is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. However the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. Delegation empowers a subordinate to make decisions, i.e. it is a shift of decision-making authority from one organizational level to a lower one. Delegation, if properly done, is not abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...
. The opposite of effective delegation is micromanagement
In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of her or his subordinates or employees...
, where a manager provides too much input, direction, and review of delegated work. In general, delegation is good and can save money and time, help in building skills, and motivate people. Poor delegation, on the other hand, might cause frustration, and confusion to all the involved parties.
Delegation in IT network
If a computer user temporarily hand over his authorizations to another user then this process is called delegation.-Types of Delegation in IT network:There are essentially two classes of delegation.# Delegation at Authentication/Identity Level...
is also an evolving field.
Also see Context aware delegation
Use of contextual information of a delegatee to mitigate this violation, which helps to achieve a higher level of practical security in nomadic environments used by nomadic user ....
Independent Central Banks and Non Majoritarian Institutions
One of the most important areas where delegation theories have been applied has been in the debate over the merits of Independent Central Banks (ICBs) such as the Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...
or the European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is the institution of the European Union that administers the monetary policy of the 17 EU Eurozone member states. It is thus one of the world's most important central banks. The bank was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1998, and is headquartered in Frankfurt,...
. This debate has corresponded to the theories of credible commitments and can be understood as a solution to problems posed by the two democratic pressure problems mentioned above where monetary policy
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest for the purpose of promoting economic growth and stability. The official goals usually include relatively stable prices and low unemployment...
is concerned. Those in favour of the creation of ICBs have primarily focused on interest rates and have argued that democratic pressures tend to have an inflationary effect as governments will often be tempted to advocate lower interest rates immediately prior to an election so as to manufacture short term booms in the economy and boost their support - but to the detriment of long term economic health. A variant of this argument is that as most democracies incorporate two main parties split on economic policy between left and right, the party of the left winning power will often result in damaging inflation raising policies immediately after the election in an effort to distance itself from the previous government. A solution to these problems has naturally been sought in the creation of an independent institution which can decide interest rates outside of the influence of democratic pressures - the ICB.
This argument has been highly influential and the number of ICBs has risen dramatically since the 1980s however it is not without its critics. Many scholars (for instance Kathleen Mcnamara) have questioned the premises of the ICB argument, making the case that democratic pressures will not result in high inflation and that high inflation is not inherently bad for the economy long term. Broadly speaking the empirical evidence on these points has tended to be inconclusive for both sides. An alternative criticism has come from certain branches of New institutionalism
New institutionalism or neoinstitutionalism is a theory that focuses on developing a sociological view of institutions--the way they interact and the way they affect society...
who have sought to explain the increase in ICBs not by the 'rational' argument outlined above, but as a process of symbolism, where governments will create ICBs because they are seen to be respectable institutions by other actors, particularly by foreign investors who, it is argued, will view a country with an ICB as a modern state worthy of investment.
The European Union
Delegation theories have also been applied extensively in studies of the European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...
. The dominant approach has undoubtedly been the principal-agent approach, but there have also been variations from the classic form by intergovernmentalist approaches and the fiduciary
model laid out by Giandomenico Majone
Giandomenico Majone is an Italian academic notable in particular for his work on the European Union . The majority of his work in this field has been concerned with theories of delegation and their impact on the perceived democratic deficit in the European Union.-Education:Majone studied at the...
Andrew Moravcsik is a Professor of Politics and director of the European Union Program at Princeton University. He is known for his research on European integration, international organizations, human rights, and American and European foreign policy, for developing the theory of liberal...
is perhaps the most prominent intergovernmentalist theorist who has written on delegation and his work can essentially be thought of as applying the principal-agent model in a manner which stresses minimal agency loss. The model is not a simple principal-agent model however, as he conceives of the EU as delegation on three levels. Firstly there is the delegation from European electorates to national governments (who in this sense act as agents), secondly there is the delegation from national governments (who now act as principals) to European institutions such as the European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....
. Moravcsik has been particularly interested in the informational asymmetries which arise from delegation in the European Union and has argued that whilst there is minimal agency loss between the national governments and the European institutions, the national governments gain significant informational advantages over European electorates which allow them to carry out policies at home which they would not be able to do in the absence of the European Union. In this sense the delegation process strengthens the national governments rather than weakening them (as is traditionally assumed where the European Union is concerned). This has nevertheless been seen as inconsistent by some scholars (for instance Mark Pollack) who take issue with the assertion that informational advantages only allow national governments to gain freedom from European electorates and that the same principle applies with European institutions gaining an advantage over their principals through informational asymmetries.
In contrast Giandomenico Majone has formulated a theory of delegation which stresses the importance of credibility problems in the decision to delegate to European institutions. Not only is this explained as a mechanism to ensure member states comply with treaty obligations, but employing similar logic as that used in the ICB debates he makes a defence against democratic deficit
A democratic deficit is considered to be occurring when ostensibly democratic organizations or institutions are seen to be falling short of fulfilling the principles of the parliamentary democracy in their practices or operation where representative and linked parliamentary integrity becomes...
arguments which advocate a directly elected European Commission. Much in the same way as in the ICB debate democratic pressures are seen as impacting negatively on what is a primarily regulatory institution and as such for Majone the Commission should be insulated from democratic pressures if it is to fulfil its functions effectively.
Delegation in Spain
A delegation (of Latin deputatione) is, in a broad sense, a body of deputies of an assembly (persons to which the assembly delegates
its authority) and its respective activities. In Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...
, the term is used in a stricter sense in order to designate the administration of some provinces on behalf of the central authority, be it the King or, in modern times, a democratically elected Parliament.
The delegations (in Aragonese
Aragonese is a Romance language now spoken in a number of local varieties by between 10,000 and 30,000 people over the valleys of the Aragón River, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza in Aragon, Spain...
, in Catalan
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...
, in Basque
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...
and in Galician
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...
) have territorial character and their function is to manage the economic and administrative interests of the provinces. In the Canary islands the functions of the delegations are exerted by each island's town halls (delegaciones insulares
), and in the Balearic islands insular councils (in Catalan consells insulars
The history of the delegations traces back to 1812 with the enactment of the Constitution of Cadiz, the first democratic Constitution in Spain, having had different roles over the centuries, such as tight control from central government during the Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...
The members of the delegations are elected in an indirect way, by computing the total result of local elections in each province. However, the members of the town halls and insular councils always have been chosen in direct election, in elections separated from the autonomic
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...
or joint with the autonomic elections in the Balearic islands, until the Statute of Autonomy reform in 2007.
The three Basque delegations (and previously also the Delegation of Navarre) are known with the name delegaciones forales
, since these four territories still preserve their fueros or Medieval privileges. The Delegación foral
is an executive branch that depends on the General Meetings (the legislative). The General Meetings are the parliaments of each historical territory whose members (junteros
or solicitors) are chosen by popular voting, expressed during local elections.