Barriers to effective delegation of authority

Even though delegation is vital for the efficient functioning of the organization, in practice there are several factors which prevent effective delegation. These problems in delegation may be classified into three categories.

Obstacles due to superiors
Managers are often reluctant to delegate authority due o the following reasons

  1. Some managers are autocratic, and they think that delegation will lead to reduction of their influence in the organization.
  2. Some managers think that no one can do the job as well as they can do. They think themselves as the most experienced ones.
  3. An incompetent manager doesn’t want to delegate his authority for fear of being exposed.
  4. Few mangers are inclined to accept the risk of wrong decisions which the subordinates might take. Therefore, they do not delegate authority and take all the decisions themselves. They are unwilling to calculate the risk.
  5. Managers may not delegate authority because he feels that his subordinates are not capable and reliable. He lacks confidence in his subordinates.
  6. A manager will hesitate to delegate authority if he has no proper means of control to ensure that the authority is being properly used by his subordinates

Obstacles due to subordinates
The subordinates may not like to accept the delegated authority due to the following reasons

  1. Subordinate may be reluctant to accept delegation when they lack self-confidence
  2. Some subordinates may have the attitude of spoon-feeding and depend excessively on the loss for all decisions
  3. when the subordinates are already overburdened with duties , they do not like additional responsibility through delegation
  4. They avoid delegation when adequate information, working facilities and resources are not available.
  5. They reject delegation of authority if no incentives are available to them.

Obstacles due to organizing weakness:
Sometimes delegation may be hampered due to weakness in the organization structure. Some weaknesses are as follows

  1. inadequate planning
  2. splintered authority
  3. lack of unity of command
  4. absence of effective control techniques
  5. non-availability of competent managers
  6. unclear authority relationship
  7. Environment of internal distrust.

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