This conference paper was presented at the Fourth International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century: Accelerating Innovation in Engineering, Management and Technology, July 11-13, 2007, Australia. The website is at: http://www2.fiu.edu/~citc/citc4/Despite its long history, empowerment still remains a diffuse concept; a characteristic that has retarded its\ud development and appropriate use. The theoretical underpinnings of empowerment are explicated in order\ud to provide a thorough understanding and the much needed clarity. Towards this, two distinct approaches\ud to the empowerment concept, structural and psychological, are differentiated and their complementarities\ud articulated. Integrating the managerial or organisational acts/practices supportive of empowerment\ud (structural approach) and employee cognition of empowerment (psychological approach) presents a\ud unifying perspective that facilitates better understanding of the dynamics of the empowerment process. A\ud multilevel perspective that exposes a paradox of empowerment in project teams is also explored and the\ud implications for research and practice of such an integrative-multilevel conceptualisation consequently\ud outlined
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