Title

Delegation, Authority and Responsibility: Removing the Rhetorical Obstructions in the Way of an Old Paradigm

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2012

Abstract

This study examined 14 articles in trade publications and professional journals, published between 1985 and 2010, that specifically addressed the management practice of "delegating authority." The goal was to determine if there are meaningful changes in the advice authors gave their readers over the years or, if similarities in their prescriptions persisted. Findings show that authors provided a plethora of advice to their audiences on delegating authority. Furthermore, findings show that there are five key similarities in the semantics on delegating authority which authors used. In advising their readers on the topic of delegating authority, the authors prescribed that: 1) a process occurs in steps or stages; 2) results will contribute to greater organizational benefits; 3) selection of the ideal person who can accomplish a task is essential; 4) transferable authority, task specificity and trust are crucial; and 5) good communication between delegator and "delegatee" is essential. A four stage reconfiguration of the delegation process is presented.

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