Determinants of delegation and consultation by managers

Gary Yukl, Ping Ping Fu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


Few studies have identified determinants of delegation and consultation. To investigate this question further, we surveyed managers and subordinates in two samples and interviewed managers individually or in focus groups. The use of delegation and consultation with individual subordinates was determined in part by characteristics of the subordinates and the manager-subordinate relationship. More delegation was used for a subordinate who was competent, shared the leader's task objectives, had worked longer for the manager, was a supervisor also, and had a favorable exchange relationship with the manager. Consultation with a subordinate was predicted by goal congruence, subordinate job level, and quality of the leader-member exchange relationship. The managers acknowledged that developing subordinates and empowering them to do their work were important reasons for delegation, but many managers were reluctant to give up control over important decisions or assign an important task to an inexperienced subordinate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-232
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology (all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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