Empowerment means giving people the authority and responsibility to make decisions and take actions. Empowerment results in decisions being made closest to the front line, where work-related knowledge and understanding reside.
Empowering people enables them to satisfy customers on first contact, improve processes and increase productivity, and improve the organization's performance results. An empowered work-force requires information to make appropriate decisions; thus, the organization must provide that information in a timely and useful way.
It makes sense that the people closest to the "action" be the ones to make the local decisions. The "generals" in administration and legislation may provide overall guidance and leadership, and they can even make sure we have all of the supplies we need to do our jobs, but they must not interfere with the daily workings of our battle against ignorance.
At the same time, there is talk of empowering students, a matter that it entirely consistent with making students more and more responsible for their own educations. This speaks to the motivation of students - creating learners who want to attend, learn, and improve.
We know empowerment works for workers who conscientiously approach their duties.