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The idea of giving employees responsibility usually allocated to supervisors. Examples ("vertical loading factors") include granting discretion for: The term originates from organization charts, where the vertical axis usually represents increased control. The opposite of vertical loading is naturally horizontal loading, which involves giving the same person more tasks without increasing his control, and is not recommended.

The term was invented by American psychologist Frederick Herzberg and repackaged under the buzzword empowerment in the 1990s.

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References

Buchanan, David and Andrzej Huczynski. Organizational Behaviour (3rd ed.), pp. 89-98.