Essay on the Limitations of Authority in an Organisation

1. The authority is exercised with regard to mores and folk ways of the group concerned. The use of authority generates different reactions from various groups. The authority must be exercised keeping in view the group’s fundamental social’ belief, codes, creeds and habits otherwise the effective exercise of authority is limited.

2. There are biological limits on authority. Human beings do not have the capacity to do certain things. Similarly, there are physically geography, physical laws and others, economic competition market factors, etc., and technical limitations on the use of authority. An individual can not be asked to do certain things keeping above limitations under consideration.

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3. There are certain limitations which restrict managerial authority. Such factors as partnership agreements, memorandum of association, articles of association, factory acts and company laws put limitations ‘on authority changes in these can be made, but these can be done through a definite procedure and not at the whim of a manager.

4. A manager’s authority is limited because of the fact that his span of management is limited. There is a limit on the number of subordinates who can be effectively managed by a superior. Thus, his authority is limited to a specific number of subordinates who are managed by him.

5. A manager can use the authority which is specifically delegated to him. Delegation of authority is required because of the assignment of duties.

It has become increasingly popular to argue that there has been an important change in society’s attitude towards authority. From a narrow perspective, it is being said that today’s youth are no longer willing to accept authority. Others however believe that authority has become absolute to both young and old.

Unlike our fathers and mothers, the agreement is made; we are increasingly unwilling to accept that we must obey orders merely because the boss is “boss”. As a group, we are supposed to be more questioning, challenging and democratically oriented. However, the evidence suggests that this view of authority may be considerably exaggerated.