Authority exists when the exercise of power is accepted without overt or covert application of force or inducement. It is a relationship between two individuals in which the decisions of one guide the actions of the other. It is a relationship where one person is made to command and the other to obey the actions of the other as criteria for action or behaviour.
Types of Authority
Max Weber distinguishes three types of authority as follows:
(a) Traditional Authority:
This type rest on the sanctity of the traditions and customs of the people and the right of the people endowed by such traditions and customs to give command and leadership. It is hereditary in nature.
(b) Charismatic Authority:
This type of authority rests primarily on the recognition of and devotion to the special qualities of a leader by his followers and their preparedness and willingness to follow him.
(c) Legal-Rational Authority:
This type of authority stems from the political office the individual holds, whose duties are conducted in a legal and constitutional manner.