Principle features or characteristics of a committee

Important characteristics of Committees are that they are delegated definite responsibility and authority for doing a specific job, such as reviewing budgets, formulating plans for new products, making policy decisions on wages and salary  and compensation plans. Others may only have the power to make recommendations and suggestions to  a designated official. Whatever be the task, committees generally enjoy authority / power for carrying out the assigned tasks.

Principle features or Characteristics of committee

Image: Principle features or Characteristics of committee

Lets look at some of the principal features of a committee

Principle features or characteristics of a committee

1. A committee is a gathering of people representing different functions or spheres of knowledge, who come together to promote a common purpose or fulfill a common task or solve a problem, by interchanging of views.

2. The character and composition of a committee is often spelled out in the bylaws or administrative procedures of the company.

3. A committee usually has a fixed membership. In most cases, members are appointed, although sometimes, as with the board of directors, they may be elected.

4. In its deliberations, a committee usually follows certain definite written rules and procedures. Some committees can function if a quorum is complete; others only if all the members are present.

5. A committee may be granted authority to make or recommend decisions, or it may serve merely in an advisory capacity.

6. Committees maybe set up for different functions to be performed, such as

  • for acting only rather than for advice (i.e., Control Committee);
  • to help line executives in laying down plans, policies and objectives (such as Legislative Committee);
  • to gather facts relating to a problem (such as Fact Finding Committee);
  • to settle grievances or disputes and to determine the validity of the past and present courses of action (such as the Grievance or Judicial Committee);
  • to bring coordination among the activities of the organization members through interchange of views, opinions, and information (such as Coordination Committee);
  • to decide other personnel matters like wages, promotions, merit pay, compensation, leave etc. (such as Wage Committee).

In fact, there is a myriad of committees in government, educational, religious and business organizations. Although they are more frequent at the top of the pyramid, there is usually some type of formal committee at every level of organization.

A committee may also be set up on a standing basis (Standing Committee) which is of a permanent nature; or on an adhoc basis, which may be for a specific purpose only. It may be formal or informal.