Difference Between Authority And Power

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Winston Churchill said “When you mix People & Power, you get Politics.”
The term politics originates from Greek word "polis". Aristotle opines that it is "zoon politikon", which means political animal and suggests that man can only reside in a group (i.e public) that necessarily leads to politics. Politics is the study of influence and the influential. Influence is measured on the basis of the number of shares one or a group has in the preferred values or attributes. The more values or attributes shared, the greater the influence.
One of the other definition which serves to explain it is “politics is the process of seeking and using power”
Politics can simply be defined in three ways:
• Firstly, it attempts to discover the general principles,
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Difference between Authority and Power
The terms Authority and Power have different meanings in management. Authority is the right given to a manager to achieve the objectives of the organization. It is a right to get the things done through others. It is a right to take decisions. It is a right to give orders to the subordinates and to get obedience from them. A manager cannot do his work without authority. According to Henri Fayol, "Authority is the right to give orders and power to exact (get) obedience."
A manager gets his authority from his position or post. He gets his authority from the higher authorities. The lower and middle-level managers get their authority from the top-level managers. The top-level managers get their authority from the shareholders.
Authority always flows downwards. It is delegated from the top to the bottom.
Power is a broader concept than authority. Power is the ability of a person or a group to influence the beliefs and actions of other people. It is the ability to influence events. Power can be personal power. A person gets his personal power from his personality or from his expert knowledge. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Programmers, etc. get their power from their expertise and professional knowledge. Power can also be legitimate or official power. This power comes from a higher
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Nature: Authority is the formal right given to a manager to make decisions or to command. Power is the personal ability to influence others or events. ii. Flow: Authority flows downwards in the organization. This is because it is delegated by the superiors to the subordinates. Power can flow in any direction. Even subordinates have power over their superiors, if they can influence their behavior. So power can flow upwards, downwards or horizontally. iii. Organizational Charts: Authority relationships (superior-subordinate relationships) can be shown in the organization charts. Power relationships cannot be shown in organization charts. iv. Level of Management : Authority depends on the level of management. Higher the level of management, higher will be the authority and vice-versa. Power does not depend on the level of management. Power can exist at any level of management. Even a lower-level manager or a worker can have power to influence the behavior of a top-level manager.
v. Legitimacy: Authority is always official in nature. So it is legitimate. Power need not be official in nature. So it need not be legitimate. vi. Position and Person: Authority is given to a position or post. The manager gets the authority only when he holds that position. Power resides (lives) in the person who uses

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