Delegation may be of the following types:
1. General or Specific Delegation. In general delegation, the subordinate is granted
authority to perform all the functions in his department or division. However, the
subordinate exercises this authority under the overall guidance and control of the
Under specific delegation, a person is given authority regarding specific function or functions. For example, a sales person may be given the authority to collect payments from debtors. Thus, specific delegation is functional in nature. Specific delegation is precise and the subordinate clearly understands what he is expected to do. But it may create inflexibility in the organisation.
2. Formal or Informal Delegation. When authority is delegated as per the
organisation structure, it is called formal delegation. Such delegation is effective
because it leaves no option to the subordinate but to obey the commands of the
superior. For example, a sales person may be granted authority to grant discount
upto 5 per cent on the list price to customers buying goods worth Rs. 5,000 or
Informal delegation takes place when an individual or a group agrees to work under the direction of an informal leader. Need for informal delegation arises due to procedural delays and red tape. When people want to short circuit the formal procedures so as to perform the task quickly, they resort to informal delegation.
3. Written or Oral Delegation. Delegation made by written orders and instructions is known as written delegation. Unwritten or oral delegation is based in custom and conventions.
4. Downward and Sideward Delegation. Downward delegation occurs when a superior assigns duties and grants authority to his immediate subordinate. This is the most common type of delegation.
Sideward delegation takes place when a subordinate assigns some of his duties and authority to another subordinate of the same rank