Organizational change and work-related empowerment

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AimThis study describes the views of multidisciplinary teams on work-related empowerment in a transitional organization.MethodsThe data were collected between September 2003 and January 2004 (n = 115) and one year later (n = 112) using a self-administered questionnaire consisting of verbal and behavioural items, empowerment outcomes, and factors promoting and impeding empowerment. The target population consisted of all members working in multidisciplinary teams at the Rheumatism Foundation Hospital in Finland. The response rate was 58% at both data collections. The data were analysed statistically using SPSS software.ResultsThe multidisciplinary teams rated their work empowerment quite highly. The number of empowerment promoting factors was lowest for the category of future orientedness, consisting of continuity of work, opportunities for advancement, and access to information. The number of impeding factors was also highest for the same category of future orientedness, consisting here of organizational bureaucracy and hierarchy, authoritarian leadership, poor access to information, and short working periods.ConclusionsIt is important not to underestimate the impacts of organizational changes: they have a direct effect on the work environment and may contribute to higher rates of dissatisfaction, burnout and absenteeism among health care workers.

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