Meaning of AUTHORITY

Meaning of AUTHORITY:

Following Max Weber, many sociologists have argued that authority is the legitimate power which one person or a group holds over another. The element of legitimacy is vital to this understanding of authority and is the main means by which authority is distinguished from the more general concept of power. Power can be exerted by the use of force or violence. Authority, by contrast, depends on the acceptance by subordinates of the right of those above them to give them orders or directives.