latter is rising, there are some situations, particularly when an emergency response is needed, the former is much more effective.
However, in the long-run, empowerment is key to creating healthier organizations. Certainly, it is more difficult to implement than delegation and creates more problems, but, eventually, it is a much better way to create organizations that will be more successful, and that will consist of people who will feel fulfilled and be proud of their contribution (Mac Phail-Wilcox and Ward 17).
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“Difference between Delegation and Empowerment.” Differencebtw, 2016. Web.
Kokemuller, Neil. “Differences between Empowerment & Delegation.” Azcentral, 2016. Web.
Mac Phail-Wilcox, Bettye, and Michael Ward. Delegation and Empowerment. Routledge, 2013.