Fundamental principles of delegation

Fundamental principles of delegation

The process of delegation to be effective, must be based on the following broad principles:

1. Assignment of Duty in terms of Results: The subordinates can perform efficiently only when they understand their duties and the results expected. By spelling out the goals or expected results, an advance notice is given to the subordinates so that they can achieve peak performance.

2. Parity of Authority and Responsibility: Authority co-exist with responsibility, since they bear logical relation to each other. The authority must be just sufficient to discharge his responsibility, otherwise many undesirable results may be produced. If authority exceeds responsibility, the subordinate may be tempted to misuse it. On the other hand, if responsibility exceeds authority, he cannot discharge his functions fully and entirely due to want of authority.

3. Unity of command: Since no servant can serve best under two masters, command, orders or guidance should always come from one superior. Dual command not only upsets the process of delegation but also makes the organization impossible. Hence, ‘One boss for one man‘ must be the rule.

4. Knowledge about the Limits of Authority: The subordinates must be made fully aware of the real limits of their authority. Knowledge about the real limits of authority enables them to develop their personal capacity, to exercise initiative and to know their area of operations. It also avoids misuse of authority.

5. Absoluteness of Responsibility: Responsibility being an obligation, should not be delegated. Hence, no superior can escape from the responsibility for the activities of his subordinates. He cannot, along with authority, pass on his responsibilities. Thus, responsibility must be absolute.

6. Elimination of Overlapping of Duties: Duties of one person should not be allowed to overlap with those of another. Overlapping has the effect of developing clashes and conflicts between the workers.

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