The professional like engineers have obligations to respect their employees’ legitimate authority. An authority offers a way for identifying the areas of personal responsibility and accountability.
In order to avoid the problems in the institutional authority. Expert authority is the possession of special knowledge, skill, or competence to perform some takes or to give sound advice. For example, doctors are authorities on health matters, civil engineers are authorities on structures and aesthetics of building, lawyers are authorities in law matters and computer professionals are the authorities on software, hardware, etc.
The name for expert authority is “authority for leadership” since it involves the expertise the effectively direct others. In most of the cases, engineers will have expert authority in matters related to the technology, while institutional authority will be held by line managers who look after the day-to-day activities of the organization.
It refers to the authority within the organization. For instance, accounts manager is authorized with some limitations to sanction financial commitments within his institution. If the authority is given to the qualified personnel, the goals of the organization will be met easily.
Authority versus power:
Ineffective persons cannot command power if they lack leadership, they cannot inspire, and motivate employees, even if authorized to do so. In other words, people who are effective may acquire great power or influence – power goes well beyond the authority of position held. Charismatic leaders often have influence outside their domains of authority and highly respected engineers of proven integrity may have power an organization exceeding their explicitly institutions rights.
Morally Justified authority:
The engineers may have the institutional duty to obey the employer to do morally unjustified issues. So, institutional rights and duties cannot be applied in the same sense with rights and duties that are morally justified.
The institutional authority is morally justified, only when the goals of the institution are morally permissible or morally desirable and the manner in which it is exercised does not violate other moral duties.
Employees mostly accept the guidance and obey their employer, seldom disobey on moral grounds. Each employee of an organization has something called as “zone acceptance” that shows their interest to accept their employees authority. Most of the times, employees expand their zone of acceptance without looking into whether the authority demands moral acts or not. This reveals that the employees lack moral integrity. Hence, the employer’s directives are to be evaluated carefully by the employees in order to have justifications before going ahead to accept the directive.
Thus, engineering professionals should weigh their obligation to the public, their employees, their colleagues, and others when conflicts between such obligations arise. A simple, exception less ordering of priorities is not always possible.