Empowerment and the management of an organizational transformation project

Project managers are often hesitant to initiate the kind of major transformations recommended by management books and consultants because of organizational and human constraints. Nevertheless, Total Quality Management (TQM) implementations have highlighted the importance of user involvement and training as factors supporting worker empowerment. A field study conducted during an information system conversion at 52 branches of an interstate bank yielded several conclusions with implications for project managers interested in implementing organizational transformation. Empowering an organizations workers can--in itself--be an effective strategy for change, and have big payoffs, even at the lowest level of an organization. Training can be used as a tool for empowerment, but does not, by itself, translate into successful organizational transformation. Every managerial action can be turned into an empowering opportunity.
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