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What is Characteristics of Authority? with Theories Sources

Characteristics of Authority; First, Some remembering of what is the Authority? 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.

Here are explain; What is Characteristics of Authority? with Theories Sources.

A person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject; an expert.

Sources of Authority:

There are broadly five theories regarding the sources from which authority originates. They are:

  • The formal authority theory.
  • Acceptance of authority theory.
  • The competence theory.
  • Traditional Authority.
  • Charismatic Authority.

Brief explanations of the above three theories are given below;

The formal authority theory:

According to his theory, the authority flows top to bottom through the structure of an organization. In other words, the authority flows from the General Manager to his departmental manager and in turn, from the departmental manager to his superintendent and the like. This is explained in the following diagram.

Board of Directors → General Manager → Sales Manager → Sales Representatives → Workers

The Formal Authority Theory is otherwise called Traditional Authority Theory and Top-Down Authority Theory. In the case of a public limited company, the authority is in the hands of shareholders and they delegate their authority to top management, and in turn, a part of this authority is a delegate to the middle management.

Acceptance of authority theory:

Chester Bannard gave this theory. According to his theory, the authority flows from the superior to the subordinates whenever there is an acceptance on the part of the subordinates. The subordinates should accept the authority but there is no compulsion made by the superior. If the subordinates do not accept the command of their superior, then the superior cannot say to have any authority over them.

According to Bannard,

“An individual will accept the exercise of authority, if the advantages accruing to him from accepting plus the disadvantages accruing to him from not accepting exceed the advantages accruing to him from not accepting plus the disadvantages accruing to him for accepting and conversely, he will not accept the exercise of authority if the latter factors exceed the former.”

The authority of a superior will be effective only when there is the willingness on the part of the subordinate to accept authority and ineffective when there is a lack of readiness to accept the authority on the part of the subordinate. The subordinate will not analyze every order of the superior to accept it or not. In fact, the subordinate without a second thought accepts certain orders of the superior. If the subordinate without any hesitation accepts the order of the superior, it is knowing as the zone of acceptance.

A number of factors will determine a zone of acceptance:

The following acceptance below are;

  • The subordinate believes that rewards will give to him in appreciation of his efforts and skills.
  • Sincere services of subordinate to the organization will reward.
  • A subordinate thinks that he has to accept the authority in a particular situation.
  • The non-acceptance of authority will result in dismissal of the subordinate from an organization.
  • It is also accepting on account of special knowledge that a man may possess.
  • There is no other way available than to accept authority.
  • It is the duty of the subordinate or it may be the policy of the organization to impose the authority.
  • It is the duty of the subordinate or it may be the policy of the organization to impose the authority.
  • People have confidence in the person giving orders.

Competence theory:

This type of authority is investing with the persons by virtue of the office hold by them. The personal power of this type of persons is based on the leadership qualities of the person concerned. In an organization, only one person gets a higher position than others in the course of time-based on leadership qualities possessed by him.

Traditional Authority:

In a family system, the father exercises traditional authority over members of the family. The traditional authority is generally following in the Indian family system. It is the father who guides the activities of the family and others obey out of respect and traditions.

In the traditional form of authority, there is no formal law or structured discipline and relationships are governed by personal loyalty and faithfulness rather than compulsions of rules and regulations or duties of the office.

Charismatic Authority:

The charismatic authority rests on the personal charisma of a leader who commands the respect of his followers. The personal traits such as good looks, intelligence, integrity, etc., influence others and people follow the dictates of their leaders because of such traits.

The people follow the leader because they feel that he will help them in achieving their goals. The charismatic leaders are generally good orators and have a hypnotic effect on the followers. The religious leaders and political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Keneddy of America come under this category.

The Charismatic phenomena also extend to film actors, actresses, and war heroes. Film actors and actresses have been successful in raising huge funds for calamities etc. because of their charismatic personalities. Even political parties associate actors and actresses with them to collect crowds for their rallies. People follow some leaders/persons because of their charismatic personalities and not because of any other factor.

What is Characteristics of Authority? with Theories Sources! #Pixabay.

Characteristics of Authority:

The characteristics of authority are briefly explain below;

  • The basis of getting things done the right to take actions towards completion: Authority gives a right to do things in an organization and affect the behavior of other workers of the organization. It leads to the performance of certain activities for the accomplishment of the defined objectives automatically.
  • Legitimacy-positional authority: Authority implies a legal right (within the organization itself) available to superiors. This type of right arises due to the tradition followed in an organization, custom or accepted standards of authenticity. The right of a manager to affect the behavior of his subordinates is giving to him on the basis of an organizational hierarchy.
  • Decision–making the freedom and right to make choices of action: Decision-making is a Pre-requisite of an authority. The manager can command his subordinates to act or not act. This type of decision takes by the manager regarding the functioning of an office.
  • Implementation as a consequence of the position hold: Implementation influences the personality factors of the manager, who is empowering to use authority. The subordinates or group of subordinates should follow the instructions of the manager regarding the implementation of decisions. The personality factor of one manager may differ from another manager.
Nageshwar Das

Nageshwar Das, BBA graduation with Finance and Marketing specialization, and CEO, Web Developer, & Admin in www.ilearnlot.com.

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