Delegation of Authority: Features and Process

Definition of Delegation of Authority

According to Dr. Kanthi Wijesinghe___ “Delegation begins when the manager passes on some of his responsibilities to the subordinate. Responsibility is the work assigned to an individual.  When assigning these responsibilities to other individuals, these individuals must be willing and ready to be delegated to as well. The delegated readiness of the individuals is an important factor in determining the success of the delegation.

Delegation means assigning work to others and giving them authority to do it.” —F. G. Moore

Process of Delegation of Authority

1. Assignment of Work

It is the first step in this process Assignment of work or duty to the subordinate. The superior asks his subordinate to perform a particular task in a given period of time. It is the description of role assigned to the subordinate. Duties in terms of functions or tasks to be performed constitute the basis of delegation process.

2. Granting of Authority

Subordinate so that the assigned task is accomplished. The delegation of responsibility without authority is meaningless. The subordinate can only accomplish the work when he has authority required for completing that task. Authority is derived from responsibility.

3. Creation of Accountability

Accountability is the obligation of a subordinate to perform the duty assigned to him. The delegation creates an obligation on the subordinate to accomplish the task assigned to him by the superior. When a work is assigned and authority is delegated then the accountability is the by-product of this process.

The authority is transferred so that a particular work is completed as desired. This means that delegator has to ensure the completion of assigned work. Authority flows downward whereas accountability flows upward.

Delegation of Authority Features

  1. Delegation does not mean that manager give up his authority, but certainly he shares some authority with the subordinate essential to complete the responsibility entrusted to him.
  2. Authority once delegated can be further expanded, or withdrawn by the superior depending on the situation.
  3. The manager cannot delegate the authority which he himself does not possess. Also, he can not delegate his full authority to a subordinate.
  4. The delegation of authority may be oral or written, and may be specific or general.
  5. The delegation is an art and must comply with all the fundamental rules of an organization.

Advantages of Delegation of Authority

  1. It helps the organization to grow at a better rate as both the seniors and junior share work and responsibility
  2. Delegation of authority boost their self confidence and helps them improve their motivation to perform
  3. Employees get better skills on the job and better prepared for more training
  4. The overall decision making process of the company gets quicker by delegation of authority as more minds work on it
  5. t helps in quicker expansion of workforce and more leaders are created.