Responsibility, delegation and authority are fundamental management skills. Students are required to show an understanding of the problems and challenges associated with these concepts of management.
(a) (i) RESPONSIBILITY is the liability of a person to be called to account for his or her actions and results, and is therefore an obligation to do something.
(ii) AUTHORITY is the scope and amount of discretion given to a person to
make decisions by virtue of his position held within the organisation. The authority and power structure of an organisation defines:
– the part each member of the organisation is expected to perform
– the relationship between the organisation’s members so that its efforts are effective
The source of authority may be top down (as in formal organisations) or bottom up (as in social organisations and politics).
(iii) DELEGATION is the giving to a subordinate the discretion to make decisions within a certain, defined sphere of influence. Therefore the superior must possess the authority to delegate.
The key element here is discretion and the level of authority within a specific sphere. Without delegation, formal organisations could not exist. An organisation chart may show the command structure of an organisation, but without authority, responsibility and delegation, a formal organisation cannot be effective. They are critical aspects.