DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY IS ONE VITAL ORGANISATONAL PROCESS: It is inevitable along with the expansion & growth of a business enterprise. Delegation means assigning of certain responsibilities along with the necessary authority by a superior to his subordinate managers. Delegation does not mean surrender of authority by the higher level manager. It only means transfer of certain responsibilities to subordinates & giving them the necessary authority, which is necessary to discharge the responsibility properly. DELEGATION IS NOT A PROCESS OF ABDICATION: The person who delegates does not divorce himself from the responsibility & authority with which he is entrusted. He remains accountable for the overall performance & also for the performance of his subordinates. Delegation is needed when the volume of the work to be done is in excess of an individual’s physical & mental capacity. DEFINITION: According to F.C. MOORE, “Delegation means assigning work to the others & giving them the authority to do so.”

Authority is the power assigned to a manager. A manager will not be able to function efficiently without proper authority. Authority is the genesis of organizational framework. It is one of the founding stones of formal organizations. An organization cannot survive without authority. According to Henry Fayol,” Authority is the right to give orders & the power to exact obedience.”

Responsibility indicates the duty assigned to a position. The person holding the position has to perform the duty assigned. It is his responsibility. The term “responsibility” is often referred to as an obligation to perform a particular task assigned to a subordinate. In the words of Theo Haimann, “Responsibility is the obligation of a subordinate to perform the duty as require by his superior.”

Every employee/manager is accountable for the job assigned to him. He is supposed to complete the job as per the expectation & inform his superior accordingly. Accountability is the liability created for the use of authority.

2. delegation relieves the superior from some of his burden & allows him to utilize his time & talent for more important & urgent duties & responsibilities. Thus. to learn to do new task & in the process to develop the best of his potential. it severs as an incentive to junior executive to accept greater responsibilities. In this way. The process of delegation alone can create good managers 3.” OBJECTIVES: WHY DELEGATION IS NEEDED ? 1. delegation serves two purposes -viz. TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES OF DEVELOPMENT TO JUNIOR EXECUTIVE: The junior executive can learn gradually the tasks.. accountability “is the obligation of an individual is report formally to his superior about the work he has done to discharge the responsibility. It will qualify him in course of time for the latter’s position when it fall vacant or when similar new jobs are created in the organization. TO IMPROVE INDIVIDUAL AS WELL AS ORGANIZATIONAL EFFICIENCY: When a superior delegates one of his tasks which he has been performing efficiently but which he cannot do because of lack of time.According to McFarland.. which his superior had been performing earlier. TO REDUCE THE EXCESSIVE BURDEN ON THE SUPERIOR: Reduction of burden on the superior can be achieved by entrusting repetitive activities to one or more of his subordinates. he will learn quickly . But if the subordinate selected has the ability & if he is trained properly. the subordinate to whom it is delegated will not be able to do it with equal efficiency at the beginning.

The subordinate is told what is expected from him. 2. On the other hand. Thus. the process of delegation will move to next stage. If he refuses. the authority is transferred by the delegator to his subordinate (delegatee). delegation can help to raise the efficiency of the organisation as a whole. PROCESS OF DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY 1. the delegator has to make fresh plan or may consider some other subordinate who is capable & is willing to accept the assignment. the delegatee has to accept or reject the task assigned to him in the first stage along with the authority given in the second stage. 4. which are to be delegated to the subordinate. ASSIGNMENT OF DUTIES TO SUBORDINATES: The delegator has to decide precisely the duties. 3. if the first delegatee accepts the assignments of work accompanying the authority. CREATION OF OBLIGATION: The fourth stage in the delegation is the creation of obligation on the part of the subordinate to perform duties assigned to him in a . TRANSFER OF AUTHORITY TO PERFORM THE DUTY: In the second stage of delegation process. Competent & responsible employees are may be given general guidelines whereas less competent ones are given more specific guidelines.& will be able to do the job efficiently. ACCEPTANCE OF THE ASSIGNMENT: In this third stage of delegation process. The performance suffers serious setback when required authority is not delegated along with the duty. Authority must be delegated only to perform the assigned duty.

AUTHORITY SHOULD BE CO-EXISTENT WITH RESPONSIBILITY: This principle suggests that when authority is delegated. running from the top to bottom. 3. PRINCIPLE OF FUNCTIONAL CLARITY: This principle suggests that. it should be commensurate with the responsibility of the subordinate. The subordinate should know who delegates authority to him & to whom he should contact for matter beyond for matters his authority. the activities to be undertaken & the authority content should be made clear to the delegatee. PRINCIPLES OF DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY 1. an obligation is created. the result expected. He has to perform the assigned tasks by using the authority granted to him. When subordinate accepts a task & the authority is given. A subordinate should get orders & instructions from one superior & should be made accountable to one person only. 4. PRINCIPLE OF UNITY OF COMMAND: This principle suggests that everyone should have only one boss. 2. Unity of command also removes overlapping & duplicating of work. the activities are classified & grouped to create departments. THE SCALAR PRINCIPLE: This principle maintains that there should be clear & direct lines of authority in the organisation. There should be proper balance between the authority & responsibility.satisfactory manner by using the authority. The job positions. .

Otherwise. He is responsible for the acts & omissions of his subordinates. The responsibility is absolute & remains with the superior. it is expected that the subordinate will exercise his own judgement & take the decisions within the purview of his authority. he remains fully accountable to his superior because responsibility cannot be divided. USE OF EXECEPTION PRINCIPLE: This principle indicates that when authority is delegated. there will be confusion of authority & accountability. . PRINCIPLE OF ABSOLUTENESS RESPONSIBILITY: This principle suggests that it is only the authority. Even when the manager delegates authority to his subordinate. which is delegated. & not the responsibility. 7.5. The process of delegation should be taken to its logical end. He is to be given adequate freedom to operate within his authority. 6. He should refer the problems to the top-level management only when he is unable to take decisions. PRINCIPLE OF COMPLETENESS OF DELEGATION: The principle of delegation suggests that there should be completeness in the process of delegation.

When he knows that necessary information to perform the job is not likely to be made available to him. ABSENCE OF POSITIVE INCENTIVE: Positive incentives like recognition of work and rewards go a long way in building 2. They fear that they may be criticised by others if they commit mistakes. LACK OF INFORMATION: A subordinate may hesitate to accept a new assignment. . A subordinate who is not confident about his ability will certainly try to shirk responsibility. FEAR OF CRITICISM: Subordinates express unwillingness to accept delegated authority because of the fear of criticism. TOO MUCH DEPENDENCE ON THE MANAGER: Some ordinates avoid responsibility even when the superior is prepared to delegate authority.BARRIERS ON THE PART OF SUBORDINATE 1. 3. 4.

He prefers to go to his superior & ask for the guidance. lack of self. LACK OF SELF-CONFIDENCE: A subordinate may lack self-confidence to take quick & correct decisions.Confidence is one obstacle in the delegation of authority. DIFFICULTY IN DECISION-MAKING: A subordinate may not have the skill & the expertise to take quick & correct decision.up the morale of subordinate. . a subordinate may not be prepaid to accept delegation. It acts as a cause for non-acceptance of delegation. In the absence of such incentives. 5. 6. Thus.

9. This fear is an obstacle to delegation. Here. the subordinates become uneasy & prefer to remain away from the process of delegation. .7. 8. FEAR OF BEING EXPOSED: Some subordinates feel that they have limited capacity to accept the challenges. which are bound to come due to delegation. UNDUE INTERFERENCE BY SUPERIOR: Some superiors interfere in the work of their subordinates. POOR SUPERIOR-SUBORDINATE RELATION: Absence of cordial relations between the superior & the subordinates hampers the process of delegation of authority. They feel that their inefficiency & inability will be exposed.

a manager should delegate only routine function & reserve to himself the authority for making final decision. It is therefore necessary maintain a balance between authority & responsibility. This will give the superior an 2. performing the work of his subordinates. If the delegated authority is in excess of responsibility. To avoid this. while delegating make clear the extent of authority & responsibility given to subordinate. KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT TO DELEGATE & ALSO WHAT NOT TO DELEGATE: If a manager tried performing duties which might better be delegated. 3. he will find his position in danger & his subordinates will frequency comes in conflict with him & also with one another. DEVELOP NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE & SKILL TO DELEGATE: A superior should.IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVE DELEGATION It is necessary to give attention to the following points for effective delegation authority: 1. there is a danger that the subordinate may be tempted to misuse it. he will find himself buried in details. DECIDE THE QUANTUM OF AUTHORITY TO BE DELEGATED: A theoretically correct answer to this question is that authority should be exactly equal to the responsibility delegated. if he delegates authority. he would be to unable to fulfill his responsibility & will feel frustrated. if a subordinate is assigned responsibility without adequate authority. . which he should exercise himself. On the other hand. On the other hand. The subordinate should be asked to report back periodically with completed work.

“Centralisation is the systematic & consistent reservation of authority at central point within the organisation. With the growth of the organisation come a number of problems & challenges which centralization is not able to cope up with. If he finds that the subordinate is not likely to complete the task. he should give additional help for its completion. Lower level personnel’s are asked only to implement the decisions taken by the top management. CENTRALISATION MEANING Centralisation refers to concentration of decision making authority in the hands of top management. every organisation starts with centralized decision-making structure. DEFINITION According to Louis Allen. Basically.” .opportunity to judge the progress of the subordinate. CENTRALISATION AND DISANTRALISATION 1.

authority is centralized to facilitate personal leadership. 5. UNIFORMITY OF ACTION: Uniformity of action results in integration of activities of the enterprise. FACILITATES LEADERSHIP: In the early stages of an enterprise & in a small firm. . HANDLES EMERGENCIES: Cenralisation provides instant handling of emergencies because no consultations are required. 1. This may result in economies of scale & better bargaining power. IMPROVES EFFICIENCY: Centralisation removes overlapping & duplication of work. Centralised purchasing function is an example of this.FEATURES USEFUL IN SMALL BUSINESS: A small sized business employs lesser number of people. At the same time wastage & inefficiency are eliminated & efficiency is improved. QUICK DECISION-MAKING: Decision making is quicker under centralisation because lesser number of people are associated with decision making process. Here centralisation of authority is much more helpful & economical. 2. 4. 6. 3. Its activities are conducted on a limited scale.

correspondence. Decision-making & control are exercised at higher level. ADVANTAGES ECONOMICAL: Centralisation is economical as the activities & operations are integrated & the duplication of work & operating overheads are avoided. Scrutiny of reports. 2. . etc. 4. divisions. LESS PAPERWORK: In centralisation. 3. etc. quick decisions & follow-up actions are possible. is avoided. there is uniformity in the operations of departments. paperwork involved is limited. SUITABLE TO SMALL BUSINESS: Centralisation is convenient in the case of small business due to limited activities. PROMPT DECISIONS & ACTIONS: In centralisation. 5. 1. decision-making is quick direct & also there is personal involvement by the top management. As a result. branches. PROMOTES UNIFORMITY OF ACTIONS: There are uniform rules & procedures. Naturally. 7.CREATES SPECIALISATION: Centralisation provides outstanding results through specialization. Consultation is not required. As a result. toplevel management makes decisions. Right man is put to the right job & performance improves.

to accept new responsibilities & also of self-development is not given to them. LIMITED DEDICATION & MOTIVATION: In centralisation.FACILITATES COORDINATION: Because of centralisation of authority. They have to face mental tension & even their decisions may not be appropriate on all times. This puts heavy burden on top executives. the decision-making power rests with few top executives. 6. SUBORDINATES SUFFER: In centralisation. They are like machines & have to act as per decisions taken at the top-level. 3. 1. activities of a small business are well-coordinated. decisions are imposed on lower levels. Subordinates work as 4. 2. The opportunity to learn. This restricts the scope of delegation & decentralization which is harmful to large organization. functions. limited authority is given to subordinates. . DISADVANTAGES OF CENTRALISATION RESTRICTS THE PROCESS OF DELEGATION: In centralisation. IMPOSES HEAVY BURDEN ON TOP EXECUTIVES: Due to centralisation. duties & responsibilities are concentrated in the hands of few managers.

This may lead to inefficiency. DEFINITION .per orders issued. Decentralisation is delegation not from one individual to another but delegation to all units in an organization. COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTIES: In the absence efficient communication system. Centralisation kills initiative. There is no motivation to work hard. lack coordination & confusion on the part of subordinates. self-reliance & motivation. 5. lack management. This may lead to inefficiency. centralisation may lead communication gap between higher & lower levels management. Decentralisation is the tendency to disperse decision-making authority in an organization. of to of of of DECENTRALISATION MEANING Decentralisation of authority means conscious/systematic effort to bring dispersal of decision-making power to the lower levels of the organization.

Decentralisation is needed as it facilitates the process of delegation of authority. Decentralisation is necessary expansion of a business enterprise. Decentralisation concept is a progressive & democratic . Decentralisation is necessary in order to introduce democratic spirit in an organization. 5.” .“Everything that goes to increase the importance of the subordinate’s role is decentralisation. along with the 3. everything that goes to reduce it is centralisation. Decentralisation is necessary to enjoy advantages of better administration.HENRY FAYOL WHEN IS DECENTRALISION NEEDED? 1. 4. 2.

FACTORS AFFECTING DECENTRALISATION PHILOSOPHY OF THE TOP MANAGEMENT: The philosophy of the top management as regards decentralisation is a key factor influencing the extent of decentralisation. the scope for decentralisation will be reduced. Top management may not like interference in its authority. the extent of decentralisation will be more. The extent of decentralisation will be limited if there is shortage of competent managers at lower levels. DESIRE FOR UNIFORMITY: The extent of decentralisation will be less when the uniformity in the policy is of critical 3. 2. AVAILABILITY OF COMPETENT MANAGERS: Superiors will like to introduce decentralisation on a large scale if competent managers are available at the lower levels. If the top management believes in giving powers at lower levels. 1. As a result. .

COST & IMPORTANCE INVOLVED IN DECISION: The top management usually takes the key policy decisions & the decisions. Thus. They introduce decentralisation along with such expansion. which are less costly. which involve heavy investment. Decisions. This means decentralisation is introduced. 4. the extent of decentralisation will be more when uniformity in the policies is not expected. the NATURE OF THE ENTERPRISE: Decentralisation is more common in the case of newly established as well as fast growing enterprises. On the other hand. 6. affect the degree of decentralisation. 9. In this case. branches. decentralisation is the only choice. . INFLUENCE OF EXTERNAL FACTORS: External factors such as government controls. tax policies. the extent of decentralisation will be more. licensing. are delegated to lower levels. OPERATIONS OF AN ENTERPRISE: In some enterprises. HISTORY OF THE ORGANISATION: Many organisations grow in a gradual manner.importance in running the enterprise. dispersal of business operations leads to high degree of decentralisation. etc. 7. 8. 5. the business activities may be conducted at different places & decisions are taken at different places. Only the top management takes important policy decisions & the other decisions are taken at the level of departments. SIZE OF THE ORGANISATION: If the size of organisation is large. plants & so on.

Because of pressure of work. controlling & coordination. . top executives do not find time to look after basic functions like planning. 1. The only alternative left is to reduce the load of duties by systematic decentralization of authority.DECENTRALISATION IS THE TENDENCY TO DISPERSE DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY RELIEF TO TOP EXECUTIVES: Concentration of authority overburdens the top executives with multiple duties. DEVELOPMENT OF MANAGERS: Decentralisation creates people who have mastered the techniques of professional 2.

All these resulting into dispersal of decision making authority. DETERMINE OBJECTIVES: Before taking broad decisions on delegation. e.g. SIZE OF THE BUSINESS: When an organization is large & complex having capable managers. Since objective are end conditions sought by performing the task. . 4. With a fast & effective communication system. Decentralization will facilitate masterly planning & its execution by managers. the process of decision making is made speedier. trained & motivated to account for profitability. the subordinate knows what he is trying to accomplish. 2. Managers competent to independently bring up their units should be selected. there are decentralization tendencies. management has to introduce decentralization. more decentralization is always preferable. Employees expected to do complete job come together & report to a common superior. As there is limited consultation with superiors. 1. 3. DEMOCRATIC APPROACH: Decentralisation is concerned with distribution of power among subordinates. it is necessary to determine the goals expected to be achieved. QUALITY DECISIONS: When more number of decisions are made at lower levels. GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE/ SUCCESSFUL DELEGATION 5. As a first step. This improves quality of decisions. computerized management information not simply of supervision. the objectives of delegation should be clearly determined. PROVIDE INCENTIVES: Subordinates will accept delegation and take interest in the new duties assigned only when they are properly motivated through suitable incentives.

5. selection of competent subordinates is of vital importance. the whole job should be assigned. If a choice must be made between two subordinates with one possessing the necessary skills & experience but unwilling to assume responsibility & for other short on experience but willing to assume responsibility. . DELEGATION BASED ON LEARNING: The subordinate’s cannot become experts from day one. 4. it is advisable to choose the latter. The best subordinate for the job is the person who is properly qualified. Mutual confidence. trained & is willing to accept full responsibility for attaining stated objectives.Such incentives may be appreciation of good work/promotion or monetary benefit. Thereafter. 6. attitude of a cooperation & team spirit create such atmosphere. They should be allowed 7. MAINTAIN FAVOURABLE ATMOSPHERE: There should be favourable atmosphere in the organization for delegation. SELECT COMPETENT SUBORDINATES: It is necessary to select most suitable subordinate for the job. ASSIGN DUTIES & GRANT COMMENSURATE AUTHORITY: It is important to determine all the duties that must be performed in order to complete the task at hand. 3. DELEGATION IN RIGHT HANDS: Delegation of authority should be in right hands so that misuse of authority is avoided. For this purpose. Defining the job at the very start of a project brings proper perspective & the amount of authority needed to ensure parity of responsibility & authority.

involving confidential information. which are necessary for performing duties with confidence. as they are delicate in nature. While delegating authority. . DEVELOP PROPER MOTIVATION: Motivation of subordinates is essential for effective delegation Subordinates should be encouraged for self development so that they will have capacity to accept new duties & responsibilities.reasonable time to experiment & learn form mistakes. should be provided so as to enable subordinates to handle their delegated jobs properly. Promotions should be given when the delegatee proves his competence. RETAIN IMPORTANT TASKS: An important principle of delegation is to retain certain task. Matters involving department budget or personnel problems need not to be delegated. Such motivation facilitates easy acceptance to delegated duties. by the manager himself. 8. OBSTACLES/ BARRIERS ON THE PART OF MANAGER/SUPERIOR UNWILLINGNESS OF MANAGER TO DELEGATE AUTHORITY: Some managers tend to think that they can do the job better when they themselves handle the jobs. repetitive work should be delegated to the maximum possible extent. The attitude that “I can do it better myself “on the part of superior acts as an obstacle to delegation. 1. the subordinates should be told that it is their training for future assignments. 9. 10. Thus. PROVIDES TRANING FACILITIES: Training develops skill. However.

6. Thus. As a result. if he feels that his subordinate is not competent to deal with the problem and take decision. This may happen due to concentration of authority. there will be psychological barrier in the way of delegation. LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN SUBORDINATES: A manager may hesitate to delegate. 5. managers are relieved of 1. LACK OF ABILITY TO DIRECT: sometimes. quite likely he will outshine him. 4. ADVANTAGES OF DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY RELIEVES MANAGER FOR MORE CHALLENGING JOBS: Delegation makes it possible for the managers to distribute their work load to others. . Fear of losing control over the subordinates and fear of being exposed due to personal shortcomings may acts as an obstacle in the process of delegation. Fear of subordinate’s excellence may come in the way on delegation.FEAR OF COMPETETION: A manager may feel that if he has a competent and if he delegates authority to subordinate. 2. CONSERVATIVE AND CAUTIOUS TEMPERAMENT OF THE MANAGER: If a manager has conservative and overcautious approach. ABCENCE OF CONTROLS THAT WORNS OF COMING TROUBLES: An organisation might not have developed the controlling techniques to know in advance the serious problems lying ahead. a manager may experience difficulty in directing the efforts of his subordinates because of his incompetency. manager may resist delegation. 3.

turnover. This raises the overall efficiency in an organisation and offers better results in term of production. 4. It is not necessary to go to the superiors for routine matters. IMPROVES MORALE OF EMPLOYEES: Delegation raises the morale of subordinates as they are given duties and supporting authority. profit and so on. effective communication develops between the superiors and subordinates. They can take the decisions quickly within their authority. controlling. 5. This brings better relations and team spirit among the superiors and subordinates. They take more initiative and interest in the work and are also careful and cautious in their work. . Delegation leads to motivation of employees and manpower development. organizing. IMPROVES TEAM SPIRIT: Due to delegation. The attitude and outlook of subordinates towards work assigned becomes more constructive. 2. The subordinates are answerable to superiors and the superiors are responsible for the performance of subordinates. They feel that they are responsible employees.routing work and they can concentrate on higher functions of management like planning. 3. FACILITATES EFFICIENCY AND QUICK ACTIONS: Delegation saves time enabling the subordinates to deal with the problems promptly. LEADS TO MOTIVATION OF SUBORDINATES: Subordinates are encouraged to give their best at work when they have authority with responsibility. etc.

illness. 6. It builds up a reservoir of executives. 7. PERFORMS KEY ROLL: Delegation of authority is the key to organisation. In the absence of the manager due to promotion. FACILITATES MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT: Delegation acts as a training ground for management development. Delegation creates managers and not mere messengers. to grow and to develop new qualities and skills. the work does not suffer because delegation of authority ensures smooth conduct of business.PROVIDES CONTINUITY: An organisation requires its operations to go on continuously without any interruption. leave. . The subordinates accept their accountability and this develops cordial superior-subordinate relationships. 8. DEVELOPS CORDIAL RELATIONSHIPS: The superiors trust subordinates and gives them necessary authority. outstation business duties or for any other reason. which can be used as and when require. It gives opportunity to subordinates to learn. resignation. Without delegation there would be no organisation. It will be only one-man rule. 9.

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