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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 ?
Another autonomous administrative authority that has been awarded an investigative power by the lawmaker in order to ensure a fair and transparent competitive environment is the Competition Board (art.
The Library Bill of Rights does not displace the lawful administrative authority of a public body charged with making library policy.
Islamabad -- The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce in its meeting has asked Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to empower its board and give the members of the board financial as well as administrative authority.
There were a series of opinions regarding the term of 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.
According to the new law, the court will have "exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate finally on a recourse made to it on a complaint that a decision, an act or omission of any organ, authority or person, exercising any executive or administrative authority is contrary to any of the provisions of this constitution or of any law or is made in excess or in abuse of powers vested in such organ or authority or person.
He approved naming the Social Development Ministry as a specialised administrative authority in charge of societies, accommodation places, expat cultural and social clubs and those created by private sector firms and establishments and the setting up of a high-tech lab for fish farming in co-operation with China.
Referring to the views raised about the administrative contract, within the doctrine, it represents the willing agreement with bilateral or multilateral character, between an administrative authority and one or more natural or legal persons seeking to achieve a general interest and aiming for public interest activities that can cover either the provision of a public service or the execution of public works, enhancing a public or private property of the state or territorial administrative units, public procurements.
The French bill plans to create a high administrative authority to combat illegal downloading.
While the banking agencies' extraordinary administrative powers over insured financial institutions, with their lessened due process rights, are justified by the need to safeguard the deposit insurance fund, subjecting non-insured entities to that administrative authority was recognized as counterproductive and unfair by Congress in 1989 when it established the current administrative liability standards.
Eliminating a complex, subjective anti-abuse statutory rule in favor of relying on judicial and administrative authority to determine the economic substance of transactions is a substantial improvement to A.
In states where the voluntary disclosure program is not statutory but is administered by the Departments of Revenue (DORs) under their general administrative authority, a taxpayer can gain familiarity with the voluntary disclosure program by reading all administrative pronouncements available.

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