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17 Types of Authority

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Authority is a power or right to make decisions, direct, control and command. It is typically confined to a particular sphere, organization, situation and context. The following are common types of authority.

Bureaucratic Authority

Power to enforce a predefined set of rules, regulations and procedures.

Charismatic Authority

Influence gained by someone with a charismatic personality who is admired, respected or feared.

Coercive Authority

Power obtained by negative reinforcement such as the threat of force.

Delegated Authority

Temporary authority that is granted to achieve a particular task or function.

Expert Authority

The authority of experts in a particular field that is gained through recognition by other experts. For example, research citations are considered a mark of authority in a particular field.

Formal Authority

Authority based on legal status or position within an organization.

Governing Bodies

An organization or team that has authority over another organization or team. Often used as a system of checks and balances whereby a governance body provides oversight of a management or administrative hierarchy.

Individual Sovereignty

An individual's right to freedom. Many political questions come down to balancing state and individual sovereignty.

Informal Authority

The observation that social influence resembles authority as it creates the power to make decisions, direct and control.

Legal Authority

Authority that extends from the legal system of a sovereign state.

Petty Authority

The use of authority to justify unreasonable, unfriendly, cruel or arrogant behavior. In some cases, small levels of authority can dramatically change an individual's behavior in negative ways.

Political Authority

Decision making authority that is associated with elected government officials and the executive management team of organizations.

Popular Sovereignty

The right of a state to govern a nation by the consent of its people.

Positional Authority

Authority derived from an individual's position within a hierarchy.

Public Authority

An administrative body with a mandate to enforce a set of regulations or administer resources.

Totalitarianism

A state that recognizes no limits to its power.

Traditional Authority

Authority that derives from historical practices as opposed to a rational argument.

Authority

This is the complete list of articles we have written about authority.
Accountability Measures
Authoritarianism
Bosses
Centralization
Delegated Authority
Formal Authority
Informal Authority
Leadership
Management
Management Authority
Mandate
Negative Selection
Petty Authority
Power Imbalance
Public Authority
Reporting Lines
Words For Authority
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Formal Authority

The basic types of formal authority.

Authoritarian Leadership

The definition of authoritarian leadership with examples.

Appeal To Authority

The definition of appeal to authority with examples.

Democracy

The defining characteristics of a democracy.

Authoritarianism

The definition of authoritarianism with examples.

Boss

A list of common types of boss.

Elite

The definition of an elite with examples.

Social Power

The definition of social power with examples.

Direct Report vs Indirect Report

The difference between a report and indirect report.

Reporting Lines

The common types of reporting line with examples.

Organizational Structure

Common types of organizational structure.

CEO

The common types of CEO.

Structure

The definition of structure with examples.

Structure Opposite

A list of antonyms of structure.

Organization Design

The definition of organization design with examples.

Organizational Values

An overview of organizational value with examples.

Organizations

An overview of organizations with examples.

Work Organization

An overview of work organization with examples.
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