Working paper No. 296: Does One Size Fit All? Investigating Different Empowerment Orientations in the Heterogeneous Workforce of the Swedish Retail Sector

PublikationWorking paper
Arbetsmarknad, Empowerment, Ledarskap, Linda Weidenstedt, Management, Osynligt kontrakt, Sociologi, Stockholms universitet
Ladda ner


Empowerment research and practice is guided by the idea that empowered employees perform better due to a greater sense of self-efficacy and capability. Underlying this idea, there often seem to be two tacit, unexamined assumptions: first, that employees generally would prefer an empowered workplace to a less empowered one; and second, that all employees can be empowered by means of the same measures and changes as defined by empowerment research. The main research question asked in this study is whether those aspects typically associated with structural and psychological empowerment efforts at the workplace are indeed perceived as desirable and positive by all types of employees. Employees’ attitudes toward the success of empowerment efforts, and the relevance of such attitudes, are investigated by analyzing survey data from 268 employees in the Swedish retail sector. Results indicate that age and work intensity (part-time vs. full-time) as well as cohabitation have significant impacts on how empowerment efforts are viewed by employees in the sample.

Weidenstedt, L. (2017). Does One Size Fit All? Investigating Different Empowerment Orientations in the Heterogeneous Workforce of the Swedish Retail Sector. Ratio Working Paper No. 296. Stockholm: Ratio.

Liknande innehåll

Employee Empowerment and Paternalism: A Conceptual Analysis of Empowerment’s Embeddedness in Communicative Contexts
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Weidenstedt, L.



Empowerment as a management technique builds on the assumption that employees desire more power. Consequently, to a large extent, research on employee empowerment has focused on defining the type of power that should be contained in empowerment, identifying relevant mediating and moderating effects of and for empowerment as well as empowerment’s boundary conditions such as individual and social attributes. However, less research has dealt with communicative and relational aspects and how these may impact the outcome of employee empowerment. This paper uses an interactional perspective to conceptually analyse communicative meanings entailed in employee empowerment. Building on sociological theories of communicative interaction, it is argued that focusing on leaders’ and members’ ascriptions of meanings to each other’s communicative messages reveals paternalistic power structures that are of relevance for the failure and success of empowerment. A communicative analysis of common structural and psychological empowerment efforts suggests that members’ sensemaking of their roles and situations, as defined by formal (written) and informal (psychological) contracts, may not necessarily be in line with the communicative meanings intended by leaders’ actions, and vice versa.

Ratio Working Paper No. 341: Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policies to promote recruitment
Working paperPublikation
Nyström, K.


Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper


This paper studies the perceived difficulty of recruiting scarce competences to rural regions. Furthermore, the role of policy in facilitating and enhancing recruitment to and better skills matching in rural regions is discussed. Based on a survey targeted to the business sections in Swedish municipalities, the results show that recruitment is perceived to be difficult in both rural and non-rural regions. However, recruitment problems in the public sector are more pronounced in rural municipalities. Nevertheless, recruitment to the public and business sectors are perceived to be equally difficult in rural regions. Both rural municipalities and non-rural municipalities state that the difficulty of recruiting the right skills results in a lack of skills matching and constitutes an obstacle to growth. Which policies can help remedy recruitment problems in rural regions? The pecuniary incentive of writing off student debt is perceived to be the most promising policy, but respondents also believe that non-pecuniary support such as relocation support for accompanying persons and tandem recruitment should be implemented to a greater extent. Finally, the need for flexibility and policies that can be adapted to the regional demand for labour are stressed. This regards for example the adaption of education programmes to local needs and rules and regulations.

Medarbetaravtal, personalkostnader och produktivitet
Björklund, M. & Stern, C.


Publicerat i



Medarbetaravtal är en ovanlig kollektivavtalsform där särskilda krav ställs på samarbete mellan tjänstemannafacken och arbetarfacken eftersom avtalet tecknas gemensamt. Det saknas idag kunskap om effekterna av kollektivavtal generellt och medarbetaravtal i synnerhet. Parterna inom pappers- och massaindustrin tecknade 1996 medarbetaravtal vilket möjliggör en jämförelse på branschnivå. Med hjälp av syntetiska kontrollgrupper undersöker vi hur arbetskraftskostnad och produktivitet påverkas av den unika kollektivavtalslösningen. I rapporten kommer vi fram till att det i dagsläget är svårt att visa på några tydliga effekter vilket inte är helt förvånande med tanke på hur medarbetaravtalen som finns är utformade. Mer kunskap kring de ekonomiska effekterna av olika typer av kollektivavtal är en förutsättning för informerad diskussion kring framtidens kollektivavtal. Det krävs ytterligare studier i de fall ett mer renodlat medarbetaravtal skulle tecknas i framtiden.

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