Clarity of delegation of authority


Training enables managers to reduce the frequency and extensiveness of time-consuming contacts, the principal causes of the heavy time burdens of superior-subordinate relationships is to be found in poorly conceived and confused organization. The most serious symptom of poor organization affecting the span of management is inadequate or unclear authority delegation. If a manager clearly delegates authority to undertake a well-defined task, a well trained subordinate can get it done with a minimum of the manager’s time and attention.

If the subordinate’s task is not one that can be done, if it is not clearly defined, or if the subordinate does not have the authority to undertake it effectively, either the task will not be performed or the manager will have to spend a disproportionate amount of time supervising and guiding the subordinate’s efforts.

Clarity of Plans

Much of the character of a subordinate’s job is defined by the plans to be put into effect. If these plans are well defined, if they are workable, if the authority to undertake them has been delegated, and if the subordinates understands what is expected, little of a supervisor’s time will be required. Such is often the case with a production supervisor responsible for largely repetitive operations. Thus, in one large-volume work-clothing manufacturer’s plant, production supervisors operated satisfactorily with as many as thirty subordinates.

On the other hand, if plans cannot be drawn accurately and subordinates must do much of their own planning, they may require considerable guidance. However, if the superior has set up clear policies to guide decisions and has made sure they are consistent with the operations and goals of a department, and if the subordinate understands them, there will certainly be fewer demands on the superior’s time than there would be if these policies were indefinite, incomplete, or not understood.

Use of Objective Standards

A manager must find out, either by personal observation of through use of objective standards, whether subordinates are following plans. Obviously, good objective standards, revealing with ease any deviations from plans, enable managers to avoid many time-consuming contacts and to direct attention to exceptions at points critical to the successful execution of plans.

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