It refers to a capacity that A has to influence the behavior of B so that B does something he or she would not otherwise do. It is a means of influence in different ways.

Types of power

  1. Positional power (formal): It includes legitimate (lawful) power, reward (in the form of salaries, etc. ) power, coercive(forceful by harm) power, Information power. Positional power emerges from a position that individuals hold in an organization.
  2. Personal power (informal)- It includes expert (knowledge is power) power, referent power, charismatic( enduring qualities)power. It emerges from the qualities that are unique. Referent power based on identification. It is the process of learning wherein a person copies the behavior of another person whom he takes an idea.


It is the legitimate rights of a position holder to give orders to others & get these orders obeyed. Order is legitimate i.e. socially ethically acceptable to all concerned. Basic objectives of the use of authority are to influence the behavior of the subordinates in terms of doing right things time so that organizational objectives are achieved.

Three types of authority

  1. Formal authority– It holds that the authority inherent in a managerial position is achieved by a delegation from the higher position.
  2. Acceptance authority– role behavior authority
  3. Competence authority- personal qualities.

Limits of authority: authority is limited only to his span of management. There are many types of limits such as biological limit, economic, technical limits. A manager can only use the authority which is specifically delegated to him.

Authority and power are used interchangeably because of the common objective of influencing the behavior of people on whom these are exercised.

There is a difference between authority and power as authority is the right to command whereas power is the capacity to command.


It is a duty or activity assigned to an individual in an organization. It is the obligation of an individual to perform activities or duties which are assigned to him. Responsibility is the obligation of a person to perform assigned activities to the best of his ability.


It implies that a subordinate is accountable to his superior for the successful performance of total activities assigned to him whether he performs these activities on his own get some of the activities performed by his subordinates. It flows upward.

Principle of parity of authority and responsibility:

It suggests that authority of a person should match his responsibility. Authority is the discretionary right to carry out assignments and responsibility is the obligation to accomplish. It logically follows that 30 the authority should correspond to responsibility. Lack of parity means to delegate authority inadequately.

Delegation of authority:

The assignment of activities to various managers creates responsibilities and in order to carry out these responsibilities managers need appropriate authority. Delegate means to grant or confer. A manager simply does not delegate authority, he delegates authority to get certain work accomplished. By means of delegation, the manager extends his area of operations. In delegation subordinates receiver authority from his superior, but at the same time, his superior still remains all his original authority. It just like imparting knowledge. Authority once delegated can be enhanced, reduced or withdrawn depending on the situation& requirement. A person exercise an authority so long as he holds the position. A superior cannot delegates his full authority.

A manager only delegates his authority to reduce the burden from his shoulder and to concentrate on some other works also.

Steps in delegation of authority-

1) Determination of results expected

2) Assignment of duties

3) Authorization for action

4) Creation of obligation

Principles of delegation:

Delegation by results expected, functional definition, clarity of lines of authority (it includes scalar chain and unity of command) ( scalar chain refers to the chain of direct authority relationship from the superior to subordinates throughout the organization. Unity of command refers to a single superior & should receive instructions from the single superior) level of authority, absoluteness of responsibility, parity of authority & responsibility.

  • Centralization and decentralization is the degree of delegation of authority. Not absolute centralization nor decentralization.


Authority relationships – It includes line & staff authority.

Line & staff authority– line functions are those that are related directly with the attainment of the organizational objectives. Staff functions are those that helpline functions in attaining the objectives.

Line authority– It is defined as a direct authority that superior exercises over his direct subordinates to carry out orders and instructions. The exercise of this authority is always downward i.e. from superior to subordinate.

Staff authority involves giving advice to line managers to carry on the operations. The flow of this authority may be in any

direction depending on the need for such an advice. Types of staff authority include advisory, functional, concurring, control staff authority.

Line authority- (Barnard) The direct relationship between superior and subordinate relationships in the organization. Line authority is the heart of this relationship because it entitles a superior to direct the work of his subordinate. Line authority includes a chain of command, a chain of communication, and a chain of responsibility.

An advisory staff manager studies the problems offer suggestions and prepares plans for the use and help of line managers. He provides advice, assistance & information & recommend to line managers.

Depiction of authority relationship- there are two methods

1) Organization chart- It is a diagrammatical form that shows the major functions & their respective relationships, the channels of formal authority, and the relative authority of each manager who is in charge of each respected function. It shows a formal relationship divided into a master chart and a supplementary chart. It is top-down, vertical, left or right chart, horizontal, circular chart.

2) Organization manual- It is a small book containing information about the organizational objectives, authority & responsibility of various positions, methods & procedure followed.

Conflict- they cause damage to the organization. It includes disagreement, contradiction & incompatibility.

Co-ordination is the essence of management- It involves the integration of human efforts for achieving the goals which are not a particular function but the basic objective of all managerial functions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *