Definitions of Authority

The authority is the power that is had to govern or exercise the command. The word, as such, comes from the Latin auctorĭtasauctoritātis, which in turn derives from the verb augure , which means ‘increase’, ‘promote’.

As such, authority is the attribute that grants a person, position or office the right to give orders. It is also the quality that encourages an order to comply. In this way, having authority means, on the one hand, sending, and, on the other, being obeyed.

In this sense, the authority is associated with the power of the State which, as such, is governed by a series of laws and regulations according to which it is empowered to exercise authority over the citizens who are part of it. Hence, authority is also synonymous with power, power and legitimacy to command or order.

The authority, on the other hand, also supposes the prestige and credit that is recognized in a person or institution, because of its legitimacy, quality or competence in some specific field or subject: “On the cusp of his career, the French thinker was considered an authority in modern anthropology ”.

As an authority, the person who exercises or possesses any kind of authority is also designated: “The university authorities entered the premises”.

Likewise, the text or expression of a book or writing that is cited as support for what is alleged or said is also known as the authority.

Moral authority

As moral authority is called that which is imposed by the coherence that an individual shows between his words, his values ​​and his actions. As such, moral authority arises from our actions, from the way we show others the way we conduct ourselves, make decisions and act. Hence, it is considered that the true force of authority is found in moral authority.

Authority in Administration

In the field of administration and organizational management, the authority is the power to exercise command and decision-making in a company or institution. As such, there are different types of authority in the management of tasks and productive processes in an organization.

  • Formal authority: it is the one that is received directly from a superior or manager and that provides an employee with certain powers in accordance with his position to exercise authority over subordinate workers.
    • Linear authority: it is the one that generates a superior-subordinate chain of command, and that is presented from the top of the management positions of the organization to the lowest level.
    • Functional authority: is one that is established in an organization because of the role that each worker plays in a specific area.
  • Operational authority: is one that is not exercised over other people or employees, but is used to make certain decisions and execute certain actions, typical of the employee’s function.
  • Technical authority: it is the one that an individual possesses due to his prestige, experience or capacity, and that grants him certain power and influence over certain matters or matters.
  • Personal authority: is that of those who have a certain ascendant over other people, due to their qualities, whether moral, social or psychological.