Here is a term paper on the ‘Delegation of Authority’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on the ‘Delegation of Authority’ especially written for school and college students.
Delegation of Authority
Term Paper Contents:
- Term Paper on the Meaning of Delegation
- Term Paper on the Forms of Delegation
- Term Paper on the Characteristics of Delegation
- Term Paper on the Need for Delegation
- Term Paper on the General Principles of Delegation
- Term Paper on the Limitations of Delegation
Term Paper # 1. Meaning of Delegation:
According to Mooney, delegation means conferring of specified authority by a higher to a lower authority. It means that delegation is the devolution of authority by a superior person to his agent or subordinate subject to his supervision and control. Legally, the delegated authority still belongs to the principal, but in practice, its exercise is allowed to the subordinate or agent.
Terry, however, does not agree with Mooney’s interpretation of delegation. To him, “delegation means conferring authority from one executive or organization unit to another.” Thus delegation is not essentially devolution from a higher to a lower authority. It can as well be from a lower to a higher authority and between equal authorities.
Term Paper # 2. Forms of Delegation:
Delegation may thus be classified as:
(i) ‘Downward’ when the higher delegates to the lower as in the case of sales-manager delegating to salesmen;
(ii) ‘Upward’ when the lower delegates to the higher as in the case of shareholders delegating to their board of directors; and
(iii) ‘Sideward’ when delegation is at equal levels as in the case of African tribal chiefs and their Central Tribal Authority.
Described in terms of degree of authority delegated, delegation may be:
(a) Full or partial:
Delegation is full when complete powers are conferred on the agent as for example, when diplomatic representative is sent abroad with ‘full powers’ to negotiate. It is ‘partial’ when he is required to get advice and guidance on crucial points from the delegating authority in his country.
(b) Conditional or unconditional:
Delegation is conditional when the action of a subordinate is subject to confirmation and revision by the superior; it is unconditional when subordinate is free to act without reservations.
(c) Formal or informal:
Delegation is formal when embodied in written rules, by-laws or orders; it is informal when based on customs, conventions and understanding.
(d) Direct or intermediate:
Delegation is direct when no third person intervenes between the two parties to delegation; it is intermediate when it is made through third person. Intermediate delegation is rarely found. Mooney gives two instances of such delegation. They are the election of the President of U.S.A. by the people through electoral college and the election of the Pope by the congregation through council of cardinals.’
It may, however, be mentioned that delegation does not mean abdication of responsibility on the part of delegating authority. It is only delegated and not surrendered. Ultimately, it is the delegating authority which is overall responsible for the conduct of all those to whom it has delegated the authority.
In the words of Millett, “Delegation of authority means more than simply assigning duties to others in more or less detail. The essence of delegation is to confer discretion upon others to use their judgment in meeting specific problems within the framework of their duties. Management leadership must then accept the responsibility for how this discretion is exercised.”
Thus, delegation has a dual character inasmuch as it vests the subordinates with the authority to act in discretion and the delegating authority with the power to see that discretion is well exercised.
Term Paper # 3. Characteristics of Delegation:
The following characteristics of delegation may be noted:
(i) Delegation is the authorization to act in a certain way independently but within the limits prescribed by the delegation.
(ii) Delegation has a dual character. As Terry has observed, “it is something like imparting knowledge you share with others, who then possess the knowledge, you still retain the knowledge too.”
(iii) Authority once delegated can be enhanced, reduced or withdrawn according to the changing circumstances.
(iv) One cannot delegate the authority which he himself does not possess. However, he does not delegate the entire authority, because if he delegates all his authority he cannot work.
(v) Delegation may be specific or general. It is specific when courses of action for specific objectives are specified; it is general when these are not specified, though objectives are specified.
(vi) Delegation is an art. It has to be related with duties and responsibilities, personal factors in superior and subordinate, organisational objectives and policies and environment.
Term Paper # 4. Need for Delegation:
On account of the following striking advantages of delegation its need becomes evident.
They are as follows:
1. Effective Leadership:
It helps the chief executive to devote his time and energy to more important decisions of the organization. Much of routine work is done at the lower levels and only important business is passed on to the leader. Effective leadership is made possible only through the process of delegation.
“One of the tragedies of business experience is the frequency with which men, always efficient in anything that they personally can do, will finally be cursed and fail under the weight of accumulated duties that they do not know and cannot learn how to delegate.” Delegation of authority is, therefore, the first principle of good leadership.
The need for delegation is illustrated by the Biblical story of Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro. Moses was overwhelmed with the heavy duties of ruler ship and Jethro advised him to select some able subordinates and delegate the authority to them.
Moses accepted the advice and “chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers often. And they judged the people at all seasons the hard cases they brought unto Moses but every small matter they judged themselves.”
A true organizer is the one who knows when and what to delegate. In the words of Mooney and Reiley, “… the real leader…finds it easy to delegate authority, and is quick to do so whenever he perceives its necessity, but he remains very conscious of the fact that there is one thing he cannot delegate, namely his own authority and the responsibility which it includes.
It is in fact this very sense of responsibility which makes him so ready to delegate any task as soon as the total task begins to exceed his own unaided powers.
Such men are the true organizers; we might call them the born organizers. Organizing genius seems to know instinctively that it must operate through the principle of delegation in order to achieve a real collective efficiency in the pursuit of the common object.” Delegation takes much of the unimportant work off the shoulders of the chief executive.
2. Immense Educative Value:
One of the duties of a manager is to build up his subordinates, to train them in the art of sharing responsibility and making decisions which is possible only through delegation. Delegation of authority has, therefore, much educative value.
The subordinates develop greater loyalty and a greater identification with the organization if they are made partners to the exercise of authority. This helps to improve job satisfaction, provides them recognition and identity, builds up their morale and gives them the incentive to hard work.
3. Flexibility in Rigidities:
Delegation provides the necessary flexibility to the otherwise rigid procedures. Delegation helps to adjust procedures according to the needs of situations. Millett illustrates this point by an interesting story. “The story goes that an officer was instructed to give an explanation of why a damaging fire had occurred on his post.
The officer is supposed to have ended his report with this sentence. ‘The rules were fully obeyed and the building burned down.’ No set of rules devised by man can ever be applicable to each individual future situation which may occur. It is general purpose and intent which organized groups must be concerned to realize, and which leadership endeavors to promote by its willingness to delegate.”
4. Economy and Efficiency:
Proper delegation of authority minimizes delay, makes service more effective, economical and efficient. These are the virtues of division of labour and delegation of authority.
To sum up in the words of White “Circumstances of magnitude and volume, however, require some delegation of authority, and the settlement of much business at the point where it arises. The convenience of citizens alone compels most matters to be handed outside Washington. The avoidance of delay in administrative bottlenecks requires decisions at a hundred or a thousand field offices rather than in a single headquarters establishment. In some cases proper adjustment of policy and programme to local conditions requires discretionary field decisions. Certainly the delegation of authority means greater energy, a higher sense of responsibility, and better morale among field agents. They are not content to be mere messengers and reporters of their Washington superiors.”
Term Paper # 5. General Principles of Delegation:
(a) Delegation should be written and specific.
(b) Authority and responsibility for each position in the management group should be spelled out and delegation should be made to a position rather than to an individual. Authority delegated should be proportionate to the task.
(c) Only that much of authority should be delegated as it is within the competence of subordinates to exercise safely.
(d) Delegation should be properly planned and be systematic.
(e) Systematic reporting system should be established with those to whom the authority has been delegated to ascertain that authority is being used properly.
(f) Policies, regulations and procedures should be well defined as to give no misunderstanding to the employees using discretionary powers.
(g) There should be free and open lines of communication between the delegators and delegates. This brings the superior and subordinates closer and can help solving many problems which come in the way of delegation.
Term Paper # 6. Limitations of Delegation:
It may be mentioned that no leader can render himself superfluous by delegating all his authority to his subordinates. The degree to which delegation is possible varies from case to case depending upon the nature of the case, the circumstances and the responsibilities involved.
Generally speaking the following powers cannot be delegated:
(a) The supervision of the work of the first line or immediate subordinates;
(b) General financial supervision and the power to sanction expenditure above a specified amount;
(c) Power to sanction new policies and plans and departures from established policy or precedents;
(d) Rule-making power where it is vested in the delegating officer;
(e) Making of the specified higher appointments;
(f) Hearing of appeals from the decisions of at least the immediate subordinates.
(g) Through constitution, laws and political institutions authority to be delegated is restricted.
(h) Delegation to incompetent staff is avoided. However, this is not to be an excuse to keep authority concentrated in the hands of an Administrator.
(i) Smaller organisation and its narrower geographical coverage prevent delegation of authority.
(j) Delegation is not possible if conditions of work are unstable and change frequently.
(k) Delegation is not done if organization concerned is new or if it faces or is likely to face crisis.
(l)Lack of effective procedural system in internal communications and work controls make delegation difficult.
(m) Power of effecting co-ordination in the organisation vests with the manager. It cannot be delegated.
It may also be mentioned that in Indian administration there is lack of adequate delegation of authority to various executive levels.
Even matters of routine nature like sanction of long leave cases, leave travel concessions, journey beyond jurisdiction, applying abroad for higher studies, writing books, grant of annual increment, crossing of E.B., applying for fellowship, purchase of a plot for house construction, selling of property which can be easily decided at local levels by the head of the office, go to the Head of the Department or Secretary to the Dep’t. for necessary orders.
The result is that work piles up at the top causing delay in disposal. Many a time the employee is deprived of a good opportunity because his application was not forwarded in time to the concerned authorities by the Government. There is a high degree of control of subordinates’ task performance by the superiors. It is parental type in general and authoritarian in particular.