Empowerment approach to human services management

Review the 12 principles presented by Hardina et al. in the section titled “Humans Service Organizations and Empowerment” in Ch. 4 of Management of Human Service Programs. Additional resources may be used.

Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper that discusses the principles presented by Hardina et al. In your paper, discuss the principles that characterize an empowerment approach to social service management, and evaluate how these principles are applied to a human service organization in which you are familiar.

Specifically, address the following:

  • Explore what themes from classical management theories (bureaucracy, scientific management, universal management principles, etc.) are utilized with an empowerment approach.
  • Explain the ideological belief systems of a manager who espouses empowerment for the overall agency, staff members, and clientele.
  • Explain the differences between horizontal and top down organizational models.
  • Explain how the concepts of team building and collaboration are met through the use of contemporary management theories.
  • Discuss strategies for consistent evaluation of organizational efficacy that includes strategic feedback from clients, community constituency groups, and staff members within the agency.

Hardina et al. (2007) suggest that an “empowering approach” to social service management is characterized by the following basic principles:                                                                               1. Empowerment-oriented organizations create formal structures to support the participation of clients in organizational decision-making …

2. Empowerment-oriented organizations create partnerships with program beneficiaries in which all parties (clients, staff, and board members) are equal participants …

3. The purpose of client involvement in service delivery is to decrease personal feelings of powerlessness and to improve the quality of, and access to, services …

4. Empowerment-oriented organizations explicitly develop policies, programs, and procedures that can be used to bridge cultural, ethnic, gender, and other demographic barriers to effective service delivery …

5. Empowerment-oriented organizations have top managers who are ideologically committed to the empowerment of both staff members and program beneficiaries …

6. Empowerment-oriented organizations engage in specific strategies to increase the psychological empowerment and motivation of workers …

7. Empowerment-oriented organizations promote the use of team building and collaboration among staff members …

8. Empowerment-oriented organizations encourage staff to advocate for improvements in services and policies …

9. Empowerment-oriented management approaches can only produce effective outcomes when a consistent funding base is available to maintain the organization …

10. Empowerment-oriented organizations involve clients, community constituency groups, and staff members in ongoing evaluation of services and program renewal …


11. Empowerment-oriented organizations act to increase their own political power as well as the political influence of program beneficiaries …

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