GAINING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT: A STUDY OF PETROCHEMICAL COMPANIES IN NNEWI METROPOLIS, ANAMBRA STATE

Author: Anowai Ebere Joy
Department: Business Administration
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

This study on Gaining Competitive Advantage through Employee Empowerment; is a survey research designed to identify the extent of employee empowerment in the selected companies, to assess the contribution of training on technological advancement, and to examine how employee involvement in decision making affects organizational profitability. A sample size of seventy four (74) was drawn from the selected companies; Ibeto Petrochemical Industries and A-Z Oil Industries, both in Nnewi, Anambra State. Data for the study were elicited from the respondents using a questionnaire designed in the 4 point Likert scale format. Responses were analysed using percentages. The hypotheses guiding the study were tested using t-test. Findings of the study include that there was inadequacy of employee empowerment in the selected companies, the existence of positive relationship between training and technological advancement, and also that employee involvement in decision making affects profitability. The study also revealed that other personal factors such as employee’s personal need can affect competitive advantage as well. The study concluded that competitive advantage is a function of empowerment programs and employee readiness. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recommends that for an organization to achieve a profitability that will be above the average profitability of all other competitors, empowerment programs should be tailored to accommodate employee’s needs and interest. A model was developed by the researcher to demonstrate the link among employee empowerment, employee readiness to exhibit empowered behavior, and competitive advantage.

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