Managers help give organizations form and substance through their use of authority. One way managers give form and substance to organizations is by allocating authority, which is the right to give commands, take action, and make decisions to achieve organizational objectives. This can be done through the chain of command, a vertical line of authority in an organization that clearly states who reports to whom. Managers can exercise their authority directly by completing tasks themselves, or they can use their authority indirectly by delegating their authority to someone else. Authority in an organization can also be direct, in the case of line authority, or indirect, as it is with staff authority. Authority can also be centralized or decentralized. This course discusses how organizational authority is distributed and used within a company.