“The act of delegating, or investing with
authority to act for another”
“the distribution of responsibility and
authority to others while holding them
accountable for their performance.”
or transfer of authority and
the associated responsibility from
an employer or superior (who has the
right to delegate)
an employee or subordinate.
means delegation of
power by higher officials to
means delegation of
power by executive officer or
organisatory unit to other
To use skills and
within the group
To develop new
leaders and build
new skills within the
To prevent the
dependent on one
or two leaders
To become more
powerful as a group
To allow everyone to
feel a part of the
effort and the
Group members feel
more committed if
they have a role and
To get things done
…its too hard!
…it takes too much time!
…nobody can do it as good as I can
…nobody else has any time
TYPES OF DELEGATION
General Delegation: the subordinate is granted
authority to perform all the functions in his department
or division. However, the subordinate will be under the
overall guidance and control of the
Specific delegation: a person is given authority
regarding specific function. For example, a sales
person may be given the authority to collect payments
Specific delegation is precise and the subordinate
clearly understands what he is expected to do. But it
may create inflexibility in the organisation.
Formal Delegation: When authority is
delegated as per the organisation structure.
Such delegation is effective because it
leaves no option to the subordinate but to
obey the commands of the
Informal delegation: Takes place when an
individual or a group agrees to work under
the direction of an informal leader.
Delegation: Delegation made
by written orders and instructions is
known as written delegation.
Oral delegation: Unwritten or oral
delegation is based in custom and
Downward Delegation: Downward
delegation occurs when a superior
assigns duties and grants authority to his
immediate subordinate. This is the most
common type of delegation.
Sideward delegation: It takes place when
a subordinate assigns some of his duties
and authority to another subordinate of the
Elements of delegation
Responsibility refers to the assignment
itself and the intended results. That means
setting clear expectations. It also means
that you should avoid prescribing the
employee HOW the assignment should be
Authority refers to the appropriate power given
to the individual or group including the right to
act and make decisions.
Accountability refers to the fact that the
relevant individual must ‘ answer ’ for
his/her/their actions and decisions along with
the rewards or penalties that accompany those
actions or decisions.
Benefits of Delegation
to the Manager / Supervisor
• Makes your job easy and exciting
• Reduces stress and makes you look
• Frees you to do what you should be
• Develops trust and rapport with your
• Grooms your successor so that you can
move on to bigger and better things.
Benefits to the employee
• Provides professional growth opportunities
• Develops their professional knowledge and
• Elevates their self-image and ultimately
• Enhances their confidence and value to the
• Brings them personal satisfaction and a
sense of achievement
• Gives them opportunities to be involved
with decision making which in turn leads to
more commitment and increased morale
Benefits for the organization
• Saves money
• Promotes teamwork
• Brings about professionalism
• Increases productivity and efficiency
Steps in Delegation
I –Introduce the task
D-Demonstrate clearly what needs to be done
A-Allocate authority, information and resources
S-Support and monitor
Introduce the Task
Determine task to
Determine tasks to
Introduce the Task
I want you to do…..
Show examples of
Discuss timetable, set
Ask for clarification
Don’t say no for them
determine methods for
authority, information, resources
Grant authority to determine process, not
Provide access to all information sources
Refer delegate to contact persons or
specific resources that have assisted
Provide appropriate training to ensure
Step back, let them work
Use constrained access
Don’t allow for reverse
Support and Monitor
Schedule follow-up meetings
Assist, when requested
Publicly praise progress and completion
Encourage problem solving
Principles of Effective Delegation
of Objectives : Before
delegating authority, the subordinates
should be made to understand their
duties and responsibilities.
of Authority and
Responsibility : This principle of
delegation suggests that when
authority is delegated, it should be
commensurate with the responsibility
of the subordinate
of Command : It that everyone
should have only one boss. A
subordinate should get orders and
instructions from one superior and
should be made accountable to one
The Scalar Principle : The scalar
principle of delegation maintains that there
should be clear and direct lines of
authority in the Organisation, running from
the top to the bottom.
The subordinate should know who
delegates authority to him and to whom he
should contact for matters beyond his
of Delegation : It suggests
that while delegating authority to
subordinates, they should be made to
understand the limits of authority so
that they know the area of their
operation and the extent of freedom
of action available to them.
System : It suggests that there
should be continuous flow of
information between the superior and
the subordinates with a view to
furnishing relevant information to
subordinate for decision-making
for Effective Delegation : It
suggests that effective delegation and
successful assumption of authority
should be rewarded.
Common delegation errors
Barriers on the Part of Manager /
Superior / Delegator
Wanting to be in the Limelight
Sometimes, ego holds the manager
back from delegating his authority to
a subordinate. He worships power
and autocracy so much that he feels
delegating can reduce his influence
over the organization.
Unwillingness of the manager to
superiors/managers tend to
think that they can do the job better
when they themselves handle the job.
The attitude that 'I can do it better
myself' on the part of superior acts
as an obstacle to delegation.
Lack of Trust/ confidence in
In most cases, managers don’t
delegate because they worry that a
task will not be done properly and
successfully if they don’t do it all by
Fear of Competition
Some insecure managers refuse to
recognize or acknowledge the skills of
their subordinates out of the fear that if
their subordinates will be given some
tasks and do better than they can, they
become afraid that their
subordinates’ good performance will
cause them to be replaced someday.
Lack of ability to direct : Sometimes, a
manager may experience difficulty in
directing his subordinates because of his
inability to identify and communicate the
essential features of his long-range plans
Desire to dominate subordinates :
Managers (Superiors) normally, have a
desire to dominate the subordinates
functioning under their control. They feel
that their domination will reduce if the
powers are delegated to subordinates.
Managers Don’t Know How to Delegate
The sad truth is that many managers don’t
actually know how to delegate properly.
Perhaps, it is due to the fact that they
themselves have not seen a successful
delegation which has been properly done,
(B) Obstacles / Barriers on the
Part of Subordinates
Too much dependence on the manager
for decisions : Some subordinates avoid
responsibility even when the
superior/manager is prepared to delegate
authority. They want the manager to tackle
problems and take decisions
of criticism :
unwillingness to accept
delegated authority because
of the fear of criticism in the
case of mistakes. They fear
that they may be criticized by
others if they commit
Lack of information : A subordinate may
hesitate to accept a new assignment,
when he knows that necessary information
to perform the job is not likely to be made
available to him
Absence of positive incentives :
Positive incentives like recognition of work
and rewards go a long way in building up
the morale of subordinates.
In the absence of such incentives in the
form of recognition, appreciation or
monetary benefit, a subordinate may not
be prepared to accept delegation of
Absence of self-confidence : A
subordinate may lack self-confidence
about his ability to take quick and correct
He may not like to accept new challenging
functions as he lacks self-confidence.
in decision-making :
A subordinate may not have the skill
and the expertise to take quick and
Poor superior-subordinate relations :
Absence of cordial relations in between the
superior and the subordinates hampers the
process of delegation of authority.
The attitude of the superior towards
subordinate may not be friendly but hostile.
Even the good work of subordinate may not be
appreciated by the superior.
Undue interference by superior :
A superior should not interfere in the
duties delegated to the subordinate.
Some superiors interfere in the work of
his subordinate and try to control him often
Fear of being exposed :
Some subordinates may have inferiority
They feel that they have limited capacity to
accept the challenges which are bound to
come out to delegation.
They feel that their inability to deal with
new problems will be exposed due to
Reverse or upward delegation.
Sometimes employees feel they don’t
know how to do what they were delegated.
In this situation, you may find them coming
back and asking you what to do.
The poor communication.
The employee should know and
understand your motivation, but often the
employee perceives that he is being
Grabbing the glory. Some managers
seem to overlook the importance of giving
credit where credit is due, and take credit
for the delegatees’ hard work.
Make sure that you give the appropriate
recognition and then quietly appreciate
yourself for being a great delegator.
“The secret of success is not in doing your
own work but in recognizing the right
[person] to do it.” ~Andrew Carnegie
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