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Authority is seen as the legitimate right of a person to exercise influence or the legitimate right to make decisions, to carry out actions, and to direct others.

Organizations have a formal authority system that depicts the authority relationships between people and their work.

Authority is the power granted to individuals (possibly by

their position) so that they can make final decisions.

Authority can be delegated from ones superior.


Line authority is represented by the chain of command; an individual positioned above another in the hierarchy has the right to make decisions, issue directives, and expect compliance from lower-level employees. Staff authority is advisory authority; it takes the form of counsel, advice, and recommendation. People with staff authority derive their power from their expert knowledge and the legitimacy established in their relationships with line managers. Functional authority allows managers to direct specific processes, practices, or policies affecting people in other departments; functional authority cuts across the hierarchical structure.


Bureaucratic Authority

Hierarchy Rules and Regulations Mandates and Directives Roles expectations Bureaucratic Authority Belief Students comply or face the consequences. Motivational Technology-Interpersonal Skills Human Relations Leadership Personality Psychological Authority-Belief Students will want to comply because of the congenial climate and rewards."

Psychological Authority


Technical-Rational Authority Logic and Scientific Research Technical-Rational AuthorityBelief Students are required to comply in light of what is considered to be the truth." Professional Authority Description Informed Craft Knowledge and personal expertise Professional Authority Belief Students respond in light of common socialization, professional values, accepted tenets of practice, and internalized expertise."


Moral Authority Description Felt obligations and duties derived from shared community values, ideas and ideals. Moral Authority Belief Students respond to shared commitments and felt interdependence."


Structural authority: comes with the job title of project manager - a given Personal authority: the perception given as the person looks, acts, and dresses as a manager Expertise authority: recognition of the individual's superior knowledge (usually technical) Moral authority: acceptance because the person appears to make the right (moral) decisions Charismatic authority: evident leadership ability, charm, likeable and well spoken


The chain of command, sometimes called the scaler chain, is the formal line of authority within an organization. The chain of command is usually depicted on an organizational chart, which identifies the superior and subordinate relationships in the organizational structure. According to classical organization theory the organizational chart allows one to visualize the lines of authority and communication within an organizational structure and ensures clear assignment of duties and responsibilities. Unity of command means that each subordinate reports to one and only one superior.


Max Weber, in his sociological and philosophical work, identified and distinguished three types of legitimate domination (Herrschaft in German, which generally means 'domination' or 'rule'). Weber defined domination (authority) as the chance of commands being obeyed by a specifiable group of people. Legitimate authority is that which is recognized as legitimate and justified by both the ruler and the ruled.


The first type- Rational legal authority:

It is that form of authority which depends for its legitimacy on formal rules and established laws of the state, which are usually written down and are often very complex.

Government officials are the best example of this form of authority.

The second type - Traditional authority: Derives from long-established customs, habits and social structures. When power passes from one generation to another, then it is known as traditional authority. The right of hereditary monarchs to rule furnishes an obvious example. The Tudor dynasty in England. The third type- Charismatic authority: Charismatic authority is that authority which is derived from "the gift of grace" or when the leader claims that his authority is derived from a "higher power" (e.g. God or natural law or rights) or "inspiration", Examples in this regard can be NT Rama Rao, a matinee idol, who went on to become one of the most powerful Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh.


Acceptance Theory was propounded by the chestar barnard. This theory states that authority is the power that is accepted by others. Formal authority is reduced to normal authority if it is not accepted by the subordinates. The subordinates accept the authority if the advantages to be derived by its acceptance exceed the disadvantages resulting from its refusal. The subordinates give obedience to the managers. Authority flows from bottom to top. A manager has authority if he gets obedience from the subordinates. Subordinates obey the manager because of the fear of losing financial rewards. This theory emphasises sanctions that a manager can use


The employees must understand the communication. The employees accept the communication as being consistent with the organisations purposes.

The employees feel that their actions will be consistent

with the needs and the desires of the other employees.

The employees feel that they are mentally and physically able to carry out the order.


Work must be coordinated, and he outlines the

steps as follows:
Define the task to be done Provide a director to see that the task is realized Determine the number of people need to accomplish the tasks and what skills are needed

Establish and perfect the structure of authority

between the director and the ultimate work subdivisions


i) The "principle of Objective"-that all organisations should be an expression of a purpose; ii) The "principle of Correspondence"-that authority and responsibility must be co-equal; iii) The "principle of Responsibility-that the responsibility of higher authorities for the work of subordinates is absolute; iv) The "Scalar Principle-that a pyramidical type of structure is built up in an organisation; v) The "principle of span of Control"; vi) The "principle of Specialisation-limiting one's work to a single function; vii) The "principle of Coordination"; and viii) The "principle of Definition-clear prescription of every duty.


Legislative Controls Parliament and the state legislatures influence and control the authority of administrators by making them accountable for their actions. They give guidelines to the administrative organisations through different ministries and consultative committees. During discussions on the budgets, the performance of different departments comes for review. In specific cases,parliament members or members of a state legislature can raise discussion on the functioning of a department or the functioning of a particular position holder or position holders. These steps act as controls on the exercise of authority by the administrative agencies.


Courts Law courts and administrative tribunals while going into specific matters involving administrative agencies and their personnel review their actions. The judicial pronouncements act as effective controls on the working of administrative agencies. Individual citizens and organised groups question the actions and functioning of government agencies and personnel through law suits. In addition, commissions of enquiry on the functioning of government agencies give their views to the'government for further action. In all these cases, the administrative actions are scrutiqised and reviewed. This helps in checking the misuse or abuse of authority.

Constitutional Safeguards Citizens of our country can appeal to the President of the Republic or to the State Governors against the actions of administrative personnel, if their grievances are not taken note of by the other agencies. These mechanisms work as controls on the misuse of authority of administrative personnel

Press and the Media The press and the media act as a mechanism of control on the authority holders in administration. By periodical news reporting, various actions of the government and its agencies are put to public scrutiny. The press can mobilise public opinion against misdeeds of officials or the government agencies. The press can also raise the matters involving public interest in a court of law. Organised interest groups such as social action groups, environmentalists and social reformers use the press to check the misuse of office by government agencies.

Hierarchy In an administrative organisation, there are different levels of officials and staff with varying degrees of authority and responsibility. The actions of an administrator are under the supervision and control of his immediate superior in the organisational hierarchy. Thus, it acts as an internal control mechanism on the administrative personnel. In a democratic society, these are some of the important control mechanisms on the administrative agencies. Above all these mechanisms, the concept of administrative responsibility acts as a restraint on the misuse of authority.'


Responsibility is the obligation to carry out certain duties. Responsibility is of two kinds, viz., operating responsibility and ultimate responsibility. An administrator can delegate operating responsibility to his subordinates but not the ultimate responsibility. The ultimate responsibility can never be delegated. The three concepts of authority, responsibility and accountability are the integral parts of the process of administration.

Political Responsibility In a parliamentary system of government the most important control on administration is political responsibility. There is ministerial responsibility for the actions of a ministry and the departments under it for their actions and functions. This acts as a control device on the functioning of administrative agencies and offices under a department in a ministry.


Institutional Responsibility An administrative agency or institution has to be responsible and responsive to public welfare. In other words, in its own interest, it has to be responsible and work in a public interest. Some organisations and institutions in course of time become self centered and work for themselves, ignoring the fact that they exist to serve the people. Such institutions will face problems of survival in the long run. However, administrative agencies and departments fight tooth and nail to protect their own interests and identity. This throws a challenge to the political masters and to society in general to initiate action through organizational changes to bring out order in the work of public organizations.

Professional responsibility All professionals, they have ethics and codes of conduct which they have to maintain in discharging their duties. Moreover, professional institutions also enforce discipline and responsibility on their members. This ethical responsibility is not just confined to technical personnel only. Now-a-days, administrative personnel and civil servants have developed a professional status and they go by standards and ethics. Professional responsibility is more effectively enforced by the individual conscience of administrative personnel about what constitutes ethically acceptable behavior and conduct.


Authority Authority is the right given to a manager to achieve the objectives of the organisation. It is a right to get the things done through others. It is a right to take decisions. It is a right to give orders to the subordinates and to get obedience from them. A manager cannot do his work without authority. A manager gets his authority from his position or post. He gets his authority from the higher authorities. The lower and middle-level managers get their authority from the toplevel managers. The top-level managers get their authority from the shareholders. Authority always flows downwards. It is delegated from the top to the bottom. According to Henri Fayol, "Authority is the right to give orders and power to exact (get) obedience."

Power Power is a broader concept than authority. Power is the ability of a person or a group to influence the beliefs and actions of other people. It is the ability to influence events. Power can be personal power. A person gets his personal power from his personality or from his expert knowledge. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Programmers, etc. get their power from their expertise and professional knowledge. Power can also be legitimate or official power. This power comes from a higher authority.

1. NatureAuthority is the formal right given to a manager to make decisions or to command. Power is the personal ability to influence others or events. 2. Flow Authority flows downwards in the organisation. This is because it is delegated by the superiors to the subordinates. Power can flow in any direction. Even subordinates have power over their superiors, if they can influence their behaviour. So power can flow upwards, downwards or horizontally. 3. Organisational Charts Authority relationships (superior-subordinate relationships) can be shown in the organisation charts. Power relationships cannot be shown in organisation charts.

4. Level of Management Authority depends on the level of management. Higher the level of management, higher will be the authority and vice-versa. Power does not depend on the level of management. Power can exist at any level of management. Even a lower-level manager or a worker can have power to influence the behavior of a top-level manager. 5. Legitimacy Authority is always official in nature. So it is legitimate. Power need not be official in nature. So it need not be legitimate. 6. Position and Person Authority is given to a position or post. The manager gets the authority only when he holds that position. Power resides (lives) in the person who uses it.


Authority and Responsibility: Complimentary and supplementary Two sides of a coin Interdependent . Hence following conclusions can be arrived at. i)Both should be coequal ii) No authority to be used without responsibility (Terry) iii) Authority signifies sanction against subordinate but responsibility limits frequent use and it regulates authority to a certain extent. Principle of Correspondence



Definition of accountability might include the following elements: Taking responsibility for your own behavior Doing whats right consistently (no matter who's watching) Demonstrating personal integrity Actively participating in activities and interactions that support the strategy of your organization By being accountable, you'll also earn the trust of managers and coworkers. When you become are more accountable, you'll understand and appreciate your purpose and role within your organization and will be much more likely to be engaged and committed to make things happen


Accountability is the obligation to render an account for a responsibility conferred. It presumes the existence of at least two parties: one who allocates responsibility and one who accepts it with the undertaking to report upon the manner in which it has been discharged.1 [Accountability] is the liability assumed by all those who exercise authority to account for the manner in which they have fulfilled responsibilities entrusted to them...2 In brief, accountability requires a relationship of conferring responsibility and reporting back on the expected and agreed performance and on the manner in which the responsibility was fulfilled.