The delegation process of authority comprises the following three components:
1. Entrustment of responsibility (duties of work) to the subordinate for performance.
2. Granting of authority to make use of resources, take necessary decisions and so on for carrying out the responsibility.
3. Creation of an obligation or accountability on the part of the person accepting the authority to perform in terms of the standards established.
Entrustment of Responsibility – Delegation Process
Responsibility means the work of duties assigned to a person by right of his position in the organisation. It refers to the mental and physical activities which must be performed to carry out a task or duty.
The superior must determine clearly the task or duty to be assigned to the subordinate. The duty must be expressed either in terms of function or in terms of objectives. If a subordinate is asked to control the options of a machine, the duty is in terms of function. But if he is asked to produce a particular number of pieces of a product, the duty is in terms of larger objectives. Determination of duties in terms of objectives will enable the subordinate to know by what standards his performance will be evaluated.
Granting of Authority – Delegation Process
Authority is the right or power granted to an individual to make possible the performance of work assigned. Power to procure or use raw materials, spend money, or ask for allotment of money, to hire and fire people, etc. has to be delegated to individuals to whom the work is assigned. For instance, if the General Manager of a plant assigns the Production Manager with the production of a particular type of goods and services he will also grant him the authority to use materials, money and machinery, hire workers and so on to fulfil the production schedule prescribed as his duty. The executive delegation of the authority should also determine what type of authority is to be delegated. Here, the authority should not be confused with unlimited authority. It means co-extensive with responsibility within the overall policies of the company.
Creation of Accountability – Delegation Process
When a person accepts an assignment and is granted the necessary authority to complete it, it is understood that he accounts for results. Accountability is the obligation to carry out responsibility and exercise authority in terms of performance standards established. For accountability to be effective, the standards of performance should be determined before entrusting a task and should be understood and accepted by the subordinate. The extent of accountability depends upon the extent of delegation of authority and responsibility. A person cannot be held answerable for the acts not assigned to him by his superior. Accountability cannot be delegated. Though it is incurred as a result of assignment of duty and conferring of authority, accountability in itself cannot be delegated. Since accountability cannot be delegated the accountability of persons higher in the hierarchy for the acts of the subordinates is unconditional.