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Decision Making

Decision Making

Author: Jeff Carroll
Description:

Identify aspects of delegation in business.

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Tutorial

Source: Image of signpost, man talking to man and woman, man with head in hands, man and woman shaking hands. images by Video Scribe, License held by Jeff Carroll.

Video Transcription

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Hi. I'm Jeff. And in this lesson, we'll learn about the decision makers in an organization, how they delegate decisions, and the different forms of authority. So let's get started.

Sometimes within organizations, it can be a challenge determining what person or group of people should make a decision. It's up to the organization to clearly define the span of control for each manager so those who work with them know when they need to be consulted for a decision. There are three steps an organization should use to define how decisions should be made.

First, assign responsibility. The work should be broken down and clearly assigned to individuals so the responsibility for each portion is clear. Next, grant authority. The organization should grant appropriate authority so the individual can complete the tasks, including any authority over others who need to assist with the tasks. Access to all resources necessary should also be granted.

Finally, create accountability. Clearer goals should be given for it to work, including a reasonable time period for completion. The results and the deliverables for the work should also be outlined.

Then the organization and the individual completing the work should agree that the individual will be accountable for these results. If an organization follows these steps, then the chain of command will be clear. But even if one person is responsible for the work, there will always be times when a manager needs to delegate work and some decisions to those who work for them.

Not all managers are comfortable with delegation though. Some of the reasons might be a fear that the employee is unqualified, a fear the employee will outperform the manager, a desire to retain full control of the work, or a concern for the increased workload due to managing the delegated work. Since all managers will need to delegate work in order to be effective, a manager will need to overcome these worries or find ways to address their concerns.

In order to be a good delegator, a manager should clearly and comfortably delegate both routine and important tasks, broadly share both responsibility and accountability, trust people to perform the work being delegated, and let direct reports finish their own work. For example, if mistakes are made, then the manager should provide advice how to fix the work, instead of merely completing the work themselves. As an organization grows, the need for delegation grows also and different forms of authority will also develop.

These include line authority, which is the rigid structure of an organization, where the manager requires the subordinates to follow their instructions. Line authority has a clear and direct chain of command. For example, this structure is useful in production situations, where the manager has considerable knowledge of the process but the subordinates do not.

Staff authority, which is the structure of an organization where the manager advises subordinates, but does not require them to follow instructions. Specialists in specific areas have authority. This structure functions well, when it's the subordinates that have the greater knowledge of development and production, while the manager provides guidance on the higher level goals and the allocation of resources. And finally, committee and team authority, which is the structure of an organization where a group reaches a consensus on specific areas and advises on specific areas for the organization.

Committees and teams can be created for specific situations and then vested with particular authority that is either temporary or permanent. This type of structure works well in organizations when more employee responsibility is encouraged, when the teams or the committees are given the responsibility and accountability. This leads to greater employee knowledge and greater employee satisfaction.

All right, nicely done. In this lesson, we learned about the ways and organization defines the decision makers. We talked about the need for managers to delegate work. And we discussed the different forms of authority that can exist in an organization. Thanks for your time, and have a great day.

Terms to Know
Committee and Team Authority

The structure of an organization where a group reaches a consensus on specific areas and advises on specific areas for the organization.

Line Authority

The rigid structure of an organization where the manager requires the subordinates to follow their instructions.

Staff Authority

The structure of an organization where the manager advises subordinates, but does not require them to follow instructions.