Antecedents and consequences of delegation



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Although organizational behavior researchers have long been interested in subordinate involvement in decision making, little empirical investigation has focused on delegation as a means of increasing subordinate involvement and autonomy. Instead, researchers have concentrated on subordinate participation in decision making (RDM) and have examined delegation primarily as a subset of RDM. This research treated delegation as an alternate method of involving subordinates in organizational decision making that is substantively different from RDM. It was argued that delegation differs from participation, both in theory and in implementation. The research addressed three primary questions: (I) Why do some managers delegate more than others? (2) What distinctions do managers make among subordinates in delegating varying degrees of decision authority? and (3) Under what circumstances is delegation an effective decision-making process? Drawing on literature from leadership and decision making, it was hypothesized that delegation is a function of leader perceptions and personality characteristics as well as task and situational factors. In addition, characteristics of subordinates were proposed to moderate the relationship between delegation and subordinate performance and satisfaction. [...]



Delegation of authority