Empowerment at Work Scale


This measure, (Empowerment at Work) developed by Spreitzer (1995), describes the extent to which employees believe they are empowered in their jobs. Empowerment has been defined as the intrinsic motivation resulting from four cognitions reflecting an individual’s orientation to his or her work role. The four cog­ nitions are meaning, competence, self-determination,and impact (Spreitzer, 1995). Meaning involves a fit between the requirements of a work role and a person’s beliefs, values, and behaviors. Competence refers to self-efficacy specific to work, a belief in one’s capability to perform work activities with skill, analogous to personal mastery. Self-determination reflects autonomy over the initiation and continuation of work processes and making decisions about work methods, pace, and effort. Impact is the degree to which a person can influence strategic, administrative, or operating outcomes at work.


Coefficient alpha values ranged from .81 to. 87 for meaning, 76 to .84 for competence, .79 to .85 for self-determination, and .83 to .88 for impact. Alpha for a combined scale for overall empowerment was .72 in an indus­ trial sample and .62 in an insurance sample (Gagne et al., 1997; Markel & Frone, 1998; Spreitzer, 1995, 1996; Spreitzer, Kizilos, & Nason, 1997).


A factor analysis showed that the 12 items all loaded on four factors corre­sponding to the dimensions of meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact (Gagne et al., 1997). In Spreitzer (1995), confirmatory factor analysis showed the items loaded on the appropriate subscales and found evidence for an underlying second-order factor of overall empowerment. In Kraimer, Seibert, and Liden (1999), confirmatory factor analysis in two samples collected at different points in time showed that the four empower­ment dimensions were distinct from one another.

The meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact dimensions all correlated positively with job satisfaction (Spreitzer et al., 1997). In addition, all of the dimensions except meaning correlated negatively with strain and positively with self-reported job effectiveness. Additional analysis in Spreitzer (1995) showed that self-esteem and information about an organi­zation’s mission were both antecedents of empowerment. In addition, both perceived managerial effectiveness and innovative behaviors were conse­quences of empowerment. Using structural equation models, Kraimer et al. (1999) found that job meaningfulness was related positively with meaning, job autonomy was related positively with self-determination, and task feed­ back related positively with competence and impact. Both meaning and competence were related positively with career intentions and impact was related directly with organizational commitment.


Spreitzer, G. M. (1995). Psychological empowerment in the workplace: Dimensions, measurement, and validation. Academy of Management Jour­ nal, 38(5), 1442-1465. © 1995 by Academy of Management. Items were taken from the appendix, pp. 1464-1465. Reproduced with permission of Academy of Management in the format textbook via Copyright Clearance Center.


Responses are obtained on a 7-point Likert-type scale where 1 = strongly disagree and 7 = strongly agree.

Meaning items:

  1. The work I do is very important to me.
  2. My job activities are personally meaningful to me.
  3. The work I do is meaningful to me

Competence items:

  1. I am confident about my ability to do my job
  2. I am self-assured about my capabilities to perform my work activities.
  3. I have mastered the skills necessary for my job.

Self-determination items:

  1. I have significant autonomy in determining how I do my job.
  2. I can decide on my own how to go about doing my work
  3. I have considerable opportunity for independence and freedom in how I do my job

Impact items:

  1. My impact on what happens in my department is large
  2. I have a great deal of control over what happens in my department
  3. I have significant influence over what happens in my department

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Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Empowerment at Work Scale. Retrieved from https://scales.arabpsychology.com/s/empowerment-at-work-scale/. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163