Everything you need to know about the principles of delegation. ‘Delegation’ is the process by which authority is transferred to a subordinate by his superior. Because of the constraints of time, a manager cannot perform all the tasks by himself.
Therefore, he delegates certain tasks to the subordinates and gets them done. It is that part of the process of organisation by which managers make it possible for others to share the work of accomplishing organizational objectives.
Delegation consists of granting authority or the right to decision-making in certain defined areas and charging the sub-ordinate with responsibility for carrying through the assigned tasks.
Principles of Delegation and Delegation of Authority
Principles of Delegation – To be Used with Discretion with Reference to Operating Situations
The principles of delegation which are meant to guide-posts to delegate managers, to be used with discretion with reference to their unique operating situations are-
1. Authority should be Commensurate with Responsibility:
Authority delegated to an executive should be closely related to his/her responsibilities. It should be adequate—neither more nor less than adequate—to enable him/her to make all those decisions and take all those actions that are required for effective performance.
It is generally argued that an executive should be given only as much authority as he/she can handle effectively. This is true at some extent but the other side of the argument is that to the extent an executive cannot handle authority effectively; he is also not fit to be entrusted with related responsibility. Some expert’s pointed that authority should be equal to responsibility.
2. Adequate Controls should be Established:
It is necessary that the superior has proper and continuous control over the subordinate, so that the authority is exercised properly to achieve predetermined goals because while delegating authority, the superior can only transfer authority, but cannot impose responsibility. At the time, such control should be exercised in limitation, in order to avoid loss of initiative of subordinated.
3. Interference should be Minimum:
Once an executive has delegated authority to his/her subordinate to make certain decisions, he/she should resist the temptation of ‘telling’ him what, when and how to do. Of course, if a decision turns out to be too complex to be handled by the subordinate, the superior must help and guide him/her or even himself/herself make the decision if its consequences appear to be more far-reaching than what had been thought earlier.
But these are exceptional situations. As a role, once the authority has been delegated to a subordinate to make decisions, he/she should be allowed to do so even if the superior feels that he/she could make better decisions himself/herself. The reason, why authority is delegated to the subordinate, is to free the superior from making those decisions, which are relatively less important looking at the broader nature of his/her responsibilities and not because subordinate can make better decisions.
4. Tolerance of Mistakes:
It is possible that the subordinate may, at times make sub-optimal or even wrong decisions but if he is subjected to strong disapproval, he/she may refrain from making decisions himself/herself and adopt the safer course of asking the boss. It will not only over burden the already busy superior, but he/she is also never going to learn to make sound decisions. It does not mean that the subordinate should be allowed to make as many mistakes as he may. It only means that minor mistakes should be ignored and serious mistakes turned into learning experience.
5. Goals should be Predetermined:
As the objective behind the delegating authority is to enable the subordinates to make decisions and take appropriate action for job performance, it is essential that their jobs should be clearly defined and performance goals established. This will provide direction to the efforts of subordinates and enable the superior to decide the kind and extent of delegation. It will also enable the superior to “manage by exception”, and relieve him from detailed supervision.
6. Policies, Rules and Procedures should be Established to Guide Decisions:
One of the problems in delegation is to ensure that the subordinate uses his/her authority judiciously and that his/her decisions are consistent with the broad policies of the organisation. It can be done by establishing certain guidelines for decision-making in the form of policies, rules and procedures. These will provide the subordinates a framework for decision-making and serve as standards for testing appropriateness of their decisions.
7. Upward Delegation should not be Allowed:
As superiors tend to be reluctant to delegate authority, subordinates are frequently reluctant to use authority, particularly when they lack self-confidence in their abilities, apprehend disapproval if decisions do not turn out to be good from the superior’s viewpoint, or if they perceive that their superior expects them to check with him/her before making the decision.
In these situations, they follow the policy of upward delegation; that is to say, refer problems to the superior rather than tackling them at their own level. This practice frustrates the very purpose of delegation and increases pressure on the limited time of the superior. It is for the superior not to allow his/her subordinates to delegate upward by insisting that they should themselves make their job related decisions.
8. Delegation should be Rewarded:
With the purpose of encouraging the executives to delegate adequately and effectively, organisations should make a policy of rewarding delegation. This can be done by making delegation as one of the criteria of performance evaluation. Similarly, subordinates should be encouraged to accept responsibility and take initiative.
Principles of Delegation – 8 Principles of Delegation
The process of delegation can be made effective through the following principles of delegation:
1. Authority, Responsibility and Accountability:
These are the elements that make delegation an effective process.
2. Parity of Authority and Responsibility:
Though authority exactly equal to responsibility cannot be delegated, it must be commensurate with responsibility so that delegatees can give instructions to subordinates to get the work done. Authority without responsibility and responsibility without authority have no meaning.
3. Scalar Chain:
Every member should know his position in the scalar chain to know his superiors who have the power to delegate and his subordinates to whom he can delegate the duties. Responsibility can be assigned if people know their position in the hierarchy.
4. Completeness of Delegation:
No part of the work (except the one which is reserved by managers) should be left out from being delegated. If part of the work is not delegated, gaps would arise in respect of that work and it will not be completed properly. Delegation should ensure that work is properly divided amongst individuals. Same work should not be assigned to two persons.
5. Unity of Command:
Every person should have one boss to report. If people have more than one boss, they develop the tendency to shift the blame of non-achievements to their bosses. It also creates confusion, conflicts, division of loyalty and problems in the organisation.
For example, if a person cannot accomplish the task assigned to him by boss A, he may say he was busy carrying out instructions of boss B and vice versa while it may not actually be so. He, thus, avoids responsibility of carrying out the assigned tasks. Unity of command creates personal responsibility of subordinates to their superiors up the chain of command.
6. Absoluteness of Responsibility:
Though responsibility and authority to carry out the responsibility is delegated to subordinates, the delegator continues to remain responsible for the acts of subordinates to his superiors. If district manager cannot achieve sales target of say, 1,000 units of product A in one month, the branch manager (delegator) remains responsible for it to the General Manager/Sales department. Delegation does not absolve managers of their accountability towards the intended goals.
7. Delegation by Results:
Delegation has to be result-oriented. Managers should specify the objective of delegation, that is, what they want subordinates to do and then delegate tasks along with authority. If production manager wants to increase production of Northern branch by 1,000 units per month, he should delegate this task to the branch manager, Northern Region specifying that he wants production to increase by 1,000 units. The branch manager will carry out the tasks when things are clear to him.
8. Delegate within Defined Limits:
Managers cannot delegate what they are not authorised to do. If manager does not have authority to perform a task, he cannot delegate the same to his subordinates. However, once delegated, subordinates should be allowed to take decisions within the limits of their authority.
Subordinates should be allowed to take decisions without the intervention of the superiors. Decisions should be made at the level where authority is delegated. Neither should the subordinates refer the matter up every time a decision is to be made nor should the superiors interfere or doubt the ability of subordinates in making decisions. However, training programmes can be organised to make delegation effective.
Principles of Delegation – With Explanation
The principles of effective delegation are explained as under:
(i) Clarity of Delegation:
The subordinate must know precisely what he has to do. It can be oral or written, general or specific delegation must be clear in terms of contents, functional relations, scope & assignment. There should be no room for confusion. Specific written delegations help both the manager and the recipient of authority.
Clarity with regards to vertical or horizontal relationship of employees his superior, subordinates, his position & contribution expected from him should be there. More clearly these lines of authority are defined; more effective is the delegation of authority.
(ii) Delegation to be Consistent with Results Expected:
This principle suggests that every manager before delegating the powers to the subordinate should be able to clearly define the goals as well as results expected from them. Thus delegation must be consistent with the result expected. It should neither be more than required nor be inadequate.
(iii) Responsibility cannot be Delegated:
Obligation to accomplish the assigned task is absolute and cannot be delegated to subordinates.
If this principle is not properly followed then there are likely chances of the following consequences:
a. The rule of single chain of command will be violated.
b. Management at the top level shall have great responsibility & yet not be accountable for the results.
c. There shall be no way of deciding who was accountable for what if responsibility is even delegated.
(iv) Parity of Authority and Responsibility:
According to this principle, the manager should keep a balance between authority and responsibility. Both of them should go hand in hand. According to this principle, if a subordinate is given a responsibility to perform a task, then at the same time he should be given enough liberty and power to carry out that task effectively. So, whenever authority is delegated, responsibility steps in & is coextensive with authority.
(v) Exception Principle:
A manager delegates authority to the subordinates so as to be relieved from overload which he think should be passed on to the subordinate so that decision can be made near the place of action. It is expected that the recipient of authority shall make all the decision falling within his authority & only in exceptional cases when he is not in a position to make decision can ask his superior to find a solution or to take a decision.
By delegating authority manager doesn’t absolve him from the ultimate responsibility, authority can be revoked any time if required by the circumstances.
(vi) Principle of Functional Definition:
In an organization, the activities are classified and grouped to create departments or units. Each department contributes to organizational objectives but at the same time has its own objectives. Thus, it is required that the objectives and the activities of the department should be coordinated in such a way that they contribute maximum to the organization. This gives rise to the principle of functional definition.
Thus this principle says that more a position or a department has clear definition of result expected, activities to be undertaken, organisation authority delegated, & authority & information relationship with other positions is known the more adequately the individual can contribute to the organisational objective.
(vii) Scalar Principle:
This principle says that more clear the line of authority from top manager in an enterprise to every subordinate position, the more effective will be the responsible decision making & organisation communication. Subordinates must know who delegate’s authority to them and to whom they are responsible.
(viii) Principle of Unity of Command:
Principle of unity of command suggests that a subordinate should be responsible to a single superior and he should receive instructions from the same superior only. The more complete an individual has a reporting relationship to a single superior, the less is the problem of conflict in instructions and greater the feeling of personal responsibility for results among employees of an organization.
Managers have to follow the following principles in order to make the delegation effective:
(i) Delegation of Results Expected:
Managers have to clearly know the activities to be performed by the subordinates and the results to be achieved by the subordinates. Managers have to delegate the necessary authority and responsibility to produce the results.
(ii) Co-Equal Authority and Responsibility:
Managers should delegate equal authority and responsibility. It means that the amount of authority that is to be delegated should be enough to discharge the responsibility. The authority may be misused, if it is more than the responsibility. In contrast, if the authority is less than the responsibility, the subordinate cannot discharge the authority.
(iii) Absoluteness of Responsibility:
The superior holds responsibility though he delegates it to his subordinates. Therefore, the responsibility of subordinates to their superiors is absolute.
(iv) Creation of Accountability:
The subordinates who receive both authority and responsibility should be accountable for their responsibility of completing the activities as specified and for their authority of using various resources. Thus, the delegation of authority and responsibility should create accountability on the part of the subordinates.
(v) Unity of Command:
We have studied the principle of unity of command while studying Henry Fayol’s 14 principles. Unity of command indicates that the subordinate should receive orders, instructions and commands from one superior only. Therefore, the authority and responsibility should be delegated to a subordinate by only one superior.
(vi) Limits of Authority:
Superiors cannot delegate all the authority they have to their subordinates as they are finally responsible for the success or failure of their departmental functioning. Therefore, they delegate part of the authority to their subordinates. Subordinates should know the limits of the authority delegated to them while exercising the authority and also discharging their responsibilities. Now, we shall discuss the benefits advantages of delegation.
Principles of Delegation : Top 11 Principles of Delegation
The following are the principles well recognized which govern delegation of authority:
1. Authority should be Co-Extensive with Responsibility:
If a subordinate is given responsibility to do a task, he is also to be given authority to do it. And when authority is delegated, the sub-ordinate becomes responsible for doing the job. Since both authority and responsibility are concerned with the same task, it is important that the two are co-extensive, i.e., both extend to equal lengths. Authority should always be delegated equal to responsibility.
However, it is a misconception. A person can never be given exactly as much authority as the work assigned. For example, if the personnel director delegates authority for wages and salary matters to the manager, he must always withhold authority for overall planning, organisation, co-ordination, motivation and control with respect to wage and salary matters. Authority should commensurate with responsibility.
2. Assignment of Duties in Terms of Results Expected:
It is very important guideline to effective delegation since it rests on the assumption that goals are set and plans made to achieve the goals set-up. The principle further helps in minimizing the dangers of delegating too much or too little authority. The authority delegated to a manager should be adequate to accomplish the results expected of him.
3. Responsibility cannot be Delegated:
By delegating authority a manager cannot free himself from his own obligations, rather it increases his responsibility. He will now be accountable to his superior for the acts of his sub-ordinates also. Ultimate responsibility for the accomplishment of the task is his (manager’s) even though it has been assigned to a sub-ordinate.
4. Unity of Command:
There should exist unity of command in the sense that an employee should receive orders and instructions from one superior only. Multiple superiors virtually vitiate the efforts in getting right things done from the people. Nevertheless, this provides chances of shirking duties, abusing authority and evading responsibility. “One boss for one man” should be the rule.
5. Duties should not Overlap:
Overlapping of duties put a person in an untenable position and is a surest way to develop clashes between the two. The result of overlapping duties is that if workers’ is difficult to get co-operation.
6. Organizational Gaps should be Avoided:
There are organisational gaps when certain duties need to be done but no one is responsible for them. As the duty which is “gapped” is necessary to the organisation, people become frustrated when they find they have no person to depend upon to get this necessary work performed and their own work is being delayed or hindered because of this.
7. Definiteness of Authority and Responsibility:
To make any delegation effective, the primary requisite is to pass on clear-cut authority to the sub-ordinate with a definite assignment. The basic spirit of delegation would be frustrated if the delegates cannot exercise and assert authority and are required to refer back problems to their respective delegators every now and then. So, this should be avoided. It is further required that authority delegated and the tasks assigned to the delegatee must be wide enough to accomplish objectives set before them.
8. Authority to Delegate:
The delegator in all circumstances should know that he has the requisite authority to delegate because it is he who will be ultimately responsible and answerable to his superior and not his sub-ordinate to whom delegation is made. Delegation in order to be effective must be well defined with a clear cut area of responsibility.
9. Setting of Objectives with Intelligent Planning:
It is to be noted that the work of delegation should not begin until objectives or goals are laid down. Without this, delegation becomes vague and may lead to chaos.
10. Free Flow of Information:
To make delegation effective, free flow of information is also of overwhelming significance. Since the superior does not delegate all his authority to abdicate his responsibility, there should be uninterrupted flow on information and also mutual understanding between superior and sub-ordinate so that authority may be properly interpreted and decisions made.
11. Exception Principle:
A manager delegates authority to the subordinate so as to relieved of the overload which he thinks should be passed on to sub-ordinate or to push down the process of decision-making as near to source of information an action as possible.
This principle implies that only in exceptional circumstances, the delegatee should refer his problems upward for consideration and decision by the superior. Thus, in other cases the delegatee would make all the decisions falling within the scope of his authority.
In the light of the above discussion it may be concluded that the above principles, if followed as guidelines while delegating authority, would certainly help in achieving the purpose.
Principles of Delegation – Delegation can be Effective only if it Conforms to Certain Well-Established Principles
Delegation can be effective only if it conforms to certain well-established principles, which are as follows:
1. Delegation to Conform to Desired Objectives:
The nature and extent of duties and authority to be delegated should be in tune with the objectives to be accomplished. Before assigning duties and delegating authority to his subordinate, the manager should be clear in his mind as to what he expects from them. This means that delegation should be only after he has determined his objectives, policies, plans, and also the specific jobs to be performed for the accomplishment of the objectives.
2. Responsibility not Delegable:
A manager can delegate only authority, not responsibility. Responsibility is never delegated. By assigning duties and delegating authority to his subordinates, a manager cannot turn a blind eye to how the assigned duties are performed, and how the delegated authority is exercised. The ultimate responsibility for the performance of duties and exercise of delegated authority remains with him.
3. Authority to Match Duties:
Delegation of authority can be meaningful only when it enables the subordinate to discharge his duties effectively. Just as an ill-equipped soldier cannot fight a battle successfully, similarly an inadequately – authorized subordinate cannot succeed in accomplishing the assigned task.
Assignment of a task without adequate authority will render a subordinate ineffective. Authority without matching responsibility will make him dictatorial. An ideal delegation is that where there is a proper balance between delegated authority and assigned duties.
4. Unity of Command:
The principle of unity of command states that a subordinate should be commanded by one superior only. This means that a subordinate should be assigned duties and delegated authority by one superior only and he should be accountable for the performance of the assigned duties and exercise of the delegated authority to that same superior.
If there are many superiors to command a subordinate, it will create uncertainty and confusion, as the subordinate will find it difficult to determine which superior’s order should be carried out first, and to whom he should approach for solution of his problems.
5. Limits to Authority to be Well-Defined:
A manager cannot properly delegate authority unless he fully knows what his own authority is. To avoid confusion in this respect, there should be written manuals and orders to indicate the limits of authority and area of operations of each manager.
Principles of Delegation – For a Manager
A delegation is effective when the delegating manager is able to obtain the required performance of the delegated task from the subordinate. Of course, the effectiveness would depend upon the capabilities of the delegating manager and delegate worker, and clarity of the assigned task.
However, a manager can use the tool of delegation more efficiently if he follows certain basic norms of delegation:
i. Clearly Define the Scope of Delegation:
The delegation process requires that the scope of the subordinate’s responsibility, authority, and accountability, as well as the expected results, be clearly spelled out. Goals and deadlines must also be clearly spelled out.
ii. Make the Fact of Delegation Public:
Once it is decided to whom to delegate, it is important to inform all relevant personnel of the responsibilities that have been delegated. This makes the subordinate’s transition to a position of authority easier and more acceptable to others.
iii. Delegate the Maximum work to the Lowest Possible Level:
As with delegation in general, there may be occasions in which work must be divided among several individuals For example- highly technical or complex tasks. Should this be the case, the rule is always delegate the maximum amount of work to the lowest possible level.
iv. Delegate the Whole Task:
Whenever possible, managers should delegate a whole task to one person rather than divide it among several individuals. Delegating a whole task increases an employee’s initiative, encourages greater attention to detail, and gives a manager greater control over results.
Furthermore, it minimizes confusion, and eliminates unnecessary and inefficient coordination of efforts among two or more subordinates. All of these factors lead to more successful results.
v. Delegation should be a Gradual Process:
Delegation should be a gradual process, allowing staffers to assume responsibility and authority at a comfortable pace. Creating an amicable environment can go a long way towards motivating subordinates to perform to the best of their abilities.
vi. Delegated Task must not be Taken Back:
After a manager has delegated a task to a subordinate, he or she must not take it back, make changes in the assignment, or redelegate it. This causes great frustration on the part of a subordinate. In fact, the employee may lose motivation and interest in the project, doubting whether he or she will ever be given the opportunity to complete it.
vii. Encourage Subordinates to Take Initiative:
Should a subordinate reach an impasse and turn back to the manager for answers, the manager should immediately put the ball back in the employee’s court and ask, “What do you recommend?” This forces the subordinate to come up with a solution, and provides the manager with a means of evaluating the subordinate’s thinking and judgment process.
viii. Transfer Responsibility, and Authority:
When managers delegate authority, commensurate responsibility must be given as well. That is, when one is given right to do something, one also assumes a corresponding obligation to perform. Allocating authority without responsibility can create problems for a person, and no one should be held responsible for something for which he has no authority.
ix. Fix Accountability:
Delegation is not complete, however, unless subordinates are held accountable for their work. They should be accountable to only one person— usually their immediate manager—and must understand what criteria will be used in judging their performance.
x. Manager should not Expect Others to Work in his Way Only:
A manager must be willing to accept that a subordinate will probably not tackle an assignment exactly the way he would and that there may be other equally good ways to achieve the desired results.
xi. Balance between Control and Freedom:
Freedom should be given to subordinates to utilize their ingenuity in problem solving. And controls are necessary to hold subordinates responsible for their actions and to check their results. However, there should be a workable balance between freedom and control. Excessive freedom—For example- a manager’s failure to set firm deadlines or provide adequate coaching—can cause a subordinate’s failure. Excessive control, on the other hand, is counterproductive, time-consuming, and can stifle an employee’s efforts.
xii. Evaluate the Results:
Once a task is completed, the manager and employee should sit down together and evaluate the results—not the methods. When results do not measure up to expectations, managers must determine the reasons why the employee failed and try to do away with the deficiencies.
xiii. Reward Employees for Results:
It is extremely important to reward employees for successful results. Rewards should be linked directly to accomplishments, and managers should publicly give credit to employees for a job well done. Remember, the reward, as well as the credit, belongs to the individual who produces the results—and ambitious people work for success and the rewards it brings.
Principles of Delegation – With Examples
The following rules or principles are fundamental in relation to delegation of authority:
1. Authority and Responsibility must be Equal or Co-Terminus and Co-Extensive:
Orders are issued by virtue of authority and the recipients of orders are invested with responsibility. Therefore, there should be equality between authority and responsibility; otherwise many undesirable effects will be produced in the organisation. If, for example, authority exceeds responsibility, the subordinate may be tempted to misuse it. This will not be acceptable to those who are subject to it and will produce all sorts of resistances.
On the other hand, if a subordinate accepts responsibility without authority to use resources, he will be unable to perform the task assigned to him. He will not be in a position to command co-operation for attaining desired goals.
For example, it will be a waste of time to tell a machinist to get tools from the tool room unless he is given authority to require them of the person in charge of the tool room.
Similarly it will create only problems and frustrations if a manager is told to perform a job which will require certain expenditures, but he is not authorised to make the expenditures. Therefore, an individual can be held strictly accountable only to the extent that the actions are really subject to his control. Although there are certain exceptions to equal authority and responsibility, yet if a man is assigned duties without responsibility, he will be irresponsible; but if he has duties and no authority to accomplish them, he is organisationally impotent.
2. Responsibility cannot be Delegated:
When an executive delegates authority to a subordinate, he does not absolve himself from his responsibility, or does not abdicate responsibility. Therefore, by delegating duties, the executive does not free himself from his own obligations concerning them, for he must continue to guide, direct and hold responsible the subordinates to whom he has delegated authority.
By delegating authority, the executive, in a manner, increases his responsibility. He will be now accountable to his superior for the acts of his subordinates also. The ultimate responsibility for the accomplishment of the task is his, even where it has been assigned to subordinates.
3. Dual Subordination should be Avoided:
No man can serve two masters properly. Therefore, dual command should be avoided, for it is a perpetual source of conflicts. It also violates the organisational principle of unit of command. Hence, an employee should receive orders from one superior only.
For example, a department head should go through his foreman when giving orders and not go directly to the employees. “One boss for any one man” should be the rule.
4. Duties should not Overlap:
Duties of one person should not be permitted to overlap those of another. Overlapping duties put each person in an untenable position and are the surest way to develop clashes between the two.
For example, A and B are jointly responsible for certain control functions. A fails to act (depending on B) and B fails to act (depending on A) and the job is not done. Both will have to face reprimand. The result of overlapping duties is that the joint workers find that co-operation is difficult.
5. Organisational Gaps should be Avoided:
There are organisational gaps when certain duties need to be done but no one is responsible for them. As the duty which is “gapped” is necessary to the organisation, people become frustrated when they find that they have no person to depend on to get this necessary work performed and that their own work is being delayed or hindered because of this. Sometimes several persons step into the void to try to do the job, causing a de facto overlap, with all the problems described above.
6. Improper Use of Exception Principle should be Avoided:
The Exception Principle states that an executive attains best performance by delegating to his subordinates as much of the routine operations as possible, and leaves for himself only broad general problems and exceptions to routine. Very often, however, this principle is misused by executives, because they do not understand its significance and overlook certain pre-requisites of its application.
The exception principle assumes that the executive before delegating has worked out careful policies and procedures to guide those who will perform the delegated activities. Unless policies and procedures do exist, each employee may follow his own viewpoint, producing a number of unrelated activities. Therefore, the executive must, at the time of delegating authority and creating obligation, clearly express to each subordinate in charge of each unit the scope of the authority delegated.
He must also establish controls so that he can assure that policies and procedures are being followed. The exception principle also requires an executive to know his subordinates – their strengths, weaknesses, needs, and temperaments. Also, he can delegate to the extent that persons are qualified. All this means that an executive should apply the exception principle only to the extent that he has pre-established policies and procedures, that he knows his people, that they are trained and equipped, and that he can control what he has delegated. To do otherwise is to invite conflict.
Principles of Delegation – Top 10 Principles of Delegation
1. Knowledge of Objectives:
Before delegating authority, the subordinates should be made to understand their duties and responsibilities. In addition, knowledge of objectives and policies of the enterprise should be provided to them. This will enable them to discharge their roles purposefully in the process of delegation.
2. Parity of Authority and Responsibility:
This principle of delegation suggests that when authority is delegated, it should be commensurate with the responsibility of the subordinate. In fact, the authority and responsibility should be made clear to the subordinate so that he will know what he is expected to do within the powers assigned to them. There should be proper balance/parity or coexistence between the authority and responsibility.
A subordinate will not function efficiently, if authority given to him is inadequate. On the other hand, if the excess authority is given, he may misuse the same. For avoiding this, the subordinates who are assigned duties should be given necessary/adequate authority enables them to carry out their duties.
3. Unity of Command:
This principle of delegation suggests that everyone should have only one boss. A subordinate should get orders and instructions from one superior and should be made accountable to one superior only.
This means ‘no subordinate should be held accountable to more than one superior’. When a subordinate is asked to report to more than one boss, it leads to confusion and conflict. Unity of command also removes overlapping and duplication of work. In the absence of unity of command, there will be confusion and difficulty in fixing accountability.
4. The Scalar Principle:
The scalar principle of delegation maintains that there should be clear and direct lines of authority in the organisation, running from the top to the bottom. The subordinate should know who delegates authority to him and to whom he should contact for matters beyond his authority. They (subordinates) should also know what is expected from them. This principle justifies establishment of the hierarchical structure within the organisation.
5. Clarity of Delegation:
The principle of clarity of delegation suggests that while delegating authority to subordinates, they should be made to understand the limits of authority so that they know the area of their operation and the extent of freedom of action available to them. Such clarity guides subordinates while performing their jobs.
6. Absoluteness of Responsibility:
This principle of delegation suggests that it is only the authority which is delegated and not the responsibility. The responsibility is absolute and remains with the superior. He cannot run away from the same even after delegation.
Even when the manager delegates authority to his subordinate, he remains fully accountable to his superiors because responsibility cannot be divided between a superior and his subordinate. No superior can delegate responsibilities for the acts of his subordinates. He is responsible for the acts and omissions of his subordinates.
7. Use of Exception Principle:
This principle of delegation indicates that when authority is delegated, it is expected that the subordinate will exercise his own judgment and take decisions within the purview of his authority. He is to be given adequate freedom to operate within his authority even at the cost of mistakes. He should refer the problems to the top level management only when he is unable to take decisions. Unnecessary interference in the work of delegates should be avoided.
This normal rule can be given up under exceptional circumstances. Here, the superior can interfere in the work of his subordinate and even withdraw the delegated duties and authority. The superior takes this decision under exceptional circumstances.
8. Completeness of Delegation:
This principle of delegation suggests that there should be completeness in the process of delegation. The process of delegation should be taken to its logical end. Otherwise, there will be confusion of authority and accountability.
9. Effective Communication Support System:
This principle suggests that there should be continuous flow of information between the superior and the subordinates with a view to furnishing relevant information to subordinate for Decision Making. This helps him to take proper decisions and also to interpret properly, the authority delegated to him. Delegation system may not work smoothly in the absence of effective communication between the superior and subordinates.
10. Reward for Effective Delegation:
This principle suggests that effective delegation and successful assumption of authority should be rewarded. This will facilitate fuller delegation and effective assumption of authority within the organization. Reward for effective delegation will provide favorable environmental climate for its fair introduction.