Empowerment or Disempowerment of Middle and Lower Level Managers as an Efficient Model of Managing a Manufacturing Company in Poland – A Case Study

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Authors:
Krzysztof Lobos, WSB University in Wroclaw, Poland
Mirosława Szewczyk, Opole University of Technology, Poland
Email: krzysztof.lobos@wsb.wroclaw.pl
Published: January 2016
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijss.2.1.04

Citation: Lobos, K., Szewczyk, M. (2016). Empowerment or Disempowerment of Middle and Lower Level Managers as an Efficient Model of Managing a Manufacturing Company in Poland – A Case Study. IAFOR Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijss.2.1.04


Abstract

During the field studies concerning job satisfaction and commitment, the authors observed that there were no fundamental differences between answers provided by middle and low level managers and ordinary workers, concerning determinants of these phenomena: they showed the same low level of empowerment and complained about the same items to a comparable degree. The authors conducted the survey in a manufacturing plant with foreign investment by a worldwide operating company, located in Poland (Lower Silesia) in the Spring of 2014. The sample consisted of 81 workers, 25 administrative staff and 11 managers, thus general n=117. The chi-square test of independence, a p-value calculated by Monte Carlo simulation were used to determine whether or not and in which spheres the questioned managers differed from the workers and administrative staff. Consequently, the authors show that in conditions similar to those encountered in the analyzed manufacturing plant, centralization of power may be considerably high and managers of the middle and lower level may be more similar to workers in many respects. Next, the possible reasons for that “disempowerment” in terms of the so-called “end-of-the-pipe model” structure are given and discussed. The authors show also that some kind of remedy can be found in such situations using the simplest empowerment strategy – the so-called suggestion empowerment, as well as TQM or Lean Management practices (e.g., quality circles, 5M, TPM).

Keywords

Empowerment, disempowerment, job satisfaction, managers, manufacturing, Poland