Achievement of organizational objective depends on organization structure which is dynamic. Organization structure defines the flow of power and authority geared toward a particular course of action directed by organization’s objective. For organization structure to help to organization objective it is dependent on the employees. Employees operation are guided by the organization supervisors, whose their role is defined in the organization structures. Supervisor operations are dependent of power and authority which help to ensure things in an organization are done in the right way as well as achieving organization goals and objective.
In organization management power and authority are very important as they help the organization to be able to direct organization employee toward organizational goals. Power and authority are dependent on the leadership model in an organization. Organizational managers are the leaders who employees report to hence their performance is dependent on the leadership offered by the manager. Achievement of organizational goal shall only be possible if power and authority are employed effectively.
Authority and power helps the management to be able to create a productive culture through social process to guide employees’ capacity towards attaining organization goals and objectives. Power and authority helps the leader “…to create, maintain and improve a culture so that people will achieve objective (purpose) and continue to do so over time…Leadership in an organizations is a more specific process of influence since it involves goal that have been specified and can be measured or at least evaluated achieved only through employment of power and authority)” (Macdonald, Burke & Stewart (2006) pp 80).
To influence employees toward organization goal, management can employ three ways according to Macdonald, Burke & Stewart (2006). That is force, manipulation and persuasion. Use of force by the management involves employment of force as well as real application of physical force to compel employees to work. Concept of force requires power to as it call for imposing one person against other employees, often referred to as coercion. Manipulation takes form of social distortion which direct requires the subject to do as they are told without asking questions.
Manipulation is different force in that there is no coercion and employees are convinced that they are doing the right thing. Persuasion in an organization attempt to influence the employee to act in a certain way geared towards achieving organizational objectives without force or manipulation. It is dependent on will of the employee and mutual trust. Employment of force manipulation in an organization is dependent on the power and authority bestowed to the various leader or supervisors in the organizational operations. In an organization, authority is provided for by the organizational structure.
Organizational structure grants an outline formal distribution of authority in an organization. Authority in an organization is largely provided for by formalization meaning standardized as well as rule and regulations that govern employee operations. Formalization defines the discretion in which an employee can act in his/her duties. “In an organization with high degrees of formalization, job descriptions and policies provide clear direction. Where formalization is low, employees have a great deal of freedom in deciding how to conduct their work”.
In an organization different department exhibit different degree of formalization which may be base on the qualification of the employee to the organization affairs or rank of the employee. Authority is related to power in that it legitimizes supervisors to be able to direct and control subordinates to the intended course of action. Authority helps the supervisor to make decision geared towards organizational objective.
Organization has three form of authority namely line authority, staff authority as well as team authority all distributed in the organizational structure. Line authority refers to straight supervisory form superior to subordinate organized such that it flows from top to the bottom of organization structure. Organization structure gives the chain of command which is unbroken line of command defining the decision, making process within an organization. Chain of command defining the authority of different personality in an organization helps employees to know who they are answerable to.
This helps to avoid problem of duplication organization activities which comes due to more than one person assigning duties. Line of authority which is the basis of chain of command is linked to line department which are directly connected to production and sales of the organizational products. Examples of line department are marketing and production responsible for performance of the employees and reward. Staff authority as compared to line authority is more pegged to authority to advice base on the expertise and involves advising line managers.
Employees help the line departments in coming up with the advices to be used for decision making but they lack authority to make the last decision. Staff supervision through suggestions made by line department decides on what is to be carried in the line department, coordinate as well as provide technical assistance. Team authority is executed by work teams responsible for daily operations in an organization. It comprises of groups of operating employees responsible for coordination of the organization operations.
Team based structure as define under team authority in an organization organizes separate functions based on the overall organizational objectives. Authority is dependent to power such that for a supervisor to be able to get things done in accordance to the objectives of the organization power is required. “Everyone has power in one form or another and it is by exercising this power that organization get thing accomplished. Supervisors who are capable of achieving their objective independently of others are said to possess strength”.
To be able to include people in the plan as well as organizational activities, supervisor requires power to get organizational things accomplished. Therefore, power is capability to apply influence in the organizational ahead of authority. This is gotten from the position as established by the organizational structure. In an organization a legitimate power bestowed to various leaders in an organization is established by individual position according to organizational hierarchy. Other forms of power include coercive power, reward power, expert power, referent power as well as information power.
Supervisors’ power toward course of action depends on influence in the organization giving authority which may be centralized or decentralized. Centralization means the decision making power is concentrated on top of the management while in decentralization form of decision making authority is in lower level of employees. Relation of authority and power is that authority is the legitimate power of a supervisor to be able to direct employee to a certain course of action in accordance to organization goals. In a nutshell authority is a form of power delegated from the organization main authorities to subordinate.
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Topic: Organization Theory and behavior-power and authority
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