Empowering Employees: Structural Empowerment as Antecedent of Job Satisfaction in University Settings

Alejandro Orgambídez-Ramos, Yolanda Borrego-Alés


With more organizations looking for employees who take the initiative and respond creatively to the challenges of the job, empowerment becomes important at both individual and organizational levels. Empowered employees are generally more satisfied with their work, committed and effective at work. According to Kanter's structural empowerment, this study examines the role of access to opportunity, resources, support and information, and two types of power, formal and informal, as antecedents of job satisfaction. A cross sectional study using questionnaires was conducted. The sample consisted of 226 Spanish university teachers. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses have revealed that intrinsic job satisfaction was significantly predicted by formal power and access to opportunity, and job satisfaction with supervisor was predicted by informal power, and access to resources, information, and support. Results support Kanter's theory of structural empowerment, and suggest strong relationships between job satisfaction and structural empowerment. It is a link between empowering work settings and organizational outcomes (job satisfaction, organizational commitment, effectiveness). On a practical level, Kanter's structural empowerment theory provides a framework for understanding empowering workplaces and empowered employees.


empowerment; power; resources; support; information; opportunity; job satisfaction

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5964/psyct.v7i1.88

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ISSN: 2193-7281
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