History and Concepts of Administrative Empowerment – WHE
In spite of the continued significant advancements in the workforce by women in the past years, there are still changes to be made to overcome systems of exclusion and biases. Given that women continue to play increasingly significant roles in leadership and administration of higher education institutions, understanding the history and concepts of administrative empowerment is very critical. As Steward (2009) explains, having an understanding of higher education administrators as well as ways in which they operate is significant in understanding the failure or successes of universities and colleges. The paper focuses on the history and development of administrative empowerment in higher education. It provides definitions of administrative empowerment as well as administrative empowerment in higher education. In addition, some definitions of administrative empowerment for academic female leaders in higher education have been provided.
The History and Development of Administrative Empowerment in Higher Education
The concept of empowerment in general emerged in the 1980s and its popularity increased in the high education 1990s. A decade later, the idea of having women in higher education has finally, but reluctantly, accepted by male educators as a result of the great need for more educated women as well as championing for the rights of the women in the society (Tiao, 2006). According to Badah (2010), administrative empowerment has since been employed to ensure educational institutions` success. Taxak (2009) explains that higher education is currently being employed to empower the society with the objective of encouraging economic development, making the women more politically active and involved in matters related to legal rights (Aggarwal, 2014; Lau, 2010). In regards to administrative empowerment for academic female leaders in higher education Dunn, Gerlach, and Hyle (2014) despite the emphasis on administrative empowerment, women in academic administration are underrepresented. As such, masculine practices tend to exclude women. Moreover, fewer women serving senior administrative in research-intensive and prestigious institutions as well as higher education are few, hence underrepresentation.
Concerning minority women presence in administrative professionals because of empowerment, Hale (2009) notes that women are still not fully empowered and the positions held are very low despite the campaign to increase women in administrative positions through higher education. Women have been left out as they are increasingly being incorporated into the administrative system (Becks-Moody, 2004; Britton, 2013). Women continue to play an ever influential and increasing role in administration in her education. However, more women need to be empowered to be part of the female leaders in higher education.
The Concept of Administrative Empowerment
In order to understand the concept of administrative empowerment, it is vital to define empowerment. Empowerment is the process of moving from a weak position to a higher position to execute power (AL-Rousan, 2014; AL Ajlouni, 2013). There are different definitions for administrative empowerment. As defined by Taani (2011, p. 205), “administrative empowerment is an organizational strategy, and a new skill designed to give workers the authorities, responsibilities, and the freedom to perform the work in their own way without the direct intervention of the administration, while providing all the resources, and appropriate working environment for rehabilitation professionally and behaviorally to perform the work with full confidence in them” (AL- Magableh & Otoum, 2014). Administrative empowerment is therefore a strategy employed to empower people and increase the level of confidence and self-esteem. Similarly, Badah (2010) perceives the administrative empowerment as a strategy used by organizations such as educational institutions to ensure the survival and continuity of the organization. It is used to secure performance effectiveness of the workers based on the use of human resources and knowledge management processes. El Geushy and Khalek (2011) noted that administrative empowerment as the forces, which people acquire to increase individual loyalty and confidence. In this context, administrative empowerment can be concluded as the process to improve their processes and activities necessary in daily undertakings.
As regards to administrative empowerment in higher education, Aggarwal (2014), has stated that higher education offers empowerment to women and in this context, it is the process of improving the administrative positions of women in higher education. On the other hand, Banerje (2014) defines administrative empowerment in higher education commitment to equip women with the required managerial skills by empowering them to make effective decision-making role.
As regards to administrative empowerment for academic female leaders in higher education Dunn et al., (2014) carried a research and based their arguments on responses of three women and established that administrative to be the process of ensuring that women are academically empowered to be in a position to be part of scholars and hold higher positions.
The history and development of administrative empowerment in higher education has been developing over the years slowly and at last accepted. In reference to administrative empowerment in higher education, the number of women has increased although at a slower pace. It is an organizational strategy employed to ensure that women in higher education are empowered.
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