Dramatic Depictions of Empowerment

By David P. Boyd.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Power development and dispersion are pervasive and profound organizational issues. How can academics infuse these human dynamics into the learning process? One way is through film where hypothetical depictions can provide real-world takeaways. Movies can be a source of educational enlightenment, not just entertaining escape. Through the instructive lens of drama, students can evaluate empowerment in a variety of organizational settings. Over the past six years, the author has assigned a film project in each of his Leadership classes at the undergraduate and MBA level. Of the 106 films chosen for student projects, five in particular persuasively capture the functional and dysfunctional applications of power. After reviewing power deployment in each of these films, the paper offers ten precepts that enhance empowerment in the workplace. If students become sensitive to the nuances of power management, they will not only be better managers; they will also be more responsible citizens.

Keywords: Curriculum, Films, Leadership, Empowerment

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.121-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 586.135KB).

Dr. David P. Boyd

Professor of Human Resources, College of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

David P. Boyd is Professor of Human Resources in Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration where he served as dean from 1987 to 1994. Professor Boyd has published over fifty articles in the area of organizational psychology and entrepreneurial behavior. His work has appeared in such journals as the Harvard Business Review and the Sloan Management Review. He holds a BA from Harvard University and a D.Phil. from Oxford University, England.


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