Authority is the fundamental concept of formal organizations. It is the relationship between the superior and the subordinate. Authority is the power and right to give order and instruction to the subordinates. It is the power of the superior to command the subordinates to do or not to do certain things. Authority is vested in a particular position not to the person, because, authority is given by an institution and is, therefore, legitimate or legal. Thus, authority denotes those legal, conventional and systematized rights and power through which any person, authorized or empowered, can perform his duty and responsibility.
According to Henry Fayol, "Authority is the right to give orders and the power to exact obedience"
According to Koontz and Donnell, "Authority is legal or rightful power, or right to command or to act."
In conclusion, the authority can be defined as the right and power to make decisions and determine that they are carried out in the right way at the right time.
The characteristics of authority:
- It is the right to influence others.
- It is the right to make decisions and use resources.
- It is maximum at the top level and minimum at the bottom level of management.
- It is related with the position in the organizational hierarchy.