# Power vs. Authority

Main Difference

Both concepts are different but are related to each other. Power is the capability to influence the behavior of others or sometimes events also. While authority is related to a person or an organization to giving orders and to make certain decisions as the power is given to them. When a person is able to influence the activities, actions, and beliefs of others then we say that he or she has power and this can be termed as personal power which is usually achieved by the personality or by the knowledge. The examples can be of a lawyer, programmer, doctor, etc. while authority in an organization or outside the organization is given to the managers and people to the work done through others in a constructive way, as that person has the decision making authority. Moreover, the concept of authority is vertical, it flows downwards which means that it is delegated from the top management to bottom. As a whole power is a wider concept than authority and the flow of power, unlike authority, can be I any direction as there is not a limit set. Even the subordinates contain power over their seniors. Additionally with respect to management power can be informal but authority is usually formal. Likewise, power has many types which include referent power, which is related to personality power and personal power. Expert power is linked with the knowledge, with the level of expertise one has. Legitimate power which describes the position power of a person or the official power one attains. Reward power is linked with the rewards as the name suggests, people motivate the followers by giving them a reward which can be in any form. And coercive powers which is a strict form of power where the person gives punishment or sometimes even pose a threat. Power and authority both can be used in a positive as well as negative form but it depends on person to person that how is he or she utilizing it. Mostly the wrong use of power and authority results in a disaster that brings no good results for both parties. So they should be implemented in a way that their delegation is done constructively and the most positive results are obtained.

## Difference Between Power and Authority

#### Power vs. Authority

Power is seen in a person through his personality; authority is seen by the post.

#### Power vs. Authority

Power is not horizontal, vertical but it can be seen in any direction but authority is vertical.

#### Power vs. Authority

Authority can be measured by the level of management but power can be measured by the personality of a person and the level of expertise.

#### Power vs. Authority

The nature of power is informal; the authority has a formal nature.

#### Power vs. Authority

Power has 5 main types but authority varies.

#### Powernoun

(social) Ability to coerce, influence or control.

#### Authoritynoun

(uncountable) The power to enforce rules or give orders.

I have the authority to penalise the staff in my department, but not the authority to sack them.She lost all her respect and authority after turning up drunk to the meeting.Respect my authority!

#### Powernoun

(countable) Ability to affect or influence.

#### Authoritynoun

(used in singular or plural form) Persons in command; specifically, government.

#### Powernoun

Control or coercion, particularly legal or political (jurisdiction).

#### Authoritynoun

(countable) A person accepted as a source of reliable information on a subject.

the world's foremost authority on orangutans

#### Powernoun

(metonymy) (chiefly in the plural) The people in charge of legal or political power, the government.

#### Authoritynoun

Government-owned agency which runs a revenue-generating activity.

New York Port Authority

#### Powernoun

(metonymy) An influential nation, company, or other such body.

#### Authoritynoun

the power or right to give orders or make decisions;

he has the authority to issue warrantsdeputies are given authorization to make arrests

Effectiveness.

#### Authoritynoun

(usually plural) persons who exercise (administrative) control over others;

the authorities have issued a curfew

#### Powernoun

Physical force or strength.

He needed a lot of power to hit the ball out of the stadium.

#### Authoritynoun

an expert whose views are taken as definitive;

he is an authority on corporate law

#### Powernoun

Electricity or a supply of electricity.

After the pylons collapsed, this town was without power for a few days.

#### Authoritynoun

freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities;

his assurance in his superiority did not make him popularafter that failure he lost his confidenceshe spoke with authority

#### Powernoun

A measure of the rate of doing work or transferring energy.

#### Authoritynoun

the Central Intelligence Agencythe Census BureauOffice of Management and BudgetTennessee Valley Authority

#### Powernoun

The strength by which a lens or mirror magnifies an optical image.

We need a microscope with higher power.

#### Authoritynoun

official permission or approval;

authority for the program was renewed several times

#### Powernoun

Any of the elementary forms or parts of machines: three primary (the lever, inclined plane, and pulley) and three secondary (the wheel-and-axle, wedge, and screw).

the mechanical powers

#### Authoritynoun

an authoritative written work;

this book is the final authority on the life of Milton

(mathematics)

#### Powernoun

A product of equal factors (and generalizations of this notion): $x^n$, read as "$x$ to the power of $n$" or the like, is called a power and denotes the product $x \times x \times \cdots \times x$, where $x$ appears $n$ times in the product; $x$ is called the base and $n$ the exponent.

#### Powernoun

(set theory) Cardinality.

#### Powernoun

(statistics) The probability that a statistical test will reject the null hypothesis when the alternative hypothesis is true.

#### Powernoun

In Christian angelology, an intermediate level of angels, ranked above archangels, but exact position varies by classification scheme.

#### Powerverb

(transitive) To provide power for (a mechanical or electronic device).

#### Powerverb

(transitive) To hit or kick something forcefully.

#### Powerverb

To enable or provide the impetus for.

Impressive.

#### Powernoun

possession of controlling influence;

the deterrent power of nuclear weaponsthe power of his love saved herhis powerfulness was concealed by a gentle facade

#### Powernoun

(physics) the rate of doing work; measured in watts (= joules/second)

#### Powernoun

possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done;

danger heightened his powers of discrimination

#### Powernoun

a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world

#### Powernoun

(of a government or government official) holding an office means being in power;

being in office already gives a candidate a great advantageduring his first year in officeduring his first year in powerthe power of the president

#### Powernoun

one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority;

the mysterious presence of an evil powermay the force be with youthe forces of evil

#### Powernoun

physical strength

#### Powernoun

a mathematical notation indicating the number of times a quantity is multiplied by itself

#### Powernoun

a very wealthy or powerful businessman;

an oil baron

#### Powerverb

supply the force or power for the functioning of;

The gasoline powers the engines

## Comparison Chart

 Power Authority Possession of controlling influence The power or right to give orders or make decisions Scope Power is seen in a person through his personality Authority is seen by the post Measurement Can be measured by the personality of a person and the level of expertise. Can be measured by the level of management Nature Informal Formal

### Definition of Power

The ability to influence the behaviors of others is called power. Power has no limits and can be asserted by any person whether he or she is superior or an inferior. Additionally, power has many types which include legitimate power, coercive power, reward power, expert power, and referent power. All of these powers describe different forms of powers used by the people whether they are in an organization are not. Most people associate power with their interest, as a result, they make the use of power in a negative way which is completely wrong. Having power does not mean that you can do whatever you want to with it. Likewise, power can be enhanced through networking and has other types too like personal power which a person develops with time, position power which a person enjoys when he has a certain post. If a person does not reside personal power it can be developed in many ways because it’s not that if a person does not have it he can’t achieve or learn it.

### Definition of Authority

When we talk about the authority we mean that the person has decision making power, as a result, they are able to give orders. Examples of authority can be many but usually, it is referred to as formal. In an organization, the flow of authority is usually from top to bottom (vertical) instead of horizontal. And it mostly depends on the level of management that if the level is higher they have more authority and if they are at the bottom level then definitely they consist of low authority. So it depends on the level of post one has. Having authority over certain people does not mean that you are allowed to do whatever you want because there are certain limits provided.

Conclusion

Although if you look at the two terms there is an obvious idea that they are very different from each other. Though they relate to each other at different levels, which is another discussion. This article has covered all the main points which will help anyone in getting the idea of how they are different from each other and how they combine.