Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Pam Scholder Ellen

Second Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Dr. Detmar Straub


For decades, researchers have seen employee empowerment as the means to achieving a more committed workforce that would deliver better outcomes. The prior conceptual and descriptive research focused on structural empowerment, or workplace mechanisms for generating empowerment, and psychological empowerment, the felt empowerment. Responding to calls for intervention studies, this research experimentally tests the effects of structural empowerment changes, through different degrees of decision-making authority and access to customer-relationship information, on psychological empowerment and subsequent work-related outcomes. Using a virtual contact center simulation, crowdsourced workers responded to customer requests. Greater decision authority and access to customer-relationship information resulted in higher levels of psychological empowerment which in turn resulted in task satisfaction and task attractiveness outcomes among the crowdsourced customer service workers.