Delegation of Authority: Meaning, Importance, Process, Barriers, Elements

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Delegation is an administrative process of assigning a portion of the total workload to others by giving them responsibility. Today in this article, we have shared the details about the Delegation of Authority and its importance, process, barriers,.. etc.

► What is Delegation of Authority?

Delegation of Authority means the distribution of power in a few hands for the smooth working of the organization.

As we know that in every organization, managers are assigned a lot of work. So the manager has the authority to distribute his work. So, to overcome that burden the manager distributes his work to his subordinates. That the work should be complete on time with fewer mistakes.

✔ Meaning of Authority:

Authority refers to the power that has been legal by the organization.

✔ Meaning of Delegation:

Delegation is simply a process of getting things done by others bypassing the portion of workload along with the responsibility. It is a very important process to carry on the work systematically in the organization.

► Importance Of Delegation Of Authority

  • Relief to top managers
  • Development of Managers
  • Development of subordinates
  • Better Decision-making
  • Job satisfaction

◉ Relief to top managers

The whole work is given to the employees /subordinates with the proper training so the managers don`t have any type of workload/burden with them.

◉ Development of Managers

When the managers will get more work then they will know how to tackle things and their expertise will also increase. Because the manager will get more work which means his confidence will boost up that he can do the more work given/assigned by the top level.

◉ Development of subordinates

The delegation also does the development of subordinates because when they will get more work they will explore and learn new things that lead to the enhancement of their skills.

◉ Better Decision-making

Delegation helps both managers as well as subordinates to make better decisions. As the manager’s confidence will increase he is going to take the right decision which will help the subordinates whereas the subordinates have the authority to solve a small problem on their own instead of asking the manager for the solution.

The manager and the subordinates both will give ideas to the organization so there may be chances of more good ideas or decisions. Many times the idea that a manager cannot give could be given by the subordinate.

◉ Job satisfaction

When the subordinates will get equal authority, responsibility, and appreciation for their work they will feel secure in the organization. And from time to time they should get incentives and their position should be increased.

► Elements of Delegation of Authority

There are three elements of Delegation of Authority.

  1. Responsibility
  2. Authority
  3. Accountability

what is delegation of authority

1. Responsibility in Delegation of Authority

Responsibility simply means the “Obligation to perform a task”.

The delegation process starts with the process of Responsibility. When a manager distributes some of his power to his subordinates.

The person must complete the assigned work. If the work or a task is assigned to a person he should complete his work on time.

If the work is not completed then he should not give any explanations or excuses. Cannot be fully delegated.

Responsibility flows upward from subordinate to superior.

2. Authority in Delegation of Authority

Authority simply means the “Power to take decisions”.

To carry on the responsibilities, every employee needs to have some authority to make decisions and to give orders so s to achieve the organizational objectives. The people who have authority should know what is the scope of their authority and they shouldn`t misuse or miss utilize it. The top-level management has the greatest authority. It can be delegated.

Authority flows downward from superior to subordinate.

3. Accountability in Delegation of Authority

Accountability simply means “Answerable for the output of assigned tasks”.

It is the final step of the process of delegation. It refers to making employees answerable for Non-Completion of tasks. In this accountability can not be completely transferred. It can only be shared with the subordinates which means even after delegating responsibility and authority the managers will be accountable for Non-Completion of tasks.

Accountability flows upward from subordinates to superiors.

► Process of Delegation Of Authority

  • Step 1 – Determining the Goal
  • Step 2 – Define Responsibility & Authority
  • Step 3 – Motivation to subordinates
  • Step 4 – Holding accountability
  • Step 5 – Training to subordinates
  • Step 6 – Establishing Control

Step 1 – Determining the Goal

Aim to achieve the goal which has been set by an organization to achieve the organizational objectives.

Step 2 – Define Responsibility and Authority

Responsibility refers to the obligation to complete the assigned job on time. On the other hand, Authority refers to the power to take decisions.

There must be a balance between responsibility and authority. No one should have more authority than they can misuse their power whereas same the person should not have more responsibility and less authority that they can give excuses for not completing the work on time.

Step 3 – Motivation to subordinates

In this process of delegation, the subordinates should be given authority according to responsibility. As it shows trust and gives a feeling of belongingness to subordinates by their superior.

Step 4 – Holding Accountability

If the given work is not complete on time the manager should be answerable to the authority.

Step 5 – Training to subordinates

Before giving any task or work to subordinates they should be properly trained for that work. So that they can do every work in the right manner and at the right time.

Step 6 – Establishing Control

There should be proper control of taking steps to bring actual results and desired results closer together.

► Barriers To Delegation Of Authority

  • Insecurity
  • Lack of confidence in subordinates
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Lack of initiative

◉ Insecurity

As the manager distributes his work to his subordinates so the manager can`t fully trust the subordinates he feels insecure due to this.

◉ Lack of confidence in subordinates

The subordinates have the responsibility of the whole work as they get the new work so there is a lack of confidence in subordinates that how the work will be done or how they will do the work they will complete the work on time or not.

◉ Fear of making mistakes

The subordinates don`t have that much experience for that work that has been assigned by the manager because they are doing that work for the first time so they have the fear of making mistakes.

◉ Lack of initiative

Due to less authority or not having the power as much of manager the subordinates are not able to take initiative for them. They can`t take any kind of decision or they cannot argue with the manager.

► Ways To Overcome Barriers To Delegation

  • Develop confidence
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Choose the right person for the right job
  • Freedom to subordinates
  • Clarity of task
  • Matching the jobs with the abilities of subordinates