Motivation and Empowerment


The long-term success of many organizations depends on the effective combination of motivation and empowerment among their personnel. However, motivation and empowerment have different characteristics and unequal implications. Thus, it is necessary to clarify the major differences in the context of criminal justice organizations. There are several key components of empowerment that should be examined in detail. The role of trust is also considerable for realizing the creative and professional potential of all employees involved. In general, the precise comprehending of the similarities and differences between motivation and empowerment creates the foundation for the sustainable organizations development and the proper distribution of responsibilities among its members.

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Comparison of Motivation and Empowerment

Although there are some common elements, motivation and empowerment are distinctly different concepts. The former refers to the underlying psychological motives for peoples actions, intentions, and beliefs. Motives may be viewed as causes leading to a specific mode of behavior . In relation to the organizational setting, motivation plays a central role for encouraging employees to demonstrate their full potential and increase their productivity and creativity on a regular basis.

Empowerment refers to a set of measures oriented to creating the optimal conditions for peoples self-determination and responsibility in making their decisions and advocating their interests in a socially beneficial way. The effective measures presuppose the possibility of balancing the interests of a particular person with those of other people it plays an important role in organizations for demonstrating the significance and influence of all organizations members especially in relation to making strategic organizational decisions.

Thus, the major similarities between the above two concepts refer to creating the adequate conditions for employees professional development and the proper satisfaction of their needs. The major difference refers to the concentration on basic needs in relation to motivation (job security, salary, etc.) and higher needs in relation to empowerment (recognition, achievements, etc). Moreover, motivation mostly utilizes external motives while empowerment allows affecting the employees internal perception of his/her role in the organization.

Components of Empowerment

As empowerment is a comprehensive process, it is not homogenous and includes several key components. All of them address different aspects and are interrelated with one another. The first crucial component is the ability to make independent decisions. The organization should provide the possibilities for all its employees to make important decisions. If they lack the needed qualification of professional experience, additional trainings may be initiated. When employees face the opportunity to make significant decisions on a regular basis, they tend to become more responsible and devoted to the core organizational values.

The second component is achieving the optimal balance between leadership and team work. Empowerment allows all organizations members to comprehend the requirements of leadership and the spectrum of responsibilities that should be considered. Thus, they may demonstrate the maximum orientation to the highest organizations results regardless of their current position in the hierarchy. Moreover, the ability of the same employees to play both primary and secondary roles in different organizational contexts contribute to the organizations overall flexibility.

The third component of empowerment is balancing the organizational culture and structure. On the one hand, the organization should not impose its values on employees. On the contrary, they should be free to express their opinions and suggestions. On the other hand, the organizational structure should be established in a way that contributes to the proper realization of the key organizational values without having any negative impact on any organizations members. It is crucial to address all these empowerment components to reach the maximum possible results in the long run.

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Implications of Empowerment and Delegation

Considering the substantial positive outcomes associated with empowering personnel, many criminal justice organizations obtain additional incentives to utilize empowerment and delegation in their operations. The first major implication of empowerment and delegation is the growing autonomy and responsibility of all organizations members. Thus, the entire framework of their actions may change as employees start evaluating various available alternatives and select the one that will lead to the highest possible results. In contrast, under the traditional framework, they only respond to the decisions and strategies adopted at higher organizational levels.

The second implication refers to the positive changes in employees self-management and incentives for increasing their qualification. As the sphere of their responsibilities tends to rise, they may become more open to organizing their time and available resources in the most rational way. Criminal justice professionals may try to find the optimal balance between their theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Correspondingly, they may participate in various training courses and programs as well as adopt the latest technologies that may assist in performing their professional obligations.

The third implication is the ability of criminal justice managers to concentrate on the most strategic issues relevant for the long-term development of their organizations. As the major functions are delegated effectively to lower levels, managers obtain additional opportunities for analyzing the existing trends and possibilities for implementing their strategic goals. This higher specialization within criminal justice organizations may be reasonable as it contributes to a more rational allocation of resources and functions.

The fourth implication is the expected higher flexibility and efficiency especially while dealing with the most difficult and untypical cases. The higher flexibility may be achieved both due to higher qualification of personnel and their ability to perform different functions comprehending their direct and indirect consequences. The higher efficiency will be the result of a more systematic approach towards dealing with new challenges and the rational division of functions and responsibilities among all people involved. In general, it may be expected that the reliance on empowerment and delegation can be beneficial for the vast majority of criminal justice organizations.

At the same time, some implications may depend on the specific conditions of a particular organization. As they face different challenges and possess different resources, they require unequal degrees of flexibility. Correspondingly, it may be expected that various degrees of empowerment and delegation should be used under different conditions. In this context, it is crucial to provide the objective analysis of a given organization and its major goals. Moreover, the dynamics of the major performance indicators indicates the correctness or incorrectness of implemented measures.

Role of Trust in Personnel Issues

Although almost all criminal justice organizations have the precise and formal system of obligations and functions that should be performed by all members, the role of trust is especially high in the modern environment. Trust enables regulating those forms of relationships that are not properly covered by formal requirements. As a result, criminal justice organizations may become more flexible and efficient especially while facing unpredictable challenges.

Trust is significant at all organizational levels. In the context of horizontal relationships (between the members fulfilling similar functions), it promotes the mutual understanding and the timely exchange of opinions regarding the most effective ways of meeting their professional obligations and the broad organizational functions. In the context of vertical relationships, managers do not have to impose their will through formal regulations but can consider the positions and interests of employees. Moreover, employees may comprehend the underlying motives and reasons of managers decisions. Thus, they will be more responsive and creative in relation to all managers suggestions and claims.

The most important thing is that trust will strengthen the overall organizational culture. All organizations members will appreciate their respective positions and roles. Correspondingly, they will be able to organize their efforts in a way that will contribute to the emergence of the maximum possible synergic effect when the general effectiveness of a specific criminal justice organization exceeds the sum of its members individual contributions. The presence of the synergic effect is one of the key indicators of the successful and sustainable organizations.

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In conclusion, modern criminal justice organizations need to utilize a number of innovative methods including empowerment and motivation for realizing the full potential of all their members. As the external environment is dynamic, and new challenges tend to emerge regularly, criminal justice organizations cannot rely exclusively on formal methods and regulations, they should be open to encouraging employees to take higher responsibility for their actions and make rational independent decisions. At the same time, empowerment and motivation are distinct concepts as they refer to different mechanisms of affecting employees responses. Motivation orients to the most basic needs while empowerment enables satisfying individuals higher needs.

Empowerment and delegation lead to numerous positive effects for any organization if the process of their encouraging is managed properly. In particular, they contribute to higher flexibility and productivity regarding the key organizational challenges. Moreover, organizations can solve the most challenging cases in innovative ways due to the proper balancing of all members spheres of operations. The atmosphere of mutual trust is crucial for achieving the synergic effect and the maximum possible realization of the criminal organizations objectives. Trust performs important functions both in relation to horizontal and vertical relations between various organizational members contributing to their mutually beneficial strategies. The consistent implementation of the provided recommendations can allow increasing the potential of any criminal justice organization.

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