Delegation refers to the downward transfer of authority from a superior to a subordinate. It is essential so that a manager can use his time on high priority activities. However, delegation does not mean abolition (unaccountability). The manager shall still be accountable for the performance of the assigned task.
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Elements of Delegation
According to Louis Allen, delegation is the entrustment of responsibility and authority to another person and the creation of accountability for performance.
The following are the essential elements of the delegation:
It means the work assigned to an individual. Responsibility is the obligation of a subordinate to perform assigned duties.
It arises from a superior-subordinate relationship because a subordinate is bound to perform the duty assigned to him by his superior.
Thus, it flows upward, that is, subordinate will always be responsible for the superior.
It means the power to take decisions to carry on responsibilities every employee needs to have some authority.
So, when the manager is passing their responsibility to subordinates, they will also pass some of the authority to them.
The delegating authority is the second step of the organizing process. Authority must be equal to responsibility.
It implies being answerable for the final outcome that is, subordinates will be accountable for the non-completion of the task creating accountability as the third and final step of the delegation process.
Accountability can not be passed or delegated. It can only be shared which means even after delegating the responsibility and authority.
The manager will be accountable for the non-completion of the task. It flows upward that is, the subordinate is accountable to his superior.
Tip to memorize the elements of delegation use acronym RAA
R – Responsibility is assumed
A – Authority is delegated
A – Accountability is imposed
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