Empowering leadership

Published on July 1, 2012 Reviewed on November 30, 2016   17 min

A selection of talks on Management, Leadership & Organisation

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My name is Gary Yukl, and I am a Professor of Management at UAlbany, which is otherwise known as the State University of New York in Albany. My presentation is about Empowering Leadership.
Leadership is the process of influencing how people perform collective tasks. Most organizations have appointed or elected leaders with formal authority to direct the activities of their work unit. Empowering leadership involves sharing some of the leader's authority with members of the work unit and allowing them to influence decisions that affect them. It has been an important topic in leadership research for more than 50 years. Many studies tested the proposed benefits of empowerment. Today, I will describe what it means to be an empowering leader and how the potential benefits can be attained.
Scholars have identified different types of behavior that leaders can use to empower their subordinates. One way to empower subordinates is to give them some autonomy and choice with regard to their work. Another behavior is to provide the resources and information subordinates need to perform their work effectively, when making decisions that affect subordinates, the leader can use a procedure that allows them to have some influence on the decision. A leader can also provide opportunities for subordinates to learn new skills and advance their careers. Finally, the leader can help to implement formal programs that give employees more influence and ensure they are treated fairly.