Line, Staff and Human Resources Management Authority

Topics: Human resource management, Human resources, Organization Pages: 2 (437 words) Published: November 25, 2010
Line, Staff and Human Resources Management Authority
What does it take to get the right organizational design for Human Resources? In today's constantly evolving environment, developing an organization that makes the right decisions, while directing others’ work and giving orders requires having line and staff authority in place. In this essay, we will explain what authority is and explain the difference from line authority and staff authority. Also we will explain what type of authority human resource managers have. So what is authority? Authority is “the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine” (, n.d.). Power is the ability to get things done either to enforce one’s own will or to enforce the collective will of an organization. This tells us that all managers have some form of authority. Now, let us distinguish between line authority and staff authority. Line authority gives management individuals the formal power to direct and control immediate subordinates. Staff authority gives managers the right to advise, recommend, and counsel other managers and employees. It is a communication relationship with management. It has an influence that derives indirectly from line authority at a higher level. According to Dessler (2008), line authority creates a superior-subordinate relationship and staff authority creates an advisory relationship. The authority of human resources is delegated by the top management of organizations. How much authority it derives from top management is a policy matter. With today's workforce becoming increasingly diverse and organizations doing more to maximize the benefits of the differences in employees, human resource managers are key players. Organizations are relying on managers to get the people who get the job done, and of course, make the company money. Human resource managers have three fundamental functions: 1) line function –...

References: Authority. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from website:
Dressler, G. (2008). Florida International University. In G. Dressler, Human Resources Management - 11th ed. (p. 4). Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall.
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