Empowerment and the performance of health services

J Manag Med. 1999;13(2-3):83-94. doi: 10.1108/02689239910263163.


Addresses the issue of empowerment and its possible role in promoting the effectiveness of health services. Empowerment represents the ability of people within organisations to use their own initiative to further organisational interests. However, despite its apparent simplicity, the concept turns out to be quite complex and to have unanticipated implications. We explore some of these implications in health service organisations, and their consequences for health policy. Our conclusion is that many health policies may well act to degrade the empowerment of health service workers, and hence the performance of health service organisations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Health Services Administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Professional Autonomy*
  • Professional Competence
  • Social Responsibility
  • Total Quality Management