Delegation of authority

Loose play or delegated authorities

In ice hockey there can be controlled and loose play. Controlled play means that a game is under full control of the coach. During loose play hockey players act not following the coach instructions but relying onto own experience, knowledge and own decisions on the basis of existing situation.  However it is obvious that the majority of players are inferior to the coach in understanding the game.

In the process of administration the managers often come across situations when they are not able any more to solve all arising management issues, even those that are covered by their official duties, because there are too many of them, they are various and specific, while their knowledge, experience and time are limited. Therefore the managers must be able to organize the work of employees through distribution of specific tasks between them. This form of relationship between a chief and subordinates is commonly referred to as delegation. The efficiency of departmental work and, thus, the quality of the manager’s work, depends on manager’s proficiency to delegate. In addition to that the manager reserves development of strategy, control and overall management to him/herself.

Authorities refer to the combination of officially granted rights and responsibilities to make decisions, give instructions and perform actions at person’s own discretion for the benefit of organisation. The scope of authorities generally narrows top down.

Delegation is the transfer of activity types and authorities to activity owner, who undertakes responsibility for its execution.

Authorities are delegated not to a person currently holding this position but to a position. If an employee changes the job s/he loses the authorities from the old job and gets the authorities for the new one.

Prerequisites for delegation of authorities:

  • Favourable moral and psychosocial climate in the team, mutual trust between manager and subordinates
  • Subordinates with required qualification, knowledge, experience, wish to participate in the process of management and voluntarily accept responsibility for the entrusted work
  • Possibility for timely reward

Under no circumstances the following authorities are not delegated:

  • Development of common policy for organisation or department
  • Making decisions under conditions of lack of time, critical situation or increased risk
  • General management
  • Studying confidential issues, and issues related to incentives and penalties

Since the ability of people to exercise authorities cannot be explicitly defined in advance, delegation is connected with risk. Nevertheless, this risk is justified as delegation of authorities promises considerable payoffs.

For organisation these are related to drawing the process of decision-making closer to the place of its implementation and, thus, to increasing the quality, flexibility and responsiveness of work.

Through delegation of authorities managers are freed from current affairs, which allows more efficiently distribute the load between subordinates, attend to solving of the most complicated issues and identify the candidates for promotion.

As for subordinates, the delegation allows them with maximal effectiveness utilise and demonstrate their capabilities, knowledge, expertise, take the initiative and independence, establish the launch pad for promotion, raise the level of proficiency, be more satisfied with work, save time resulting from absence of time when they are waiting for instructions.


Delegation Procedure




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