Skip to main content

Elements of Delegation

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

A freelance writer since 2011 and has been graduated from Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi, India

Elements of Delegation

Delegation means the sharing of authority and works by a manager to his subordinate for the smooth accomplishment of the objective of a given task.

Delegation means the sharing of authority and works by a manager to his subordinate for the smooth accomplishment of the objective of a given task.

Mainly There Are Three Elements Of Delegation

Delegation means the sharing of authority and works by a manager to his subordinate for the smooth accomplishment of the objective of a given task. This enables a person to exercise his authority conferred by his superior to fulfill the assigned duty with minimum resources in a given time limit.

Mainly there are three elements of Delegation. They are:

  1. Assignment of task or duties.
  2. Conferment of powers or authority.
  3. Creation of obligation, responsibility, or accountability.

Assignment Of Task Or Duties

While assigning the duties and tasks by the delegator to the delegatee, he should be clear about the duties and tasks which he is assigning to his subordinates. The duties must be identified and defined before it is assigned. When a manager asks his subordinates to open a branch office he should clearly define the area covered, the objective of this branch office, what are the duties of the office, etc.

The obligation of a subordinate to perform his assigned duty properly by his superior or manager is called responsibility. In other words, completing the job assigned by the manager is the responsibility of the subordinate.

Conferment Of Power Of Authority

Transfer of authority is another step in the delegation. The rights and powers transferred to the delegatee must be clearly defined and communicated to the delegatee by the delegator for performing the assigned duty. It includes the right to acquire the resource required to perform the assigned duty. We cannot expect the delegatee to perform the assigned duty without the transfer of authority. For example, when a manager asks his subordinates to open a branch office, the manager should give the necessary authority to acquire and use the resources to open the branch office.


The power to take decisions is termed as an authority. Taking decisions related to the time of performing the duty, use of resources, and a slowdown or hold the work are some authority exercised by the subordinate while completing the assigned work which should be beneficial to the organization. One of the features of the authority is that the subordinate can transfer his authority to his junior for the smooth functioning of his duty. This will make the implementation of the decision possible. With the change of post of the subordinate, the conferred authority also may change.

Accountability

Once the authorities are given and the duties are assigned, the delegator expects the delegatee to do the assigned duty. Delegatee has the responsibility or obligation to do the work. The delegate is responsible for his actions and decisions and it is called accountability. The delegator has the right to ask the status of the task at any time and the delegatee is responsible to answer. The subordinate is answerable and responsible to his superior for giving an account of the assigned task. Therefore, accountability is the obligation of an individual to render an account of the fulfillment of his responsibilities to the principal to whom he reports. Delegatee cannot shift his responsibility to someone else. It is fixed to his position. Superior can control the delegatee through accountability. These controls are exercised through meetings, reports, and evaluations. For example, when a manager asks his subordinates to open a branch office, the subordinate is answerable to the manager at any time the status of the work being done by him.


The answerability of the junior to his senior related to the work assigned to him is termed as accountability. For the smooth functioning of the work to be done with minimum resources in the assigned time limit, the senior may transfer some of his authority to his junior. However, the junior is answerable to his senior at any given time about the work assigned to him.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Jacob

Comments

joseph obi on April 07, 2015:

thnx so much it help for my exams

angecarpez on August 13, 2014:

Precise! You gave an explicit statement. It helps me a lot!

sradha on September 01, 2012:

it is very intresting and it is very clear and stright to the point of view

Abdul-lateef on November 13, 2011:

very educative, i love it.

Tushar S. Visave on November 10, 2011:

it is very nice and thanks to cleared those things.

lloydia on September 18, 2011:

well put together,thank you so very much!!!

ntirenganya on August 23, 2011:

thanks for this job which is well done and useful.

Lorraine stephen on July 21, 2011:

Very educative thank you

kingsley umunnaegbu on June 10, 2011:

very educative,clear and straight to point.unambiguous and easy to understand.Nevertheless,a few typographical errors need to be corrected.

Loveth Nwaka From Nigeria on September 03, 2010:

Quite impressive and educative!

Jacob (author) from Delhi, India on September 23, 2009:

Dear all,

Thanks for your comments.

May God Bless you.

lyricsingray on September 23, 2009:

Very well written, Thank you. Kimberly

ralwus on September 23, 2009:

Sadly too many in authority don't know how.

shamelabboush on September 23, 2009:

Highly nice and highly diplomatic :)

Related Articles