Authority is defined as the power to make decisions that guide the actions of others. The difference between power and authority lies in the claim to legitimacy—the justification and the right to exercise that power. Thus, authority is legitimized power. Legitimacy arises from the normative belief by an actor that a rule, an institution, or a decision ought to be obeyed. Authority involves a relationship between a leader and a subordinate, and it refers to the acceptance by a subordinate of the decisions of the leader, not the power of the leader to apply sanctions in case of noncompliance by subordinates.

In societies, organizations, and most domains of personal life, decisions are made by some people and actions guided by these decisions are carried out by ...

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