Authority and Responsibility Principle of Management (Explained)

Authority and Responsibility Principle

Authority and responsibility are two important tools of management yet they are dependent and related to each other. At the core of this principle is that there should be a reasonable balance between given authority and responsibility.

Authority is the power that can be used to command, make decisions, and get work done through others (subordinates). Managers have the inherent power to command employees for the completion of organizational tasks. Through authority, managers control their employees and make organizational decisions.

And, responsibility means some duty to perform and being responsible for one’s own actions and decisions. When duties are given employees are responsible to complete them on time and in an efficient way.

The authority and responsibility principle of management stands on two views:

  • Responsibility or duty can not be performed well if a person is not given desirable authority to make relevant decisions.
  • Having excess authority only without proper responsibilities can lead to misuse of authority.

It is obvious that different decisions are made and tasks are assigned to employees in the organization. While assigning the required work it is the manager’s duty to give adequate power to subordinates to discharge the work with great ease and efficiency.

Read Also: Discipline Principle of Management

This principle of management describes that the authority should follow with responsibility. An employee who exercises authority must assume responsibility and without enough authority, no one can perform the duty. Responsibility without authority can not be achieved effectively and efficiently. Similarly, authority without responsibility may be abused.

Thus, the principle of authority and responsibility states that when there is authority there must be responsibility, and when there is responsibility there must be authority and there must be a balance between them in the workplace for smooth functioning.

Advantages of this Principle:

  • This leads to efficient completion of work.
  • Promotes accountability in the organization.
  • Positively, there is a proper use of given authority and responsibility.
  • Helps in the achievement of organizational goals and objectives.
  • Subordinate employees feel motivated when reasonable authority is given to them to complete the given duties.

Results of Avoiding this Principle:

  • There may be a misuse of authority.
  • There may be no one accountable for one’s actions.
  • Conflicts may arise.
  • Restrict the achievement of desired goals and objectives.

Read Next: 3 Levels of Management

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