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Impact of Empowering Front-Line Managers on Planning Reliability & Project Schedule Performance

Journal of Management in Engineering 36 (3), 04020004

Abstract: This study applies empowerment theory to production planning at the level of frontline managers in a construction project. Using structural equation modeling, we investigate how empowering frontline managers impacts their planning performance. In contrast to prior studies, we find that although psychological empowerment of frontline managers has no direct effect on their production planning reliability or scheduling performance, it has an indirect effect on planning reliability and scheduling performance, as long as the organization supports empowerment structurally during production planning. This implies that a project manager should provide frontline managers at the operational level with proper formal and informal authority over workflow development, shielding, and resource allocation when planning production in order to enhance job performance through psychological empowerment.

Authored by:  Yong-Woo Kim and Byong-Duk Rhee