Empowerment or enslavement? : A case of process-based organisational change in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-59
Journal / PublicationInformation Technology & People
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2002



Employee empowerment is commonly a fundamental part of the prescriptions offered to improve business performance. However, business process improvement and many other organisational development and change initiatives tend to encapsulate the values of the societies and organisations in which they were developed – and such values are not universal. The case of a business process re-engineering project in Hong Kong illustrates an attempt to empower team members that paradoxically resulted in their psychological enslavement. The roles of cultural differences and reward systems in producing unintended consequences are analysed while the implications of the case for both research and practice are considered. © 2002, MCB UP Limited

Research Area(s)

  • Action research, BPR, Corporate culture, Empowerment, National cultures, Organizational change

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