In recent years, increased complexity and persistent challenges induced governmental organizations to transform their ways of operating. Inherent to such transformations are shifts in approaches to leadership and organizational learning. However, adopting strategies that empower staff to take complex context-appropriate decisions has shown to be difficult. This paper aims to gain insight into empowering and disempowering leadership practices in complex transformation processes. Team leaders of a governmental organization participated in observing videos of weekly team meetings, noting positive and negative interactions between the peer-team leader and team members. Their observations were analyzed using the four dimensions of psychological empowerment. All team leaders showed empowering and disempowering practices within one case discussion. The findings illustrate in which contexts these practices are triggered. Results help to theoretically elucidate academic debates about the relationships between empowerment and control, differences between empowerment and laissez-faire and between empowering and destructive leadership in human service organizations.
|Journal||Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2021|