Circumstances when Delegation of Authority is not possible
Delegation cannot be made or delegation of authority is not appropriate when the following situations occur.
1. Unavailability of Subordinates
Delegation of Authority is not possible when qualified subordinates are not available to carry out the assigned task;
2. Lack of self confidence
Delegation of Authority is not possible when subordinates are available but they shirk responsibilities due to lack of self confidence; fear of committing mistakes; lack of incentives; desire to play safe, depending on the boss for all decisions;
3. No confidence on subordinate
Delegation of Authority is not possible when a superior has no confidence in his subordinate, he may consider them incapable of doing and taking decisions.
4. Delegation of Authority is not possible when the manager is compelled to maintain direct and absolute control over a certain job;
5. Delegation of Authority is not possible when the manager feels his importance, or when he wants his presence felt everywhere, i.e., his desire to dominate others puts a check on delegation;
6. Small workload
Delegation of Authority is not possible when the work-load is small or when the organization is a one-man show;
7. Delegation of Authority is not possible when an executive himself is incapable of directing the work;
8. Absence of controls
Absence of selective and sensitive controls that give a warning of possible difficulties may also be a reason for non-delegation;
9. Inferiority complex
Delegation of Authority is not possible when the manager himself suffers from a inferiority or fear complex that his subordinates will outshine him, get more recognition and attention;
10. Overburden of work
Delegation of Authority is not possible when the subordinates are already overburdened with work and are unwilling to accept new assignments which call for thinking, initiative and involve more time;
11. Defective organizational structure
Delegation of Authority is not possible when the organization structure is itself defective and the authority – responsibility relationships are not clearly defined.
12. Inadequate planning
Delegation of Authority is not possible when there is inadequate planning, and infringement of the principle of “Unity of Command”.
However, these reasons do not constitute legitimate grounds for non-delegation of authority. An effective manager should always be willing to delegate authority as needed to accomplish the desired organization objectives but a manager himself cannot evade his own responsibility.
He is directly responsible for:
- Motivating (counseling, coaching, guiding and leading);
- Coordinating (assessing and reconciling all personnel involved to secure the best integration of group efforts); and
- Controlling effectively the work of the subordinates.
In other words, the manager cannot relieve himself of the ultimate responsibility to perform the overall managerial functions.