Assignment: What’s Empowerment Got to Do with It?


Contemporary companies are spotlighted as “best places to work” and their employee motivation practices are openly discussed. For example, Google, Southwest Airlines, and Zappos all claim that “empowering their employees” is the reason that their workforce is so dedicated and highly motivated.

Read the articleMotivating Employees Has Everything To Do With Giving Them Feelings Of Ownership” from Forbes Magazine.

Your Task

After reading the article, you are ready to begin the assignment:

  1. Research employee motivation and contemporary companies by choosing a company known to be a “great place to work” as the focus of your written assignment. If you are not certain which companies meet this criteria, you can start at one of these Web sites: or Forbes Magazine and also gather data on employee satisfaction.
  2. Once you have selected the company, summarize the key components or characteristics of your selected company’s employee motivation strategy or practice.
  3. Compare the strategy or practice used by the company to one of the theories presented in the module readings (i.e. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, ERG, Herzberg’s Two-Factor, Theory X and Theory Y Theory, Theory Z, Equity Theory, etc.). Be specific when you make this comparison, and be aware of the fact that you may see elements of more than one theory being put into practice.
  4. After you have studied how your chosen company keeps its employees motivated and creates a great place to work, summarize which theory would most motivate you and why.