The Art of Delegationa
Essay title: The Art of Delegationa
It is impractical for the managers at any level to handle all of the work of the department directly. In order to meet the organizations goals, focus on objectives, and ensure that all work is accomplished; managers at every level must delegate authority. Authority is the legitimate power of a supervisor to direct subordinates to take action within the scope of the supervisors position. By extension, this power, or a part thereof, is delegated and used in the name of a delegating manager. Delegation is the downward transfer of formal authority from superior to subordinate. The employee is empowered to act for the manager, while the manager remains accountable for the outcome. Delegation of authority is a person-to-person relationship requiring trust, commitment, and contracting between the manager and the employee.
All managers must decide what work they themselves should do and what should be left for others. This process is called delegation. Delegation is the process of entrusting work to others by giving them the right to make decisions and with that the right to take action to make the decisions come about. There are three steps to delegation. In step 1, the manager assigns responsibility by assigning the task and explaining the work that the person is expected to do. In step 2, the manager grants authority to act. Along with the assigned task, the right to take the necessary actions is given to the other person. Authority is a right to act in ways needed to carry out the assigned tasks. In step 3, the manager creates accountability. By accepting an assignment, the person takes on a direct obligation to the manager to complete the job as agreed upon. Accountability is the requirement to answer to another for performance results. Traditional organizational principles warn managers not to delegate without giving subordinates sufficient authority to perform. When insufficient authority is delegated, it will be very hard for someone to live up to performance expectations. They simply would not have the authority needed to get the job done. The authority and responsibility principle states; authority should equal responsibility when work is delegated from a manager to a subordinate (Gazda, 2002).
A common failure in management is unwillingness to delegate. Whether it is due to a lack of trust in others or to a manager’s inflexibility in the way things get done, failure to delegate can be damaging. It overloads the manager with work that could be done by others; it also denies others many opportunities to fully utilize their talents on the job. When well done, by contrast, delegation leads to empowerment, in that people have the freedom to contribute ideas and do their jobs in the best ways possible. This involvement can increase job satisfaction for the individual and results in better job performance. The trend in progressive organizations is delegating more(Gazda,2002). John Wiley and Sons Inc. is finding more ways to empower employees at all levels to make more decisions affecting themselves and their work.
John Wiley and Sons Inc. has chosen to follow the trend, where empowerment and related forces are contributing towards decentralization within the organization (Bateman and Snell, 2004). Advances within the publishing industry simultaneously allow for the retention of centralized control. In a centralized organization, the important decisions usually are made at the top. But as the company is showing it’s versatility to remain competitive, it also veers towards being a decentralized organization where more decisions are made at lower levels. Ideally, decision making occurs at the level of the people who are most directly affected and have the most intimate knowledge about the problem. This is particularly