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Authority in management is the formal or legitimate authority specified in a character that gives a project manager the authority to act in the name of the sponsoring executive or on behalf on the organization.
There are different types of authority:
- Positional authority: refers to the project manager's authority enforced through the project charter.
- Coercive authority (also referred as penalty authority): refers to motivating staff by punishment and is predicated on fear of losing status, positions, bonuses or jobs.
- Expert authority: is earned if the team respects one's skills as a project manager or subject-matter expert.
- Referent authority: refers to the ability to influence others through charisma, personality, and charm.
- Reward authority: refers to positive reinforcement and the ability to award something of value.
- Grabbing Project Management Authority – Building from Scratch Thomas Cutting, October 3, 2008