Authority and Responsibility Principle of Management

What is Authority and Responsibility Principle?

Authority is the power, right to command, and decision-making power, and the responsibility is to be answerable or be obliged for one’s own actions, and decisions, these are the two interrelated terms in principles of management.

This principle of management believes that authority and responsibility should be balanced, they must go hand in hand to achieve desired organizational goals.

There are basic two reasons for the popularity of this principle.

  • Excess authority without responsibility is worthless, it promotes misuse of authority i.e. decision-making power.
  • Responsibility without the right (authority) to make relevant decisions while performing, can not let the goal achievement.

In an organization, on a daily basis, different decisions are made and the tasks (responsibilities) are assigned to the performer. At the core of this principle, these both should be aligned with each other as well as with the organizational goals.

It is obvious that without authority employees can not perform their duties effectively and efficiently they need to have adequate authority to properly execute their duties. The given authority must not exceed the limit of duty, otherwise, it leads to misuse.

Similarly, since the authority is given, the employee should be accountable for his actions over the period of completion of the task. The authority given should not be less than the requirement of the task to be completed.

Thus, in this principle, the manager should delegate adequate authority and responsibilities to his employees to perform tasks efficiently and effectively with the optimum chance of getting goals. There must be an optimum linkage between these two factors.

Positive of this Principle:

  • Positively if this principle is executed, there is no misuse of authorities and responsibilities.
  • Since adequate authority is given, it promotes employees’ morale.
  • Helps to understand the viewpoint of low levels (to whom the authority is given).
  • Promotes accountability in the organizations (all people).
  • Supports efficient and effective achievement of organizational objectives.

Negative of this Principle:

  • In this principle, there is always a chance of misuse of given authorities.
  • Sometimes, there no one will be accountable for their actions.
  • It needs the skills of the manager to properly delegate required authorities and responsibilities as it largely depends upon the interest and abilities of employees.
  • Improper delegation of it sometimes leads to conflict between management (manager) and employees.

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