This article describes the nature of empowerment and the implications for empowerment and the purchasing function. The article argues that purchasing's position in organizations can allow it to both model and implement empowerment and thus serve as a foundation for culture change and/or Total Quality Management (TQM) applications. The article then reports research findings about the state of empowerment in purchasing. Research found that purchasers: (1) demonstrated a high degree of readiness for incorporating empowerment in their work settings, (2) have adopted many TQM and continuous empowerment techniques in their organizations, and (3) are working as part of teams in their organizations. Finally, the research demonstrates that those who believed that management perceived the function as a strategic/profit-oriented role were more accepting of empowerment and teaming.
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