So, whosoever, is assigned the position, will enjoy the authority attached to that position. Authority is not changed later on according to the person concerned who holds that position. However, in small organization, change according to the person holding the position, may be accepted.
Authority is generally granted in writing to each position so as to enable them to discharge the responsibilities assigned to that position and it may be confirmed later on whether a specific act performed by a position-holder is legitimate or not. But in small organisation where face to face contacts between people are possible verbal authority may be granted and changes are possible later on, depending upon the competence of the incumbent and the demands of the situation. But in large organisation, authority is decided to each position at a time when organisation structure is designed irrespective of the individuals who will fill the positions.
The individuals are selected later on, considering the requirements of the position already laid down by the institution. Any change or alteration causing reduction in authority thereafter may have serious and demoralised effect on the individual.
Authority given to a position is not endless or unlimited. Institution also specifies the limits beyond that he cannot act. It is necessary to define the limits of authority so that a position-holder may not misuse the authority and can do what is expected of him, and thus it regulates the behaviour of the position-holder and provides legitimacy to his actions. The extent of authority should, therefore, not be vague and be clearly defined.
Authority may be centralised if it is referred to a systematic and consistent reservation of authority at central points. On the other hand, decentralisation of authority implies delegation of authority organisation wide from upward to downward and it may proceed at a different rate to different functions and different levels, depending upon the philosophy of the position-holder and the competence of the subordinates.
How so ever decentralised, an organisation may be certain matters and always reserved for higher level positions and they delegate their authority from time to time in those matters.
Authority is always given by the institution and, is, therefore, legal or legitimate. The institution specifies what authority a position should enjoy and lays down the requirements that a position holder should satisfy to occupy that position. The idea behind laying down the requirements of the position-holder is that the person concerned should be capable enough and have expertise and capacity to make use of the authority vested in that position.
As each position is entrusted with some responsibilities, so authority should be adequate so that the position-holder may handle that responsibility.
Authority must be commensurate with responsibility. For example, if a salesman is given the responsibility of selling the goods in a particular market. In order to get the orders from the customers, he should lie given an authority to bargain with them within certain limits otherwise he may lose valuable customers. So, a position-holder cannot meet his responsibilities if he lacks the requisite authority.