While empowerment practices have been the subject of considerable debate, little attention has been paid to how employees shape the outcomes of these practices through their active participation. Through analyses of interactions in workplace voice activities, this study shows how developing initiatives to improve the local organization of work is complicated by the fact that supporting initiatives as an employee can lead to undesired identity ascriptions from other participants, especially in relation to employees’ organizational identification or disidentification. By drawing on the method of membership categorization analysis, it is argued that the appeal of voice activities for employees depends on how the terms of “becoming empowered” are negotiated in practice, and that these negotiations shape the employees’ participation in the practices.
- Employee voice
- Organizational identification
- Identity regulation
- Membership categorization analysis