Station Commanders

Last Updated: 28 Jan 2021
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As a manager discuss what you would expect to be the results of a mismatch between delegated authority and responsibility. The hallmark of good manager is effective delegation. Delegation is when a manager gives responsibility and authority to subordinates to complete a task. Effective delegation involves achieving the correct balance between effective controls of work and allowing people to complete their work in their own way.

Ultimately, developing people who are more fulfilled and productive, managers too become more fulfilled and productive themselves as they learn to count on their staff, which frees up more of their time to attend to more important issues. "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. " (1) Theodore Roosevelt. "I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow. " (2) Woodrow Wilson . Delegating tasks and responsibility is a vital component of management.

The primary reason most managers delegate is to decrease their workload, which enables them to focus on other tasks and responsibilities. Other reasons to delegate include improved staff satisfaction, better ability to get an increased amount of work done, and faster career growth for the manager and the employee who completes the project. Not only does the manager's workload decrease, but his staff members also have the opportunity to advance. When delegation is effective, the entire team and the business itself can succeed.

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Effective delegation can save managers time in the end, but initially it takes time for planning what should be delegated, selecting and training competent staff. It is not a shortcut to avoid responsibility; ultimate accountability rests with the top manager, regardless of who performs the work. It is impractical for a manager to handle all the work of a department directly. In order to meet the organisation's goals, they must focus on objectives, and ensure that all work is accomplished; therefore, a manager must delegate authority. By extension, this power is delegated and used in the name of the manager.

The delegation should be publicised so that co-workers and managers in other departments are aware of the new authority that the employee has received. The employee is empowered to act for the manager, while the manager remains accountable for the outcome. Delegation of authority is a person-to-person relationship requiring trust and commitment between the manager and the employee. Equally important to authority is the idea that when an employee is given responsibility for a job, he or she must also be given the degree of authority necessary to carry it out.

Thus, for effective delegation, the authority granted to an employee must equal the assigned responsibility. Upon accepting the delegated task, the employee has incurred an obligation to perform the assigned work and to utilise the granted authority. Responsibility is the obligation to do assigned tasks. The individual employee is responsible for being proficient at his or her job. The manager is responsible for what employees do or fail to do, as well as for the resources under their control. Thus, responsibility is an integral part of a manager's authority. The term 'responsibility' is not synonymous with accountability.

One who is authorised to act or who exercises authority is responsible. An individual who exercises power while acting in the discharge of managerial functions is responsible for the proper exercise of the power or duties assigned. A person exercising supervisory authority is responsible, and hence accountable, for the manner in which that authority has been exercised. A manager who delegates authority is also responsible, and hence accountable, not for the form of direct supervision that a manager is expected to exercise but, rather, for control over the delegate and, ultimately, for the actual acts performed by the delegate.

The act of delegation to another does not relieve the responsible official of the duty to account. While one can delegate the authority to act, one cannot thereby delegate one's assigned responsibility in relation to the proper performance of such acts. Mismatch between authority and responsibility. Wherever confusion and conflicts arise about the level of authority and related responsibility, a number of problems can arise for a manager. It may not be possible for managers to fulfil their responsibilities because they have insufficient authority to take decisions or effect required changes.

This situation can then lead to problems of morale and de-motivation, because they feel unable to do their job in an effective way. In contrast, there may be a situation where too much authority has been delegated. In such cases, it is possible for managers to exceed their responsibilities. This usually means that someone else will suffer the consequences of the manager's actions. Credibility can be an issue wherever confusion between delegated authority and responsibility exists.

A manager could lose face in situations such as bargaining or negotiation when he/she is unable to substantiate any agreements, or has to continually refer back to a higher authority for approvals. An important part of any manager's role is that of delegation to their subordinates. If managers do not have the level of authority to carry out their own responsibilities, it is unlikely that they will be able to delegate authority to their own staff. Working examples of a mismatch between delegated authority and responsibility have been found whilst investigating the management practices of Humberside Fire & Rescue Service.

The responsibility for recruitment and personnel welfare is delegated to Station Commanders (managers), but Central Headquarters retains authority for hiring, firing, and promotion of staff. Another example of a mismatch is where Station Commanders are responsible for Home Fire Safety Assessments and the installation of smoke detectors, the scheme is not centrally funded and the Station Commanders have no revenue-raising authority with which to buy the equipment necessary to complete the job.

One more variant arises when Central Headquarters assigns additional responsibilities to the Station Commanders, but provides no additional resources (unfunded mandates). A general mismatch between authority and responsibility is frequently found in relation to revenue-raising/spending and personnel decisions. 2a What do you think motivates a person to work well? Westerman and Donoghue refer to motivation as "... a set of processes which energize a person's behaviour and direct him or her towards attaining some goal, or put more simply getting people to do willingly and well those things which have to be done.

"(3) From Maslow's Theory of Motivation to our days, pages and pages about human motivation have been written. Behavioural scientists, psychologists, and business people, have searched to understand what makes people do what they do. Organisations are constantly looking at different ways by which they can "motivate" employees, improve workforce morale and create better work environments. The fact is that motivation is not a small topic, often the results of individuals and teams relate to their motivation.

Any individual can produce different results, depending on the degree of motivation he/she has when performing a task, project or activity. Motivating people to work well is a very complex issue. Many managers believe that the only reason people go to work is for the money; it is true that money does play some part in motivating people; however, contemporary research highlights significant other reasons, which motivate people at work. Decades of research and dozens of studies show repeatedly that while money can be a de-motivator, it is rarely a good motivator.

Money always shows up as fourth or fifth on any list of motivational factors. Pay gets people to show up for work. However, pay doesn't get many to excel. More important is interesting, challenging, or meaningful work, recognition and appreciation, a sense of accomplishment, growth opportunities, and the like. However, the big problem is that managers have consistently listed money as the number one factor that they think motivates people. Therefore, they keep fiddling with pay, bonus, and financial incentives in a futile attempt to find the elusive combination that will motivate people to higher performance.

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Station Commanders. (2018, Sep 22). Retrieved from

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