Principle and Barriers of Delegation of Authority

Subject: Business Studies

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Overview

The term 'delegation', refers to the process by which a superior gives a subordinate the authority to do a particular task. The authority is shared among subordinates for the purpose of effective management through 'Delegation'.

Principle and Barriers of Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority

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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 the best means to motivate the employees without providing additional benefits and supports. It is an important tool or element for organizational success because, without delegation of authority, no one can perform their jobs or work 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."

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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

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  1. Principle of parity of authority and responsibility:
    It is the most important principle of delegation of authority. There is equality in the 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 not utilize their authority in a proper way, and if less authority is delegated, perhaps, it may be difficult to accomplish the task.

  2. Principle of absoluteness of responsibility:
    The term ‘responsibility’ means an obligation to do jobs or works. It is also related to providing certain work or jobs to a different individual on the basis of their knowledge, skills, and experience. In the name of a delegation of authority, the manager or superior should not be free from their responsibility.

  3. Unity of command:
    According to this principle, there should not be more heads commanding one head. In other words, there should be a single boss or superior in an organization. It means a subordinate can receive the order and responsible for a single superior at the same time. Multiple bosses create confusion and conflict in the workplace.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. The scalar chain emphasizes that the relationship between superiors and subordinates is much clear and the delegation of authority will be easier.

  6. 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.

  7. Principle of delegation by result expected:
    Authority should be delegated to accomplish the expected result. The performance targets should be clearly stated.

  8. Acceptance:
    Subordinates should be delegated to accomplish the expected result. Subordinates should be willing to accept the delegated authority.

  9. Performance monitoring:
    The performance of the subordinate should be monitored by the superior to make them move in the right direction towards achieving organizational goals. It also makes delegation of authority effective.

Barriers to Delegation of Authority

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Source: slideplayer.com

A delegation of authority is important for organizational success because, without delegation of authority, no one can perform jobs or work as per the organizational requirement. However, it is not free from certain limitations or problems. All these problems are considered as barriers to a delegation of authority. They are discussed below:

  1. Reluctance to delegate:
    A 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 the decisions themselves.

  2. Fear of subordinates:
    Some managers are afraid of their subordinates, they think that if rights and powers are to be delegated then the subordinate will perform well.

  3. Lack of trust:
    Some managers have a conservative attitude and traditional faith. They do not believe in their subordinates. They believe in the “Do it yourself” principle. They don’t want to take the risk from a delegation of authority.

  4. Incompetence of subordinates:
    An organization has a large number of individuals to perform organizational works or jobs. Some subordinates may have limited knowledge and ability to do their jobs or works. As a result, managers or superiors do not want to delegate rights to their subordinates.

  5. Distorted delegation:
    Managers may assign full responsibility but delegate inadequate authority to discharge these responsibilities. In such a situation, it is difficult to perform the task.

  6. Improper reward system:
    The delegation of authority means taking additional responsibility. If the organization has an improper reward system then the subordinate does not want to take additional responsibility. As a result, the delegation of authority may be obstructed.

  7. Lack of control:
    If the organization has an ineffective control system then the manager or superior does not want to delegate the rights and power to their subordinates because of the fear of misuse.

 

 

 

 

 

References:

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

 

 

 

 

Things to remember
  • 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 the expected result.
  • The delegation of authority means taking additional responsibility.

 

  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
Questions and Answers

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 of sharing task with its corresponding authority with the subordinates. Delegation helps in establishing a pattern of authority between the superior and hi subordinates.  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 which only he 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.'

In conclusion, the delegation of authority is the means of granting authority and responsibility regarding the specific job to the subordinates for the achievement organizational goals. It is based on the principles of division of work. It is an essential tool for effective organization.

  • Principle of parity of authority and responsibility: It is the most important principle of delegation of authority. Authority and responsibility should always go hand in hand. If a subordinate is given authority to do a particular task. he should be equally responsible for doing the task in a proper manner. If the authority is more than there will be misuse of authority and if there is more responsible than there will be burden of work. 

 

  • Principle of absoluteness of responsibility: The term ‘responsibility’ means an obligation to do the jobs or works. According to this principle, authority can be delegated but responsibility cannot be delegated by a manager. The manager is responsible for the acts of his subordinate to whom he delegates authority for any work.

 

  • 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 should be under the command of only one superior at a time. One superior should delegate authority to only on subordinate at a time.

 

  • Principle of a functional definition of authority and responsibility: Authority and responsibility should be well-defined so that, 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 subordinated. There should be unbroken chain of auhtority from top to bottom in the organizational structure.

 

  • Management by exception: Management by exception is a way for managers to effective 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: The nature and extent f authority delegated to a subordinate should be consistent with the results expected of him. The manager must claer about the results expected from the subordinates as per his delegation of authority.

 

  • Performance monitoring : The performance of the subordinate should be monitored by the superior because to make them move in a right direction towards achieving organizational goal. It also makes delegation of authority effective.
  • Reluctance to delegate: Manager may feel the reluctance to delegate authority. Some managers are disorganized that they are unable to plan work in advance and as a result authority cannot delegate properly.

 

  • Fear of subordinates: Some managers may fear that their subordinate may do well and threaten to their own advancement. They have low self-confidence and fear competition. Due to this, they don't like to delegate the authority.

 

  • Lack of trust: Some managers have conservative attitude and traditional faith. They do not believe their subordinate. They believe in “Do it yourself” principle. If they feel subordinates are not capable of accepting the responsibility, they may not take chance. Thus, they may not delegate the authority.

 

  • Incompetence of subordinates: Some employee may not want to accept delegated authority because of lack of self-confidence. They fear of making mistake in their performance. A manager may feel their subordinate 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 controlSome managers may think that they will lose control by delegating authority to their subordinates. They feel that if they delegate the authority to their subordinate, they would not be sure to achieve assigned responsibility from subordinate.

 

 

 

The delegation of authority is important in all types of organization. It is the process of granting certain rights and power to the subordinates on the basis of their responsibility by the superior. Following are some of the major importance of delegation of authority in an organization:

  1. Minimize the workload of managers
    It is very difficult for a manager to perform each and every work themselves. The managers can delegate the regular routine type of work to their subordinates and focus on the managerial work. It helps in improving managerial skills.
  2. Benefits of Specialization
    The delegation of authority helps an individual to be specialized in a specific work. The delegation of authority by the managers help the subordinates to be responsible for their responsibility. The use of specialist helps to improve the quality of the work performed by the organization.
  3. Employee Development
    The delegation of authority gives equal opportunity for subordinates to develop themselves. They will be able to perform their task well when given responsibility. The authority is delegated on the basis of their ability to perform work.
  4. Facilities expansion and diversification
    It provides flexibility in the organization so that adjustments are easier to make. Also, the delegation of authority aids in the expansion and diversification of the organizational structure.
  5. Quick and better decision
    The delegation of authority helps to make the decision by the subordinates which facilitates in a quick decision. The subordinates can use their knowledge and make the necessary decision in the times of need.

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