The word authority (derived from the Latin word Auctoritas) can be used to mean the right to exercise power given by the State (in the form of government, judges, police officers, etc.), or by academic knowledge of an area (someone that can be an authority on a subject).

The power or right to give orders, make decisions and enforce obedience. The right to act in a specified way delegated from one person or organization to another. A person or organization having political or administrative power and control. The power to influence others, especially because of one’s commanding manner or one’s recognized knowledge about something. A person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject; an expert.

What is an Authority?

Authority is the power to make decisions, which guide the action of others. A delegation of authority contributes to the creation of an organization. No single person is in a position to discharge all the duties in an organization. In order to finish the work in time, there is a need to delegate authority and follow the principles of division of labor. Delegation permits a person to extend his influence beyond the limits of his own personal time, energy, and knowledge. It is the “right of decision and command.”

Definition of Authority

According to Henry Fayol, “Authority is the right to give orders and the power to exact obedience.”

According to Kootnz and O’Donnell, “Authority is the power to command others to act or not to act, in a manner deemed by the possessor of the authority to further enterprises or departmental purposes.”

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According to Terry, “Authority is the power to exact others to take actions considered appropriate for the achievement of a predetermined objective.”

According to Barnard,Authority is the character of a communication (order) in a formal organization by virtue of which it is accepted by a contributor to or member of the organization as governing the action he contributes; that is, as governing or determining what he does or is not to do so far as the organization is concerned.”

According to Daris defines authority as the “Right of decision and command.”

According to Louis Allen, “The sum of the powers and rights entrusted to make possible the performance of the work delegated.”

According to Simon, “The power to make decisions which guide the actions of another. It is a relationship between the individuals one superior, the other subordinate. The superior frames and transmits decisions with an expectation that they will be accepted by the subordinates. The subordinate expects such decisions and his conduct is determined by them.”

According to Dr. Paterson defines, “The right to command and expect and enforce obedience.”

According to Strong says, “Authority is the right to command.”

According to Massie defines, “The formal right to exercise control.”

According to Tannenbaum defines, “The concept authority describes an interpersonal relationship in which one individual, the subordinate, accepts a decision made by another individual, the superior, permitting that decision directly to affect his behavior.”

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