What Is Staff Authority in Management Hierarchy?

What is staff authority in management? Position power is derived from your rank or title within the company.

If you’re a manager, for example, you have position power over your subordinates. This type of authority can be used to influence others to comply with your requests or directives.

Expert power is based on knowledge or expertise. If you’re considered an expert in your field, you may have this type of authority over others who don’t share your level of expertise. You can use this power to persuade others to accept your recommendations or follow your advice.

Let’s define what is staff authority in management and learn the different types in an office setting.

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What Is Staff Authority in Management?

In management, staff authority is the authority of a manager to delegate tasks and make decisions on behalf of their team or department. This type of authority is usually granted by an organization’s hierarchy or organizational chart.

It is important to note that staff authority does not give a manager the ability to override the decisions of their superiors.

There are four different types of staff authority in management. The type of staff authority that a manager has depends on the type of business they are in and the size of their team.

The four main types of staff authority are functional, line, matrix, and project.

Functional authority is when a manager has the authority to direct the work of their team and make decisions about how the work will be done. This type of authority is typically seen in small businesses.

Line authority is when a manager has the authority to direct the work of their team and make decisions about the work, but they report to someone else. This type of authority is typically seen in larger businesses.

Matrix authority is when a manager has the authority to direct the work of their team, but they share that authority with another manager. This type of authority is typically seen in businesses that have multiple teams working on different projects.

Project authority is when a manager has the authority to direct the work of their team and make decisions about the work, but they only have that authority for the duration of the project. This type of authority is typically seen in businesses that have projects that are not part of the day-to-day operations.

No matter what type of staff authority a manager has, it is important for them to use that authority to motivate their team and help them reach their goals.

Key Takeaway: A manager’s authority depends on the type of business they are in and the size of their team.

When and How to Delegate Staff Authority

One of the most difficult things for managers and leaders to do is delegate authority to their staff. It can be tempting to try to do everything yourself, but this is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy.

Delegating authority to your staff shows that you trust them and believe in their abilities. It also allows you to focus on your own responsibilities and goals.

The best approach will vary depending on the situation and the people involved. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you make the decision.

First, consider whether the task can be reasonably completed by someone on your staff. If it’s something that only you can do, then delegation is not an option. However, if there are others who could reasonably complete the task, then delegate the task.

Second, think about whether delegating the task will help your staff member grow and develop their skills. If the answer is yes, then delegation is a good option. Not only will you be freeing up your own time, but you’ll also be helping your staff member to develop their skills.

Finally, consider the workload of your staff member. If they are already stretched thin, then delegating the task may not be the best option. However, if they have the capacity to take on additional work, then delegation may be the best option.

Key Takeaway: Delegating authority to staff can help managers free up their time and help staff members grow their skills.

Building Trust With Your Team Through Staff Authority

We all know that trust is important in any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional. And, of course, trust is essential in a good manager-employee relationship.

After all, if you can’t trust your team, how can you expect them to trust you?

One of the most important things a manager can do to build trust with their team is to use staff authority effectively.

Staff authority is the legitimate power that a manager has over their employees. This includes the ability to give orders, make decisions, and hold employees accountable.

While staff authority is important, it’s also crucial to use it in a way that builds trust rather than breaks.

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Here are a few tips for using staff authority effectively.

Be clear about expectations: When you’re clear about what you expect from your team, they’re more likely to trust you and feel comfortable working with you. If you’re vague or constantly changing your mind, it’ll be harder for them to trust you.

Be consistent: Inconsistency can breed mistrust. If you’re constantly changing your mind or going back on your word, your team will have a hard time trusting you.

Be fair: Fairness is essential in building trust. If you’re playing favorites or treating your team members unfairly, it’ll be hard for them to trust you.

Be respectful: Respect is a two-way street. If you want your team to respect you, you need to respect them. This includes their opinions, ideas, and feelings.

Building trust with your team is essential to a successful and productive workplace. By using staff authority effectively, you can build trust and create a positive and healthy work environment.

Key Takeaway: Use staff authority effectively to build trust with your team.

How to Regain Lost or Misplaced Staff Authority

Leadership and management are two completely different skill sets. A leader is someone who can inspire and motivate people to achieve a common goal, while a manager is someone who can efficiently organize and coordinate resources to achieve that goal.

A manager may be a leader, but a leader doesn’t necessarily have to be a manager. However, in order to be an effective leader, you need to have some authority over the people you’re leading.

This is where the concept of staff authority comes in.

Staff authority is the legal and/or organizational power that a manager or leader has over their subordinates. It gives them the ability to make decisions, delegate tasks, and hold people accountable.

Without staff authority, a leader is just someone with good ideas. They may be able to convince people to follow them, but they won’t be able to actually get anything done.

There are a few different ways to regain lost or misplaced staff authority.

First, you can try to appeal to the person or people who have authority over you. This could be your boss, your company’s CEO, or even the board of directors. If you can convince them that you’re the best person for the job, they may be willing to give you the authority you need.

Second, you can try to build a case for why you need more authority. This could involve putting together a presentation or writing a report that outlines the benefits of giving you more responsibility.

Third, you can try to take matters into your own hands and assume more authority. This is generally not advisable, as it could lead to conflict with your superiors. However, if you’re confident in your abilities and you’re sure that you can handle the responsibility, it may be worth a try.

No matter what method you choose, regaining lost or misplaced staff authority can be a challenge. However, it’s important to remember that you won’t be able to achieve your goals without it.

Key Takeaway: In order to be an effective leader, you need staff authority to make decisions and give orders.

FAQs About What Is Staff Authority in Management

What is line and staff authority in management?

The power of decision-making is one type of line authority and reflects a superior-subordinate relationship.

Staff authority refers to the right to advise how to improve the productivity of your employees.

Why is staff authority important?

The hierarchy of the organization allows everyone to understand their path and career goals. By understanding the different positions available, your employees can figure out which roles they want to pursue.

What is the basis of staff authority?

Staff authority only comes with recognition and advice, not commands, when presenting ideas and information. However, these proposals must first be approved by your supervisor before they become official.

What is staff authority in management principles and business ethics?

The authority and power of a manager is the correct way of controlling his/her team, making commands, and getting them to comply with his/her decisions. Further, it is the right of the manager to make choices and act or refrain based on his or her perception of the objectives of the organization.


As a manager, it’s important to understand what is staff authority in management so you can delegate tasks effectively. Position power and expert power are two common types of staff authority.

By understanding when and how to use each type of authority, you can build trust with your team and create a more cohesive work environment.

If you’re looking to become a better manager or leader, Promotable.org has the resources you need. We offer workshops, webinars, and other services that can help you hone your skills and improve your performance. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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