What Is Authority? Definition, Meaning, Types And Sources

Table Of Contents
1. Meaning Of Authority
2. Types Of Authority
3. Sources Of Authority
Definition Of Authority
Authority may be defined as the right to give order and enforce obedience. The power of authority is derived from one’s offices and roles the play in a given society. It is lawful and customs with accepted social norms and consent of the people which serves as a test of government populating.
Types Of Authority
There are several types of authority and these includes:
1. Political Authority: This is power bestowed on a group of individuals by the people through a written document such as the constitution to make decision and enforce obedience.
2. Coercive Authority: This involves the use of force and it’s acceptance is out of fear- Example: military, dictatorship.
3. Charismatic Authority: This type of authority is based on extra ordinary person and qualities of an individual.
4. Delegated Authority: This is authority conferred on a subordinate to exercise certain functions on specific matter. E.g minister of education delegated power on the school principal.
5. Traditional Authority: This is held by those qualified by traditional.
6. Technical Authorities: This is exercised on ones technical know how such as persons authority is accepted because he is a recognized expert in the field concerned.
Sources Of Authority
1. Traditional Authority: This is from royal families. It is based on exercising customs and traditions of a particular area.
2. Legal Authority: This type is derived from a body of rules and regulation governing a given society, (E.g) the constitution of elected president has a legal authority.
3. Charismatic Authority: This is exceptional unique and special qualities of a person which lead to his acceptance as the leader of his people.
4. Consent Of People: The people may decide to enumerate a certain person with authority, In most cases these type does not last for a long time.
Differences Between Authority And Power
1. Power requires elements of force and sanction While In Authority there is no application of force.
2. In Power, The punishment that goes with is more high e.g death But In Authority, Punishment is less serve (e.g) discipline.
3. The fear of sanction compels people to obey power relation. While Legal means of the process compels people to obey in authority relation.
4. Power cannot be delegated. Whereas Authority can be delegated.

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