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Quality Instruments for Defining Authority

Kees Ahaus (Senior Consultant working with the Quality Management Project Group TNO (PGB), The Netherlands.)
Hen van de Water (Associate Professor in the Organization of Information Group, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.)

Training for Quality

ISSN: 0968-4875

Article publication date: 1 April 1994



Defining authority is a topic of current interest in quality management. The problem of insuffient definitions of authority appears in different forms: overlap in authority, a hiatus in the division of authority, insufficient balance between responsibility and authority, etc. Defines the concepts of structure, hierarchy, responsibility and authority. Describes managerial method to define authority: the TRA‐session (TRA = task, responsibility and authority). The TRA‐session is a method where, at a team meeting, the authority divisions for over 200 responsibility areas are discussed. For each responsibility area it is indicated who is/are authorized to take decisions and who is/are authorized to give advice. In the TRA‐session management is encouraged to delegate authority. Gives an illustration to show what the authority division concerning product development could look like.



Ahaus, K. and van de Water, H. (1994), "Quality Instruments for Defining Authority", Training for Quality, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 14-22.




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