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A structure or organization established for a certain purpose with the legitimacy to carry out said purpose. In a business context, certain organizations have authority to police, and, if necessary, punish certain business activities. For example, the SEC has authority to regulate any and all business transactions occurring in the United States. These organizations derive their authority from the ruling government and international conventions.


A government organization created to perform a certain function. A state or region, for example, may establish a public power authority to provide low-cost electricity to people living in a certain geographical area. The activities of an authority and its fundraising methods are ordinarily limited.


the capacity to give commands which are accepted as legitimate by others. In the modern ORGANIZATION the manager's authority to give instructions to subordinates is drawn primarily from his formal position as a manager, and the set of rights and obligations formally associated with the post, rather than from the manager's individual leadership qualities. However, both sources of authority can be important. Managers whose personal standing with their subordinates is low may find that their authority is not fully accepted. Equally, some managers claim that they are given insufficient powers to exercise their authority fully.

Modern analysis of authority relationships owes much to German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920). He discerned three forms of authority:

  1. traditional authority, where people obey those who occupy religious or monarchical positions;
  2. charismatic authority, where people obey those who have special inspirational personal qualities;
  3. rational-legal authority, where individuals obey laws or rules which have been devised as a result of the application of reason to achieve certain objectives.

In Weber's view the last is the distinctive form of authority in modern industrial societies, and is exemplified in the workings of the modern ORGANIZATION or BUREAUCRACY.

References in periodicals archive ?
An enterprise administrator can designate local and global groups as Organizational Units to provide trusted users with precisely defined administrative authority over OUs.
In setting up the new independent administrative authority, the ANVS, we will consider many of the findings from the self-evaluation, but above all we will take on board your recommendations and suggestions, he said.
This is a reconstruction of the 10 gas boilers in school buildings and administrative authority.
The PPP contract may allow companies to operate the project, provide the service or the product to the Administrative Authority which will, in turn, provide the both to the end beneficiaries or consumers.
Right now, President Obama has the administrative authority to put an end to these self-imposed trade restrictions.
Nicosia walled city could easily be turned into a "free zone" with controlled access from the both sides and local, public-private partnership oriented, internationally supported and bi-communal initiated administrative authority.
According to LDA Act 1975, no administrative authority like Tehsil and district administration except LDA is authorised to give permission to any private housing society.
Administrative authority immediately suspended from duty, all three senior, junior officers and Senior Director Mumtaz Haider as inquiry officer, tasked to submit final departmental investigation report within 15 days in order to take further disciplinary legal action.
Commenting on the lawsuits, a lawyer and legal adviser said that whoever is responsible, whether they are officials, individuals or an administrative authority should be held to account for failing to provide the necessary safety measures.
The Parties may exchange any information that is relevant to the assessment and collection of tax, and the recovery and enforcement of tax claims, and the prosecution before an administrative authority or the initiation of prosecution before a judicial body.
The chief of the region of Menabe, who is first local administrative authority in this area, led a massive delegation, and is currently on road to Belo Sur Tsiribihina to inspect the situation," it stressed.
Salalah : The Port of Salalah last week conducted the elections of the company's Union Administrative Authority (U) and the registration of General Assembly (union) members.

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