• Millet (1954:46) Defines Delegation As The Means Of Assigning Responsibility Or
Authority To Another Person (Normally From A Manager To A Subordinate) To Carry
Out Specific Activities.
• Jayed Igbal In The Journal Of Managerial Sciences 58 Volume 1, Numbers 2 Defines
Delegation As “An Act Where Managers Provide Some Or A Major Portion Of The
Authority, Vested In Their Positions, To Their Subordinates To Accomplish Certain
• O. S. Miner, Cited By Gaurav Akrani (2010), Noted That Delegation Takes Place When
One Person Gives Another The Right To Perform Work On His Behalf And In His Name
And The Second Person Accepts A Corresponding Duty Or Obligation To Do That Is
• Delegation Of authority refers to the subdivision and sub-allocation of powers to the
subordinates in order to achieve effective results. It is the division of authority and
powers downwards to the subordinate; the act of using the power of other people's
• It involves the assigning of certain responsibilities along with the necessary
authority by a superior to his subordinate. delegation is not a process of abdication.
the person who delegates does not divorce himself/herself from the responsibility
and authority with which he/she is entrusted. he remains accountable for the overall
performance and also for the performance of his/her subordinates.
OBJECTIVES/REASONS FOR DELEGATION
• To reduce the excessive work load on the superiors
• To provide opportunities of growth and self-development to junior executives.
• To create a team of experienced and matured managers for the organisation.
• To improve individual as well as overall efficiency of the organisation.
CATEGORIES OF DELEGATION
• SPECIFIC: This is the type of delegations related to particular jobs or areas of
• GENERAL: This extends over a board area such as assisting in the general
management of personnel production.
• VERBAL: Delegation could be given by word of mouth.
• WRITTEN: This is where duties and authorities are laid down in written words, i.e.,
In black and white.
PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE DELEGATION
• Clearly articulate the desired outcome.
• Lines of authority, responsibility and accountability for each position should be clearly defined.
• Create room for constant communication and reasonable monitoring.
• Focus more on results rather than style.
• Delegation should be properly planned and systematic.
• Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authority.
• Reporting system should be established with those to whom the authority has been delegated.
• Policies, regulations and procedures should be well defined as to give no misunderstanding to the
employees using discretionary powers..
ELEMENTS OF DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
• AUTHORITY: This refers to the power and right to allocate human and material
resources to take decisions and to give orders in a bid to achieve set objectives.
Authority flow from top to bottom and it is accompanied with corresponding
• RESPONSIBILITY: A person who is given the responsibility must ensure that the
tasks assigned are accomplished.
• ACCOUNTABILITY: It simply means being answerable for the end result.
Accountability cannot be delegated. For example, if “a” delegates the task to “b”,
responsibility rests with “b” but accountability still rests with “a”.
BENEFITS OF DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
• Effective delegation can benefit the manager, the employee and the organisation.
• BENEFITS TO THE MANAGER:
• It helps the manager to devote his time and energy to more important aspect of the
• It relives the manager to focus on managerial tasks such as planning and control.
• Managers benefit from the development of the subordinate’s skills.
BENEFITS TO THE EMPLOYEE:
• Opportunity for self-development: it helps to build up the subordinates, trains them in
the act of sharing responsibility which is possible only through delegation.
• It improves employee morale: it motivates and builds morale, employees find it
gratifying when their managers delegate to them. It is a sign that they are valued and
trusted workers and that their managers believes them capable of greater success.
• Development of skills: it encourages and stimulates creativity. It leads to motivation of
subordinates. Delegation acts as a training ground for management development. It
gives opportunity to subordinates to learn, to grow and to develop new qualities and
BENEFITS TO THE ORGANISATION:
• Delegation provides the necessary flexibility to the otherwise rigid procedures. It helps to adjust
procedures according to the needs to situation thus facilitating efficiency and quick actions.
• Delegation develops team spirit. Due to delegation, effective communication develops between the
superiors and subordinates. This brings better relations and team spirit among the superiors and
• Delegation can improve quality of work by allowing the employees who have direct knowledge and
interaction with clients to make decisions and complete tasks. Quality can also improve through enhanced
employee motivation. Employees may do a better job because they feel a personal accountability for the
outcome, even though responsibility ultimately rests with the individual who made the delegation.
• Delegation helps maintain cordial relationships. The superiors trust subordinates and give them necessary
authority. The subordinates accept their accountability and this develops cordial superior-subordinate
LIMITATIONS OF DELEGATION OF
• Managers’ lack of required competencies necessary to delegate effectively – choosing
the wrong tasks to delegate, the wrong subordinate to trust, or they may provide
inadequate direction to the subordinate when delegating.
• Improper delegation can cause a host of problems, primary of which is an incorrectly
completed task, which may hurt the overall productivity of the organisation.
• General financial supervision and the power to sanction expenditure above a
specified amount has to be effectively practised. Power to sanction new policies and
plans and departures from established policy.
PRACTICAL STEPS TO DELEGATING OF
Below is a step by step action expected to be taken for effective delegation of authority:
• Define the tasks
• Select the individual or team
• Assess ability and training needs
• Explain the reasons
• State required results
• Consider resources required
• Agree deadlines
• Support and communicate
• Create mechanisms for feedback on results
WHY MANAGERS FIND IT DIFFICULT TO
• Letting go: many managers have difficulties in letting go to having direct hands on position in
areas of responsibility. It is not uncommon for managers with the kind of management style of
feeling more confident in doing the detailed work, i.E., The fallacy of “if you want it done right, you
have to do it yourself”.One way to overcome this mindset is to accept the fact that the subordinate
do not need to complete the task exactly as the manager would do it to meet organisational goals.
• Time consuming: all too often managers feel it takes too much to sit down and explain to an
employee how to do a task especially if they are burdened with several deadlines. In these
instances some individuals feels it is easier and quicker to do the task themselves, what such
managers don’t realise is the fact that the task which are redundant and repetitive can be shown to
an employee once and then the individual can learn the job inside and out (while in the short term
it takes some time, in the long term once an employee is familiar with the process, it will be a huge
• Fear: it is often a contributing factor to an inability to delegate. The fear may stem from the job
being done wrongly by the subordinate or the fear of being seen as lazy or not in control.The reality
is that everyone makes mistakes in the workplace and if managed appropriately mistakes can be
excellent learning opportunities to improve performance, promote innovation and improve
• Need for control: a person with a strong need for control likes to have things done a very specific
way. If a manager is very controlling, s/he may not be good at delegating because s/he wants to
maintain a certain level of power over his/her staff. She may fear sharing her responsibilities with
subordinates will cause her to lose some of the control she has over them and if she wants to
continue to be seen as the expert on all matters delegating could jeopardized this.
• Fear of being shown up: When a person is not confident in is abilities to do his job,
s/he does not want to give his subordinates a chance to outperform him/her. When a
manager delegates some of his/her tasks to her employees, there’s always a chance
they may complete the assignment better than s/he. The truth however is when the
manager lets the subordinates excel, the manager will be known as a manager and
leader who can utilise the talents of staff effectively.
• Preconceived ideas about certain employees: Sometimes managers erroneously jump
to conclusions about the capabilities of some subordinates. Managers may form a
negative opinion about some employees’ ability, based on one occurrence.
REASONS WHY SUBORDINATES RESIST
• Fear of criticism: some subordinates fear that they may be criticised by others if they commit
• Lack of information: a subordinate may hesitate to accept a new assignment when s/he knows that
necessary information to perform the job is not likely to be made available to him.
• Absence of self-confidence: a subordinate may lack self-confident about his/her ability to take quick
and correct decisions.
• Fear of being exposed: some subordinates may have inferiority complex. They feel that their
inability to deal with new problems will be exposed due to delegation.Difficulty in decision making:
a subordinate may not have the skill and expertise to take quick and correct decisions; he goes to
his superior for guidance and opinion.
• Poor superior-subordinate relations: absence of cordial relations between the superior and the
subordinates deters subordinates from want to accept certain delegated authority.
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