Delegation of Authority

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: May 17, 2020

What is Delegation of Authority?

Delegation of Authority is defined as a flow of work from a senior, who delegates command & authority, to a subordinate. Delegation of authority is done for better management of the total work with increased efficiency. Delegation means the process of dividing work among the reportees to take decisions but in delegation of authority, the power and authority to complete tasks also is given.

Importance of Delegation of Authority

Delegation is simply giving or allotting certain task or work to a subordinate. However, a manager can give his or her subordinate the power to make certain decisions also. This means the subordinates also have authority to make decisions on manager's behalf so that the work is done without burdening the manager or the personal who delegated the work. In delegation of authority, the power given to the subordinate is within the scope of the work assigned and not beyond it. The manager can still override the decision. This is an important concept as it helps in a smooth functioning of a company, motivates the subordinates to be bold and trains subordinates to take decisions. It also is a way to share responsibility at workplace and be more accountable. This makes delegation of authority an important practice in organizations these days.

Delegation of Authority and Efficiency

With delegation of authority, the overall efficiency of the project or assignment increases as opposed to when manager involves too much with subordinates works and end up over burdening himself/herself. This transfers not only the work to the subordinates but also makes them responsible to make important decisions. Thus, delegation of authority ensures there are two or more skilled employees working to their fullest capacity. On the other hand, the overall efficiency would come down if both the employees work separately without any shared responsibliity.

Authority vs Responsibility

Authority is the power in the hands of an individual to make his peers or subordinates accountable for their work. Whereas responsible is just a piece of work one has to do with certain accountability. There are certain rules in delegation of Authority around authority and responsibilities. In order to complete a certain responsibility, he needs some authority. Also Delegation should mostly come from a single manager and not multiple as such authority can be conflicting in nature. This is better in companies where there is a clear hierarchy well defined in the organisational structure.

To summarize, delegation of authority is the process of sharing authority and responsibility.

Advantages of delegation of authority

There are several benefits of passing on responsibility and work to juniors at workplace. Certain advantages of delegations of authority are:

1. It helps the organization to grow at a better rate as both the seniors and junior share work and responsibility

2. Delegation of authority boost their self confidence and helps them improve their motivation to perform 

3. Employees get better skills on the job and better prepared for more trainings

4. The overall decision making process of the company gets quicker by delegation of authority as more minds work on it

5. It helps in quicker expansion of workforce and more leaders are created

Disadvantages of delegation of authority

Despite having many positives, certain disadvantages of delegation of authority are discussed below:

1. Lack of training and skills of juniors can lead to wrong decisions being taken

2. Misuse of delegation of authority can lead to issues not only for the managers but also companies

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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