The Moderating Role of Power Distance on the Relationship between Employee Participation and Outcome Variables

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Department of Health Economics and Management, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background
Many organisations have realised the importance of human resource for their competitive advantage. Empowering employees is therefore essential for organisational effectiveness. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between employee participation with outcome variables such as organisational commitment, job satisfaction, perception of justice in an organisation and readiness to accept job responsibilities. It further examined the impact of power distance on the relationship between participation and four outcome variables.
 
Methods
This was a cross sectional study with a descriptive research design conducted among employees and managers of hospitals affiliated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. A questionnaire as a main procedure to gather data was developed, distributed and collected. Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficient and moderated multiple regression were used to analyse the study data.
 
Results
Findings of the study showed that the level of power distance perceived by employees had a significant relationship with employee participation, organisational commitment, job satisfaction, perception of justice and readiness to accept job responsibilities. There was also a significant relationship between employee participation and four outcome variables. The moderated multiple regression results supported the hypothesis that power distance had a significant effect on the relationship between employee participation and four outcome variables.
 
Conclusion
Organisations in which employee empowerment is practiced through diverse means such as participating them in decision making related to their field of work, appear to have more committed and satisfied employees with positive perception toward justice in the organisational interactions and readiness to accept job responsibilities.

Keywords

Main Subjects


1. Becker BE, Gerhart B. The impact of human resource management on organizational performance: progress and prospects. Acad Manage J 1996; 39: 20-8. doi: 10.2307/256712
2. Blanchard K, Carlos JP, Randolph A. Empowerment takes more than a minute. San Francesco: Berrett-Koehler; 1999.
3. Conger JA, Kanungo RN. The empowerment process integrating theory and practice. Acad Manage Rev 1988; 13: 11-8.
4. Bialas S. Power distance as a determinant of relations between managers and employees in the enterprises with foreign capital. Journal of Intercultural Management 2009; 1: 105-15.
5. Hofstede G. Culture’s consequences: international differences in work related values. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications; 1980.
6. Mead R. International  Management. Oxford: Blackwell publishing; 2003.
7. Sagie A, Aycan Z. A cross cultural analysis of participative decision making in organizations. Hum Relat 2003; 56: 32-9. doi: 10.1177/0018726703056004003
8. Hofstede G. Cultures and organizations: software of the mind. New York: MC Graw-Hill; 2005.
9. Francesco AM, Chen ZX. Cross cultural differences within a single culture: power distance as a moderator of participation – outcome relationship in the people’s republic of China. Hong Kong: Business Research Centre, School of Business; 2000.
10. Gomez CB, Kirkman BL, Shapiro DA. The impact of power distance on the relationship between participation and organizational commitment. annual meeting of the academy of management; 1999; Chicago.
11. Greer L, Gebren AK. Power distance, conflict resolution and status Conflicts in teams: how do the power dynamics impact team conflict resolution. 2008; [cited 2010 July 25] Available from: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1298593
12. Brockner J, Ackerman G, Greenberg J, Gelfandd MJ, Francescoe AN, Chene ZX, et al. Culture and procedural justice: The influence of power distance on reactions to voice. J Exp Soc Psychol 2001: 37: 300-15.
13. Asgari A, Silong A, Ahmad A, Samah BA. The relationship between organizational characteristics, task characteristics, cultural context and organizational citizenship Behaviors. European  Journal  of  economics, finance and administrative science 2008; 13: 94-107.
14. Lam SK, Schaubroeck J, Aryee S. Relationship between organizational justice and employee work outcomes: a cross national study. J Organ Behav 2003; 23: 1-18. doi: 10.1002/job.131
15. Greenberg J, Brockner J. Culture and procedural justice: the influence of power distance on reactions to voice. J Exp Soc Psychol 2001; 37: 300-15. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jesp.2000.1451
16. Oloko M, Ogutu M. Influences of power distance on employee empowerment and MNC performance: a study of multinational corporations in Kenya. Educ Res J 2012; 2: 47-61.
17. Wahab, E. The moderating role of power distance on the relationship between perceived organizational support and organizational commitment. 5th National Human Resource Management Conference; 2010.
18. Rahmat Seresht H, Fayazi M. Relationship between power perception, commitment and employee performance.  Journal  of Humanity and Social Sciences 2006; 8: 73-96.
19. Sadeghi MT. Equity: a basic need for organizations. Journal  of Modiran,  Research  center  of  Human  Sciences  and  Cultural  Studies 2007; 5: 63-70.
20. Seyed Javadin SR, Farahi MM, Taheri GH. Investigating the effect of organizational justice on different aspects of job satisfaction. Journal of Business Management 2006; 1: 12-9.