The Power of Authority

Topics: Authority, Charismatic authority, Max Weber Pages: 8 (2660 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Authority means the legitimate or acceptable use of power.
“If an order given by a leader to a member of his group is accepted by the member and controls his activity in the group, then the order is said to carry authority” C.I Barnard Authority means the ability to control the behavior of others. Authority is a symbolic reality and it is the ability to influence person’s actions in a desired direction without resorting to force. The most important earthly influence in a person's life is that which comes from his relationship with his parents. The newborn child enters life completely dependent upon, and completely obedient to his mother and father. As a child grows, he adjusts continuously in his responses to that parental authority, for better or for worse depending on the training he receives. He also gradually becomes aware of other influences of authority in society; those of his schools, of the various levels of government and law enforcement, of the people for whom he works As an adult, a person often has two roles simultaneously. He is not only subject to authority of various kinds all of his lifetime, but he may also himself be in a position of power and influence over others, perhaps as parent, military officer, executive, or judge. A person's ability to respond properly to authority, and his ability to exercise authority, depends on his orientation to divine principles of authority. Authority, by comparison, is a quality that enhances power, rather than being itself a form of power. The word “authority” comes from the verb “to authorize”; therefore an individual’s power must be authorized by the group in order for it to be acceptable. An individual is considered an authority because of his technical expertise, combined with his ability to communicate effectively with the group. The individual in authority is the one who is primary in the group, controlling certain aspects of what the other group members do and say, and perhaps even what and how they think. Types of Authority

a) Customary Authority:
Customary authority is the authority to use power as a result of history or tradition.  Customary authority is held by parents over children, employers over employees, the State over the individual (especially in the form of the police, government officers and the defense force). b) Statutory Authority:

Statutory authority is derived from the Common wealth and State Constitutions. Under these constitutions, parliaments have the power to make statute laws and to provide organizations for the administration and enforcement of these laws, e.g Police, Customs, the Taxation Office. c) Delegated Authority:

Some government bodies e.g. Local Council, RTA Have authority to make law because they have been given this power by Parliament.  These bodies have delegated authority.  They may not make laws outside the guidelines given to them by parliament. Max Weber’s types of Authority

Traditional authority
Traditional authority occurs where deference and obedience are owed because of the bloodline. The title held is due to respect because the person who holds it does so by birthright .they are in that position by right of birth and it does not changeovertime. Prince Charles, for instance, is not so much an authority because of his charisma, but because of tradition: as the Queen's eldest son, he is the future King of England. This is the type of authority in which the traditional rights of a powerful and dominant individual or group are accepted, or at least not challenged, by subordinate individuals. These could be religious, sacred, or spiritual forms, a well established and slowly changing culture, or tribal, family, or clan type structures.This type of authority can be found in countries with traditional monarchies In traditional authority obedience is owed to the person of the chief who occupies the traditionally sanctioned position of authority and who is bounded by tradition. Charismatic...

References: Blau, P. M. (1963). "Critical remarks on Weber’s theory of authority". The American Political Science Review, 57 (2): 305-316.
[ 4 ]. Blau, P. M. (1963). "Critical remarks on Weber’s theory of authority". The American Political Science Review, 57 (2): 305-316.
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