Empowerment of non-academic personnel in higher education: exploring associations with perceived organizational support for innovation and organizational trust

Abstract

Employee empowerment has long been associated with organizational outcomes such as innovation, greater effectiveness, and better performance. Non-academic professional employees in higher education are responsible for the important day-to-day operations of a university; therefore, organizational strategies such as employee empowerment that encourage initiatives and innovative behaviors among them may become crucial to the long-term survival of today’s colleges and universities. Surprisingly, non-academic professional employees in higher education have received little attention in the scholarly literature. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the levels of empowerment and perceived organizational support for innovations and organizational trust among non-academic professional employees within a public comprehensive university in a Midwestern state. The study also tested the hypotheses that organizational trust may affect perceived employee empowerment and influence the relationship between perceived organizational support for innovation and employee empowerment. A survey instrument was distributed by email to all eligible professional and scientific employees (N = 558) in the selected university. Data were collected using a web survey method. A total of 255 completed instruments were returned, which yielded a 45.7% net response rate. Overall, there was substantial evidence supporting a relationship between empowerment and the four distinct cognitions of empowerment, supporting the notion that empowerment is the “gestalt” of the four dimensions. Perceived organizational support for innovation was a significant predictor of employees’ perceived empowerment among non-academic professional employees. The respondents who reported higher levels of perceived organizational support for innovation perceived higher levels of empowerment. The study’s findings indicated the influence of organizational trust on empowerment. The findings also showed that administrative responsibilities had a

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Keung2016EmpowermentON, title={Empowerment of non-academic personnel in higher education: exploring associations with perceived organizational support for innovation and organizational trust}, author={Wing Ming Keung and J. S. K. Lau and Lelia B. Helms}, year={2016} }