Introduction to Delegation

Principles of hierarchy binds together the different units of the organization with a continuous chain of authority. The essence of the principle is delegation of authority.

  1. Assignment of duties by superior to subordinate.
  2. Granting of authority by delegator to subordinate.
  3. Creation of an obligation i.e. subordinate becomes duty bound.
  4. No further delegation by subordinate to his subordinate.

Mary Parker Follet "Authority belongs to the job and stays with it, hence one who does the job has the authority even if superiors doesn't like it. Delegation of authority is obsolete.

Types of Delegation:
  1. Downward [Higher to lower] , Upward [when lower to upper i.e. shareholders to board], Sideward [one department to another].
  2. Outward: When authority is given to outside body not under the influence of the delegator i.e. adhoc committee.
  3. Permanent and temporary
  4. Full [When complete power to take decision is given], Partial [When important aspects of job still need consultation].
  5. Conditional or unconditional: Depends on whether action of delegatee is subject to control, confirmation by delegator.
  6. Formal, informal: Based on written rules or customs and conventions.
  7. Direct and intermediate: Depends on whether a third party is involved.

  1. To reduce burden on superior. To avoid delay in administrative process.
  2. To train subordinates in art of sharing responsibility.
  3. To develop second line of leadership
  4. De-congestion at the top.
  5. Overcome complexity in procedures by delegation to specialists.

  1. Certain work can't be delegated like supervising work of immediate subordinates.
  2. Sanction expenditure above certain amount.
  3. Power to sanction new policies.
  4. Making of rules and regulations.
  5. Hear appeals against subordinates and make higher appointments.
  1. No well established procedures.
  2. Unstable, non repetitive work
  3. Lack of internal communication
  4. Centralized requirements of programs
  5. Small size of organization
  6. Incompetent lower personnel
  7. Few precedents

  1. Those who rise to top have big ego. Suspicious of juniors and lack of trust.
  2. Don't know how to delegate
  3. Political consideration; Cant delegate symbols of leadership
  4. Impatient with slow pace of work of subordinates.

Effective Delegation Principles:
  1. Specific written rules.
  2. Delegation to a position not person
  3. Competence of subordinates must be considered
  4. Planning , follow chain of command
  5. Open communication and reporting
  6. Backed by resources
  7. Performance appraisal

Introduction to Supervision

Overseeing work of subordinates. Guiding, directing efforts of employees to accomplish goals.

Phases and Aspects

Marx: Technical means "He should know techniques and know how of his work". Objective means " He should know policies and procedures as per which work should be done". Human means "Motivate workers to perform their tasks".

Millet: To achieve coordination among different parts of an agency. Ensure each unit accomplishes the task that it is asigned.


  1. Assign right person to job and motivate him.
  2. Performance appraisal.
  3. Fitting each person in group, administering corrections when necessary.
  4. Division of work; Planning and execution.
  5. Dealing with suggestions and complaints.

Types of supervisions:

  1. Single [based on unity of command] and plural [based on separation of technical and administrative supervision].
  2. Line [Direct, authoritative, advisory] and Functional [Done by specialists in a domain].
  3. Substantive [Deals with actual work done by an agency] and Technical [methods used to do it].

Techniques of supervision:

  1. Prior approval of individual projects if taking initiative outside framework of policy. This enables HQ to get information about the units intentions and get control over it.
  2. Promulgation of service standard: Prescribes standards and targets to ensure prompt, proper work by agencies.
  3. Budgetary limits on operations of local units gives them operational flexibility to an extent.
  4. Approval of subordinates work
  5. Evaluate work reported by field units.
  6. Inspection of results.

Qualities of a supervisor:

  1. Expert knowledge of work.
  2. Good personal qualifications
  3. Ability to communicate ideas
  4. Inspiration to others.
  5. Take decisions and be responsible
  6. Good intellectual ability

Likert's Supervisory Style

Job Centered
Employee Centered
exert heavy pressure to get work done little pressure on subordinates
have little confidence in subordinates earn and get confidence of subordinates
close supervision general supervision
less freedom to subordinates subordinates can work at own pace
no participation of subordinates in decision making maximum participation of subordinates in decision making
punitive and critical helps subordinates in problems
devote more attention to 'work' job.

Line and Staff

Administration organization in government are of three types:

Work directly to achieve organizations purpose. Accomplish goals, make decisions, issue orders and directives. Provide services, regulate conduct, collect taxes. Interpreting and defending policy and operations. It is the primary agency. E.g: Departments, Companies, regulators and Corporations.

Staff: Assist line in their work. They are to enhance effectiveness of line agencies. They are concerned with reformulation of policies and revision of organization as per needs. They are the eyes and ears of the CEO and advice him on administrative work and technical work. E.g: PMO, Cabinet secretariat, planning commission.

  1. Assistance to line agencies.
  2. Contact, planning, liaison.
  3. See that CEO's decisions are implemented by agencies. Collect provide information to CEO and do research and study.
  4. Don't make decisions but advice to influence authority.

Auxiliary: Maintenance of existing organization. Provide housekeeping services. They have operating responsibility. They also make decisions, exercise authority and come in contact with people within their own spheres. But they have less functions then staff agencies. E.g: Law ministry, UPSC.

Line and Staff conflicts: Staff agencies are closer to CEO so usurp power. They discover more work and procedures in line. They have ivory tower approach and have higher targets as they are unconcerned with implementations.

Line officials disown failures for not reaching targets to staff agencies. To resolve conflicts line and staff agencies should have better coordination, exchange of personnel and training in each others work.