Delegation and Empowerment

Organizational design

Organizational design refers to a grouping of activities and roles, procedures, and reporting relationships for effective achievement of organizational objectives. Organizational design is divided into two. (Delegation of authority, 1999)

  1. strategic design: this refers to the overall organizational objectives, missions, visions and core value. Organizational design is therefore related to the overall planning in that it involves grouping of strategic tasks and directing relationships of how they can be achieved. (Delegation of authority, 1999)
  2. operational designs: this refers to operational activities and processes that are necessary for daily functioning of an organization. Again here there is a relationship between designs and planning in that the normal operations of a firm need to be coordinated and incorporated in the short plan decision making.

Chain of command refers to the number of employees that is directly reporting to a senior manager. The chain of command is important in determining the kind of organization structure existing in a firm.. (K.STATE RESEARCH AND EXTENSION, 2002)

Organizational design is also related to the human resources department in that once activities have been grouped they need the manpower to drive them into actual performance. Highly trained professionals will drive the organization to achieve its long-term goals as has been planned. Inadequately functioning human resource department will be a letdown. It will fail to carry out credible recruitment procedures to ensure that the hired manpower has the technical competence to perform tasks as prescribed.. (Patrick.J. Montana, 2000)

Decentralized vs. centralized design

In a decentralized organization, information sharing is widespread to the lowest level of management while the opposite is true in a centralized. The advantage of this structure is that it’s flexible and responsive to changes. However care should be taken to ensure that activities are not duplicated.. (McNamara.c, 2007)

A decentralized organization has a motivation element in that managers feel they can decide on their own and therefore have some sense of pride. This will increase the performance as opposed to centralized structures. (K. STATE RESEARCH AND EXTENSION, 2002)

A centralized structure also has the element of ease of control. When a firm spreads its branches and reporting relationships it becomes difficult to manage as is the case in decentralization. (McNamara.c, 2007)

Centralization also ensures that activities of the firm are uniformly executed. This will create informality in all sectors of the firm and help create a culture by which a firm can be identified. (Patrick.J. Montana, 2000)

Division of labor

This structure improves decision-making, in all levels of the organization.

It also provides accountability for performance. Every single manager will be accountable for his departmental performance. This can help to identify the origin of mistakes in case there is one. This structure is also significant in coordinating firm activities and operations. (Mind tools, 2007)

Delegation and empowerment


Delegation: This refers to a process where a senior employee in an organization transfers whole or part of the authority to an employee below him/her in order to achieve certain specific organizational objectives. (Delegation of authority, 1999)

Empowerment: refers to a responsibility arising as a result of occupying a position in an organization. An obligation that is owed as a result of making certain managerial decisions. (Delegation of authority, 1999)

Why delegation is considered important in an organization


However superb a person is in an organization he/she needs help. In some instances, the work may be too much to be carried out by one single person. In this case it is important that part of the responsibility is transferred to another employee. (K.STATE RESEARCH AND EXTENSION 2002)

Training needs

Delegation provides a manager with a crucial opportunity to identify the training needs of an employee. If for example, a person is not able to perform the tasks delegated to him by his senior due to limited knowledge or little experience then this is investigated and necessary steps are taken. (McNamara, C 2007)


Some employees feel more recognized when occupying certain positions in an organization, carrying out certain tasks while making important decisions. This will act as a morale booster and hence high performance may be recorded. (Mind Tools 2007)

Career advancement and growth

When a challenging task is delegated to an employee, it may sharpen his talents and provide him with an opportunity to advance even further. This is important in the line of personal initiative and growth. (Patrick J. Montana 2000)

Factors to consider when delegating


When delegating managers should remember that they are not simply passing the back to their juniors. It is advisable that they keep in touch while monitoring closely to ensure that they retain the sole responsibility. (PDH engineer 2008)

Relevant authority

When a manager is delegating, care and consideration should be taken in order to ensure that relevant task is delegated to the right employee. This is to avoid conflict incase an employee does not have the relevant competencies required for that job. At the same time very sensitive decisions should never be delegated to the lower level employees as this is the responsibility of the manager. (People factor 2009)


There should be enough time for the delegated duty to be performed. If this is not done then there will be no result achieved. (People factor 2009)

Opportunity for growth

A manager should ensure that the work delegated is challenging enough to bolster up the employees relevant skills, knowledge, and experience. If this is not done then there will be no effective delegation achieved.. (Patrick J. Montana 2000)


When delegating a task care should be taken to ensure that an employee is not overloaded. An overload will cause stress. Continued stress and depression will demoralize employees and lead to poor performance and hence portray a picture of a bad management style. (McNamara, C 2007)

Why some managers are unwilling to delegate

It’s not uncommon to find managers in most organizations unwilling to transfer part of their authority to juniors. This is a universal phenomenon. It’s argued that some managers feel that their juniors might outperform them in these duties. Once this happens then their possibility of being shown the doors become eminent.. (Delegation of authority, 1999)

Another thought is that some managers do not trust their employees and therefore makes it very tricky to delegate some matters requiring strategic thinking. (McNamara, C 2007)


Delegation is a vital component of management. Employees hold different positions in an organization. Maximum consideration should be taken when an effective delegation is to be achieved, the management should put in mind that as they delegate the sole responsibility is their‘s and when things go wrong they should themselves remain answerable. (People factor 2009)

Work cited

Delegation of authority, 1999. Web.

K.STATE RESEARCH AND EXTENSION, Choose Life Balance: Delegating Spreads Responsibility in Household Workload, 2002. Web.

McNamara, C. Management Function of Organizing: Overview of Methods. 2007. Web.

McNamara, C. Introduction to Management. 2007. Web.

Mind Tools. Successful Delegation: How, When and Why. 2007. Web.

Patrick J. Montana, Bruce H. Charnoy. Management, 3rd ed. Illustrated: Barron’s Educational Series, 2000.

PDH engineer, Continuing Education for Engineers. 2008. Web.

People factor, Maximizing people potential. 2009. Web.

Summers, J. and Nowicki, M.” Delegation and monkeys: who’s in charge?” Healthcare Financial Management 60 (6), 2006. P114.

Vicas, Effective delegation 2006. Web.

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