What is an authority?
Authority is the cement of organisation structure in which various units of organisation are integrated. Without authority a manager cesses to be a manager. It is the authority that gives managers power to act. Authority is glue that holds organisation together. It is impossible to have an organisation unless some persons have the authority to command action of others. The word Authority is derived from the Latin word “auctoritas” meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' connotes power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area (someone can be an authority on a subject) 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. Authority sometimes refers to;-
1) The Institutionalized and legal power inherent in a particular job, function, or position that is meant to enable its holder to successfully carry out his or her responsibilities. 2) An agency or body created by a government to perform a specific function, such as environment management, power generation, or tax collection is an authority. 3) Judgment of a court or judicial opinion quoted in support of a legal argument.
In management field, the concept authority can be defined as:- 1. The right to guide and direct the actions of others and to secure from them responses which are appropriate to the attainment of the goals of the organisation. It is the right to utilise organisational resources and to make decision. In the words of Simon “Authority may be defined as the power to make decisions which guide the actions of others” (Gupta 2009) 2. The power that is delegated formally which includes a right to command a situation, commit resources, give orders and expect them to be obeyed, it is always accompanied by an equal responsibility for one's actions or a failure to act.
Types of authority.
Max Weber, in his sociological and philosophical work, identified and distinguished three types of authority such as:- i. Rational-legal authority- This is a form of authority which depends for its legitimacy on formal rules as established by laws. The power of the rational legal authority is mentioned in the constitution. Modern societies depend on legal-rational authority. Government officials are the best example of this form of authority, which is prevalent all over the world. ii. Traditional authority- This is authority which derives from long-established customs, habits and social structures. When power passes from one generation to another, then it is known as traditional authority. iii. Charismatic authority- In this type of authority, the charisma of the individual or the leader plays an important role. 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", that is superior to both the validity of traditional and rational-legal authority and followers accept this and are willing to follow this higher or inspired authority, in the place of the authority that should be followed.
Questions for discussion.
1. Write short notes on the concepts authority. With examples describe various types of authority. Which type do you think is more appropriate for management of the organisation? 2. What are the main characteristics of authority? Explain those characteristics with examples. 3. What is the scope of authority? It is contended that, there is no authority without restrictions/limits. Explain factor that restricts the authority of manager over his/her subordinates.
1.1 General concept;
For the purpose of enhancing accountability to the use of the organisation...