Difference between Authority and Power

Authority Vs Power:

Most of the people are confused between authority and power. Authority and power are quite different from each other. The word power means the ability or potential of a person to influence others around him and control or direct their actions. Whereas on the other hand Authority is formal and legal right to give orders and commands and take major decisions.

Authority vs power


Authority refers to the right to exercise power, which is usually formalized by the state and exercised by way of judges, executive of government. A governing body is referred to as authority. In the government Authority and Power are used interchangeably. But their meaning are quite different. Power can be only used to influenced others while in authority one give a complete order to fulfill the job.


Some people that power comes through external sources and authority while other think that power is the inside ability of the person but the real definition of power is that power means influence. Influence increases when we offer more support to others in their job. Being powerful means giving more support to others instead of take support from others. Authority means to give order but power means to give help to others and helping them completing their job.

Main difference between Authority and Power:

The following are some of the major differences between Authority and Power.

  • Authority means control delegated to an individual and group whereas power means control which allows influence on others.
  • Authority is commonly technical and static whereas on the other hand power is flexible and dynamic.
  • Authority in the organization or any other form is positional whereas power is usually diffusive.
  • Authority in simple words means to give orders whereas on the other hand power means to influence the actions of others.

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