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Authority Responsibility

and Accountability

Authority
Simon: Authority may be defined as the power to make decisions which guide the actions of others. Characteristics: 1. The authority given to a position is legal and legitimate. 2. The authority enjoyed by a position is not unlimited. 3. Authority is a relationship between superior and subordinate. 4. Authority is used to achieve organisational goals. 5. Authority is the key to managerial job. 6. Authority is exercised by making decisions and seeing that they are carried out. 7. Exercise of authority depends on the personality factors of the manager who can use it and on the subordinates with whom it is exercised. 8. Authority can be delegated.

Power
Power refers to the ability or capacity to influence the behaviour or attitudes of other individuals. Elements: Potential: One can have power without actually using it. Dependency: The greater Bs dependence on A, the greater is As power in the relationship. Discretion: B can make a choice not to accept As power at times.

Authority Vs Power Authority Formal right to command Power Personal ability or capacity to command

Resides in the position held by a person Legitimate - official sanction

Authority increases with hierarchy Authority relationships can be shown in an organisation chart Flows downward

Resides in the person who exercises it Not always legitimate other person may not be under an obligation to accept it. Power does not accompany authority. Power centres may be located at the lower levels. Cannot be shown in the formal structure Flows in all directions

Sources of authority 1. Formal authority theory: Authority originates at the top of an organisation and flows downward through the process of delegation. 2. Acceptance authority theory: The degree of effective authority possessed by a manager is measured by the willingness of suubordinates to accept it. A subordinate will accept an order if he understands it well, if he believes it is consistent with the purpose of the organization, he believe that it is compatible with his personal interest, and he must be mentally and physically able to comply with it. 3. Competence authority theory: An individual derives authority from his personal competence and charisma.

Factors restricting the use of authority by a manager over his subordinates


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Biological limitations Physical limitations Legal constraints Social constraints Organisational limitations Economic constraints Limited span

Responsibility
Definition: Terry The obligation of an individual to carry out assigned activities to the best of his ability. The acceptance of the obligation by the individual to perform the work creates his responsibility. Responsibility has 2 dimensions

1. Responsibility for: obligation of a person to perform certain duties written in his job description or otherwise accepted by him.
2. Responsibility to: his accountability to his superior. Subordinates are responsible for the completion of tasks assigned to them and are accountable to their superiors for the satisfactory performance of that work.

Characteristics Responsibility arises from a superior-subordinate relationship. Responsibility may be a continuing obligation (salesman) or confined to the performance of a single function (Consultant) Responsibility may be defined in terms of functions or targets or goals. The essence of responsibility is obligation of a subordinate to perform the duty assigned to him. Responsibility should be commensurate with authority. Responsibility flows upward

Accountability
MacFarland: Accountability is the obligation of an individual to report formally to his superior about the work he has done to discharge the responsibility. Features: Reporting to superior Not transferable Always upward Accountable to only one superior