What Is Organizational Authority?

Organizational authority refers to the hierarchy in a company from top level management to entry level employees. Members of the organizational authority include line, staff and functional authority. Levels of management that make up organizational authority include operation level, middle level and top level management.

The types of organizational authority can have an impact on a company’s productivity and cohesiveness between employees and members of management. Authorities within the organization often establish clear roles with the line authority directing employees how to serve the company’s objectives, delegating tasks and establishing policies and procedures.

Staff authority typically features managers and employees with expertise in the field who offer consulting advice and justification for management decisions and policies. Functional authority managers often serve as inspectors who work alongside employees. These managers inspect procedures, the final result of products and services and employee engagement with consumers.

Line, staff and functional authorities are typically members of the operational management team within the hierarchy of the company. These individuals work on the front line and have direct interaction with employees, whereas top level management, including chief executive officers and administrators, do not. Middle level managers filter messages from top level management to operational level management and vice versa. They also serve as the middle man when disseminating results, procedures and policies.