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line and staff authority

In many organizations, managers use authority by dividing it into line authority, staff authority and functional authority.

Line and staff authority and relationship- A “line function” is one that directly advances an organization in its core work. This always includes production and sales, and sometimes also marketing. A “staff function” supports the organization with specialized advisory and support functions. For example, human resources, accounting, public relations and the legal department are generally considered to be staff functions. Both terms originated in the military.