Continuous or Specific-Duration Task or Responsibility: Task or responsibility assigned to a subordinate may be a continuing obligation, or it may be limited in terms of time or tasks. It may be favourable or unfavourable. This shows that the obligation is the essence of responsibility. A manager has authority to order his subordinates to act or not to act in a particular manner. ... the areas of responsibility that are divided between both authorities in two-tier areas. Authority flows downward, i.e. Under the acceptance theory, it is believed that authority comes to the manager by the acceptance of power to make and enforce decisions through his subordinates. Responsibility means the duties authorized to a person at the time of delegation of authority. Thus, authority is derived from responsibility just as responsibility is derived from functions. Also, to act or not to act depends on how he perceives the objectives of the organization. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. Characteristics of Responsibility. Share Your PDF File The Board, on its part, selects and appoints staff that will help it accom­plish the tasks and responsibility necessary to achieve organizational goals. Acceptance theory would be put to test only when a manager takes a decision and communicates it to his subordinate(s). The superior frames and transmits decisions, with the expectation that the subordinates will accept and comply with them. Respect­ing and serving elders in family and society is an age-old tradition, so is responsibility of parents to raise and properly educate and train children for life ahead. Shareholders of a company appoint directors and delegate to them authority to manage the affairs of the company. Responsibility in terms of quantitative targets is pref­erable to general, non-quantitative responsibility. Normally, responsibility moves upwards, whereas authority flows downwards. Only a per­son holding authority—legal, traditional or competence—can assign task or responsibility. The essence of responsibility is the obligation of a subordinate to perform the duty assigned. Accountability will shrink or expand with the nature of responsibility assigned. Authority and responsibility of a manager should be co-equal i.e. Authority and responsibility go together or co-existing. (a) The subjective aspect that is the personal aspect of accepting a communication or order as authoritative; and. The flow of legal authority is top-down at each level. As Simon puts it, authority is the power to make decisions which guide the action of another. Relationship between Authority and Responsibility Authority is the legal right of person or superior to command his subordinates while accountability is the obligation of individual to carry out his duties as per standards of performance Authority flows from the superiors to subordinates,in which orders and instructions are given to subordinates to complete the task. Authority, Responsibility, and Accountability Introduction There is a definite relationship between authority, responsibility and accountability. The important principle of authority is: Authority and responsibility should be equal. Responsibility may be a continuing obligation or specific obligation. “Authority is the character of a communication (order) in a formal organization, by virtue of which it is accepted by a contributor to, or member of, the organization as governing the action he contributes; that is, as governing or determining what he does or not do, so far as the orga­nization is concerned.”, “Viewed internally with respect to the enterprise, responsibility may be defined as the obligation of a subordinate, to whom a superior has assigned a duty to perform a service required. Authority and Moral Responsibility. Non-living inanimate beings – machine, tool, capital – cannot be assigned task or responsibility. I would think that responsibility is the duty or role delegated according to your scope of work. These are the main characteristics of the responsibility: 1. It always originates from the superior-subordinate relationship. Relationship between Authority and Responsibility: Authority is the legal right of person or superior to command his subordinates while accountability is the obligation of individual to carry out his duties as per standards of performance. In other words, authority is “a superior’s capacity on the basis of his formal position, to m… Every manager at any level in the organisation, must respect the laws, traditions and restrictions etc. the extent of authority is greatest at the top level and lowest at the low level. By mere his personality people seek his advice and obey it. Managerial action in a formal organisation needs authority. Thus, as a matter of fact, there should be blending of power and influence to make the authority really effective. In a business organization a manager is vested with official and legal authority which empowers him to assign tasks and responsibility to his subordinates and demand accountability from them in respect of performance of those tasks and responsibility. This shows that the obligation is the essence of responsibility. A manager is accountable only to his superior but the top management owes the maximum accountability. It can be acquired through persuasion, sanction, coercion, constraints or force. iii. Authority defines the decisions you can make but does not mention the results that you have to achieve, whereas responsibility addresses the results you must accomplish, but does not mention the decisions that you need to make in order to reach those results. Authority may be subject to the social beliefs, codes, creeds and habits of the group over which it has to be exercised. But since authority is a human possession, such authority may be described as that authority which is possessed by the person who either interprets computer processed results and data or underlines their significant managerial meanings for others. In particular, as developing countries gain more formal and informal power in There should be co-ordination between different relationships. I have worked with leadership coaching clients who confuse power and authority and as a result, lead less effectively. Top managers of the company owe responsibility and accountability to their superiors—the board of directors—who on their part are responsible and accountable to shareholders. cash or equipment. But his decision to do so is often influenced by his personal likes and dislikes and socio-economic, educational and cultural background. 3. Responsibility can be discharged by a single action or it may be a continuous obligation. – Henry Fayol, “Authority is the official and the legal right to command action by others and to enforce compliance. A person can influence the behavior of others even if he does not command any formal, legal or tra­ditional authority. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. Thus, union leaders of an organization may select a relatively junior worker to present their case before the top management for increase in salaries because they feel he is forceful and logical in arguing the case and has at his command well-documented evidence to support his viewpoint. For example, shareholders of a company are the source of all legal authority to con­trol and manage its affairs. The term responsibility has been interpreted in two different ways. Authority and Responsibility. But compliance of actions and carrying out of instructions by subordinates cannot always be assured merely because the authority is customarily accepted. TOS4. Allen defines authority as “the sum of the powers and rights entrusted to make possible the performance of the work delegated.” This definition emphasise the right and power aspects and adds another dimension, namely the implication that the authority is delegated with a view to performance of the work and is delegated to the extent of the responsibility for the work entrusted to the delegatee. For example, you're responsible to do a specific task and you must do it. In a more comprehensive sense responsibility can be defined as an obligation of a subordinate to perform the duties assigned to him. For a while he forgets that under the current global business scenario, an efficient worker would stay only if his compensation package compares favorably with that of similarly qualified work­ers in other organizations. Shravan Kumar spent his youth carrying parents on his shoulders to pilgrim centers. In a business organization, which is authoritarian in nature, the word authority refers to the power of an individuals to direct others by giving orders. Top managers appoint senior and junior level managers and assign tasks and responsibility to them to perform and dele­gate them appropriate authority to operate and control the resources placed under their control. This means that a subordinate will accept authority only if it falls within his zone of acceptance. When such an event occurs, the person assuming authority to meet the particular circumstances is said to have derived the authority of the situation. For example, one can hardly order a person to walk up to side of a building or do such impossible things. Legal authority or social or cultural norms become irrele­vant here. The whole organisational structure is based on the concept of authority without use of authority, anarchy and utter confusion will prevail all around the enterprise Authority is usually respected, recognised and followed in the organisation as a matter of course. Their reward is the salary and prospects of promotion to higher responsibility positions in the organization. The authority is power to command or to exact action from others in the process of discharging the delegated responsibility. But if he is assigned the task of producing 100 units daily on the machine, his responsibility is expressed in terms of a quantitative target. A manager is responsible for the performance of the duties even though he may delegate to a subordinate authority to accomplish a service and the subordinate also in his turn may delegate a part of his authority received by him. Authority can be designated, but responsibility cannot be designated. Responsibility Relates to human beings only. Without authority, the executive cannot secure compliance of his orders from his subordinates. Similarly, if responsibility is greater than authority, the tendency of the management becomes difficult and even ineffective. Tradition-centric authority has a lot to commend itself, only it should not become a tool to exploit people who respect it. may also impose certain limitations on the use of authority. Senior citizens are willingly offered seats in crowded buses and trains; no one minds their jump­ing the queue to visit a doctor, or to withdraw money from bank. Authority means a formal, institutional or legal power in a particular job, function or position that empowers the holder of that job, function or position to successfully perform his task. Authority may not mean the same thing as power A person many have the power to influence the activity and behaviour of other persons but he may not have the official or legal right of command and thus enforce compliance by others. It is the means through which co-operative activity becomes a success and common objectives are achieved. Thus, the concept of authority arises from the chain, which ties together the sections emanating from different persons in the organization. (1) Exercise of authority drives staff of the organization to perform the tasks and responsibility assigned to them: Authority means the right to influence the behavior of others. To run the organization towards its goal and objectives the authority of the executive has to be re-delegated to the managers down the line to reach the bottom line managers. The managerial authority is a rightful permission to act for the enterprise instruct the subordinates, impose penalty for wrong doings, use company property or to speak or act as a representatives of the enterprise. The acceptance theory was formulated by Chester Barnard who held that authority lies in the character of a communication (order) issued in a formal organization which makes it acceptable to the persons for whom it is intended. Responsibility and authority are two things which go hand in hand. This website includes study notes, research papers, essays, articles and other allied information submitted by visitors like YOU. Such authority stems the decision making power granted to the processed data by a computer. In an organisation responsibility is the obligation of a subordinate to perform his duty as required by his superior. Disclaimer Copyright, Share Your Knowledge Everything you need to know about authority and responsibility in management. According to acceptance theory, authority of a manager will be in direct proportion to the acceptance given to his authority by his subordinates. Henry Fayol defines authority as “the right to give orders and the power to extract the obedience.”. There are various theories to explain the sources of authority, important among them are as follows: 1. Authority is the only cohesive force that sets in motion the integrated activities of sub-ordinates in an enterprise. It ignores the organisational situation of the possessor of the authority. The term Responsibility is, most of the times, used to mean duty, activity, liability, accountability or even authority. If the subordinates do not accept the authority of manager, they may not willingly comply with his decisions and orders – they may even defy them. But as per Koontz O’ Donnel source of authority is discussed under three headings: The people who have belief in his theory, accept the basis that the ultimate source of authority in a business firm is embedded in the institution of private property, which is interested in a; person power over material resources. Some persons having attractive personality command others to work. He also recognized that any official authority vested in the job was often ineffecti… So a manager while using authority, must keep in his mind, the reaction of his orders on employees, shareholders and customers etc. They do so because the Company Law gives them this authority. Main Differences Between Authority and Responsibility. 1. Therefore responsibility cannot be delegated. Authority, in simple words, is the right way of commanding subordinates, issuing orders and instructions, and exacting obedience from the team. The relationship between ... the report describes good practice in central and local authority relationships. While the authority flows from a superior to a subordinate when assignment of duty is made, the responsibility flows from a subordinate to his superior when former undertakes the obligation of accomplishing the duties assigned to him. A manager can delegate his authority to his subordinate, but responsibility cannot be delegated. The right may also be rooted in tradition, or the charisma of a person. Authority Responsibility; An authority is a power or right that a person gets because of his designation, role, or job. They follow the leader because, according to their per­ception, he articulates their feelings and aspirations. Authority is the legal right of person or superior to command his subordinates while accountability is the obligation of individual to carry out his duties as per standards of performance Authority flows from the superiors to subordinates,in which orders and instructions are given to subordinates to complete the task. Authority is a formal or institutionalized form of power vested in a position or office. G. R. Terry observes “In almost every enterprise, emergency and unusual events accrue which are not provided for in the organisational set-up. If the subordinate ably and willingly accept to perform the assigned tasks or responsibility, and performs it in the manner desired by the manager, he can rest content that his authority enjoys acceptance. The other means, that it can help in making authority more effective and may include the backing and support to lower executives, from the top executives, due attention to their advice, usually confirming their decisions, permitting command to flow through proper channels and supplying adequate information and materials to them. In view of organizational set up, the superior-subordinate relationship gives rise to this responsibility as the superior is vested with the authority to get the specified work done by his subordinates. Delegation of authority establishes relationships. Authority is nothing but the rights or the powers with the executives which the organization provides them with the aim of accomplishment of certain common organizational goals. Since 1950 the term technical authority or computer authority has come into use. 5. It is only through authority, a manager exercises control. The subordinate expects such decisions, and his behaviour is determined by them. 2. However, delegation of authority does not diminish the authority and responsibility of the manager- he continues to be the source of authority vested in him and also continues to be responsible for per­formance of the assigned task by him and/or his subordinate(s). However, the ideal source of authority is that under which the subordinates accept to perform the assigned task and responsibility because they trust the ability and integrity of the manager. The authority which a manager possesses, because of his organisational position, is known as formal authority. For example, when a worker is assigned the task of operating a machine, his responsibility is to ensure that the machine is opera­tionally fit. It is a relationship between two individuals—one of them superior, and the other a subordinate. A manager is responsible ultimately for the performance of his duties even though he has delegated it to his subordinates. Because the manager gets the work done by subordinates, authority constitutes as the key to manager’s job. This customary acceptance of authority is a part of our culture and day- to-day behaviour. Authority’s primary role is to give orders while responsibility is to be held accountable. This is example of traditional authority. 1. Accordingly manager has no authority until it is conferred upon him by his sub-ordinates. (c) If the consequences of not accepting the authority would damage his career prospects in the organization, including perhaps loss of job. 2. – George R. Terry, “Authority means the Power to command others- to act or not to act in a manner deemed fit by the possessor of the authority and is exercised in furtherance of the enterprise or departmental purpose”. Now the question – What source of authority would best enable a manager to perform his task? His zone of acceptance will be determined by a number of factors. Until and unless any performance is technically possible an order to do any such work would be unworthy. A person will be accountable only when he has been assigned any task or responsibility by the person who commands authority over him. It is the authority a person enjoys by virtue of his superior position in the organisation. For example an order to make gold from copper. Koontz and O’ Donnel define it as the obligation of a subordinate, to whom a superior has assigned a task and dele­gated authority, to perform the task as required. Authority is never absolute like responsibility. Physical limitations such as climate, geography, chemical elements and so on, have their limiting effect on authority. It will inspire the worker to achieve the target and he will experience a sense of fulfilment if he attains the target. Learn about the meaning, definition, concept, relationship of authority and responsibility in management. Acceptance theory of authority is the exact opposite of the traditional, formal theory of authority. Authority is the right of a preferable to give orders and directions to his subordinates to get things done. Both authority and responsible are the two sides of a coin. It is the power or the right to act, to command or to extract action by others. A few definitions of the term “authority” are given below: “Authority is the right to give orders and the power to obedience”. As per this definition, there are two aspects involved in the concept of authority. 4. 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