Authority, Accountability & Responsibility Essay

2836 Words Aug 6th, 2011 12 Pages
AUTHORITY, ACCOUNTABILITY & RESPONSIBILITY

By Yusop B. Masdal

I. INTRODUCTION

Delegation (or deputation) is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities (Blair, gerald 2002). However the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work.

Delegation empowers a subordinate to make decisions, i.e. it is a shift of decision-making authority from one organizational level to a lower one. Delegation, if properly done, is not abdication. The opposite of effective delegation is micromanagement, where a manager provides too much input, direction, and review of delegated work. In general, delegation is
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The superior issues orders and is responsible for the result—the subordinate obeys and is responsible only for executing the order according to instructions.

Functional authority is where managers have formal power over a specific subset of activities. For instance, the Production Manager may have the line authority to decide whether and when a new machine is needed but the Controller demands that a Capital Expenditure Proposal is submitted first, showing that the investment will have a yield of at least x%; or, a legal department may have functional authority to interfere in any activity that could have legal consequences. This authority would not be functional but it would rather be staff authority if such interference is "advice" rather than "order".

Staff authority is granted to staff specialists in their areas of expertise. It is not a real authority in the sense that a staff manager does not order or instruct but simply advises, recommends, and counsels in the staff specialists' area of expertise and is responsible only for the quality of the advice (to be in line with the respective professional standards etc.) It is a communication relationship with management. It has an influence that derives indirectly from line authority at a higher level.

Authority is seen as the legitimate right of a person to exercise influence or the legitimate right to make decisions, to carry

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