Essay on Characteristics of Authority

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(i) It is a kind of order to determine policies, to pronounce judgement or relevant issues and to settle controversies.

(ii) It is essential if the manager is to organize, direct and maintain the use of resources to attain end goals.

(iii) It is a system of normatively sanctioned power.

(iv) It is a synonym with the power. It is in other words the institutionalized power.

(v) It is not to be identified with power. It is because power alone has no office, no legitimacy and no mandate. The accent of authority is a right not power.

The term authority may be used in different but related ways. It may be used as prescribing the limits of area of discretion such as a bank manager has authority to grant a loan of not more than Rs. 5,000.

It means his area of discretion is limited only up to Rs. 5,000 and no more. It sometimes used as a hierarchical relationship and the right to control a subordinate’s behaviour as ‘I have authority over him’ signifies my right to control.

A third connotation may be the recognition or acknowledgement of expert knowledge of a particular field, i.e., ‘he has an authority on the subject’. Thus authority carries different meanings in different contexts but all these meanings carry a ‘decision-making right’.