Empowering employees is a way of shifting blame without loosing anything positive.
If it works correctly, the boss takes credit for empowering employees.
If it all fails, the employee gets the blame and the boss doesn't get a tarnished reputation.
Empowered means I (management) want to get a big bonus this year so work extra hard and don't expect any monetary rewards (keeping payroll down will get me an even bigger bonus). But feel pride for the hard work you do.