Economics

Difference between authority and power/examples

Both are concepts that are often used similarly in everyday speech but actually differ from each other. To know the difference between authority and power, it is important to first know what each of these concepts refers to.

When speaking of power, it refers to the ability of 1 person or a group of people to influence third parties, whether in decision-making, issuing opinions or leading others to perform certain actions .

For its part, authority is nothing more than the right available to a person or a group of people who occupy a certain job position to achieve better compliance with regulations, leading to the protection of people against decisions or actions.

There are various types of powers and authorities, which can be classified as:

Power

Coercive power:

  • It is that type of power that is exercised from threat and fear.
Reward Power:

  • It is a type of power that is exercised through an exchange.
Power of legitimacy:

  • It is the power that is acquired after being designated to exercise it.
Expert Power:

  • It is the power that a person or group of people acquires by having a certain skill and experience in an area, giving them the possibility of influencing others.
Referrer power:

  • It is that power that is exercised from a group that share common interests.
Informational power:

  • It is the power to influence the thinking and acting of other people through the management of information.

Authority: 

Formal authority:

  • It is that authority that is exercised as a consequence of occupying a position of power.
Operational authority:

  • It is that authority that is exercised directly over acts, that is, that power to authorize certain actions or not.
Authority by acceptance:

  • That authority that is obtained due to the choice of other people.

As can be deduced from the previous definitions, the main difference between authority and power lies in the fact that power consists of a capacity, while authority is a skill, that is, power can be acquired while authority must be developed.

Examples of the difference between authority and power.

  1. In the administrative sphere, regardless of the difference between authority and power, both concepts are considered important elements that play a central role in maintaining order and fulfilling social and business responsibilities .
  2. The main difference between authority and power is that power refers to a capacity, whereas authority refers to a skill.
  3. There are various classifications with which to easily identify the difference between authority and power.

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