Authority in the Public Services - Essay

2048 Words Jan 20th, 2013 9 Pages
Authority in the public services

Authority means the right or power to enforce rules or give orders. To do this they need legislations to enforce their laws, to function properly the uniformed pubic services need to have legislations.
The extent of authority relates to the limit of control held by an individual or organisation. The limit of control is governed by the job description of the role, as well as the jurisdiction, with authority coming either from statute or company policy.
An example would be Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons who has the authority under the Ministry of Justice to inspect and report to the Government on the treatment and conditions for all prisoners in England and Wales. The authority of the
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* Referent power – we do what we are asked because we can identify with the source of influence; we may be attracted to them or respect them.

Position
When we talk about someone being in a position of authority we usually mean that they hold a certain rank or status within society or within an organisation such as the public services. There are several ways in which a person could find himself or herself in a position of authority. For example, a priest has the authority of the church while a mother or father has parental authority over children. In the uniformed public services, positions of authority come with promotion. An officer may be promoted because of certain achievements and special attributes, such as experience in the service, good character, knowledge of the job, dedication, self-discipline and the respect of one’s colleagues. If you join the uniformed public services and are placed in a position of authority, you may lawfully command team members, who recognise your authority and their duty to obey those legitimate commands. When authority is legitimate, there is no need to influence or use power. Indeed, if a senior officer were unable to gain the respect of a team member by command alone, then there would be no recognisable authority.
For someone to be placed in a position of authority they should have power and