Principle and Barriers of Delegation of Authority
Delegation of authority
The term 'delegation of authority' means granting or providing certain rights and powers from superior to a subordinate on the basis of their responsibility. In other words, it is the process in which superior assign works or jobs to the subordinate on the basis of their knowledge, skills, and experiences and provides decision-making power for better performance. It is best means to motivate the employees without providing additional benefits and supports. It is important tools or element for the organizational success because, without delegation of authority, no one can perform their jobs or works as per the organizational requirement.
According to Louis A. Allen," Delegation is the dynamics of management, it is the process a manager follows in dividing the work assigned to him so that he performs that part only because of his unique organizational placement, can perform effectively and so that he can get others to help him with what remains."
According to Douglas C. Baril, "Delegation refers to a manager's ability to share his burden with others. It consists of granting authority or the right to decision making in certain defined areas and charging the subordinates with responsibility for carrying through an assigned task.'
Principle of delegation of authority
- Principle of parity of authority and responsibility: It is the most important principle of delegation of authority. There is equality in assigned task and power or right to accomplish the same. The authority to the subordinates is given by superior on the basis of the task assigned to them.Neither more nor less to the task. If more authority is delegated, possibly, they may misutilize, and if less authority is delegated, perhaps, it may be difficult to accomplish the task.
- Principle of absoluteness of responsibility: The term ‘responsibility’ means an obligation to do the jobs or works. It is also related to providing certain work or jobs to the different individual on the basis of their knowledge, skills, and experience. In the name of a delegation of authority, manager or superior should not be free from their responsibility.
- Unity of command: According to this principle, there should not be more heads commanding one head. In other words, there should be the single boss or superior in an organization. It means a subordinate can receive the order and responsible for single superior at the same time. Multiple bosses create confusion and conflict in the workplace.
- Principle of a functional definition of authority and responsibility: Authority and responsibility should be well-defined , to be clear about the limit of one’s rights, duties, responsibility, and accountability. If it could be, it will help the subordinates to learn the limits of one's rights, duties, responsibility, and accountability.
- The scalar chain: According to this principle, authority flow from top to down. This scalar chain is the basis of the relationship between senior and subordinate. Scalar chain emphasizes that the relationship between superior and subordinates is much clear and the delegation of authority will be easier.
- Management by exception: Management by exception is a way for managers to effectively save time and more efficiently run their department or business. Management by exception usually is most effective when managers have control over the problem areas. That way they can change processes to improve the company.
- Principle of delegation by result expected: Authority should be delegated to accomplish expected result. The performance targets should be clearly stated.
- Acceptance: Subordinates should be delegated to accomplish expected result. Subordinates should be willing to accept the delegated authority.
- Performance monitoring : The performance of the subordinate should be monitored by the superior to make them move in a right direction towards achieving organizational goal. It also makes delegation of authority effective.
Barriers to delegation of authority
A delegation of authority is important for the organizational success because, without delegation of authority, no one can perform jobs or works as per the organizational requirement. However, it is not free from certain limitation or problems. All these problems are considered as the barriers of a delegation of authority. They are discussed below:
- Reluctance to delegate: Manager may feel reluctant to delegate authority. Some managers are disorganized. They do not plan in advance. Their job description can also be vague. They want to make all decisions themselves.
- Fear of subordinates: Some managers are afraid of their subordinates, they think that if rights and powers are to be delegated than the subordinate will perform well .
- Lack of trust: Some managers have conservative attitude and traditional faith. They do not believe their subordinate. They believe in “Do it yourself” principle. They don’t want to take the risk from a delegation of authority.
- Incompetence of subordinates: Organization has a large number of individuals to perform the organizational works or jobs. Some subordinates may have limited knowledge and ability to do their jobs or works. As a result, managers or superior do not want to delegate rights to their subordinates.
- Distorted delegation: Managers may assign full responsibility but delegate inadequate authority to discharge these responsibilities. In such situation, it is difficult to perform the task.
- Improper reward system: Delegation of authority means taking additional responsibility. If the organization has improper reward system then the subordinate do not want to take additional responsibility. As a result, delegation of authority may be obstructed.
- Lack of control: If the organization has ineffective control system then the manager or superior does not want to delegate the rights and power to their subordinate because of the fear of misuse.
Pokhrel, Dhurb Raj et.al., Business Studies-XII, Asmita Book Publication, Kathmandu
Poudyal, Santosh Raj et.al., Business Studies-XII, Asmita Book Publication, Kathmandu
Bhandari, Kedar Prasad, Business Studies-XII, Bundipuran Prakashan, Kathmandu
- A delegation of authority is the key to the organization to achieve its objectives.
- A successful and profitable existence of business enterprise depends on upon effective delegation of authority.
- Authority should be delegated to accomplish expected result.
- Delegation of authority means taking additional responsibility.
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