What is the difference between Power and Authority?

Following are the differences between Power and Authority:


  1. Right to do something.
  2. Derived from organizational position
  3. Always flow downward can be
  4. Legitimate – resides in the position.
  5. Narrow term – one source or subset of power.
  6. Visible from organizational chart. It is institutional power.


  1. Ability to do something.
  2. Derived from many sources personal, institutional.
  3. Flows in all directions-cannot be delegated.
  4. May be illegitimate or extra constitutional.
  5. Broad concept – can achieve results when authority fails
  6. Not visible from organizational chart.

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