Difference Between Power and Authority

Power and authority are closely related terms, which is why they are often confused and used interchangeably by people who are unaware that they do not mean the same thing. Difference Between Power and Authority

If you have doubts about it or want to know a little more about the difference between authority and power, then continue reading, because we will explain it to you below.

POWER  Difference Between Power and Authority

Power consists of the ability to maintain the authority to manage or rule over a specific function, someone or a group; that is, whoever has power has the supreme authority over something.

It is a term commonly related to the political, institutional and business context. It is common to observe that in these three aforementioned contexts there is always someone or some who are in charge of maintaining all order, subjecting most of the citizens or personnel under their control. For example, a judge or magistrate has the “power” to make a legal decision about any criminal act.

It is said that maintaining power over something or someone is not easy, since it is a fluctuating factor that can vanish at any moment if due attention is not paid; therefore, it is understood why it is defined as the maintenance of authority.


On the other hand, authority is the right to exercise power over something or someone and is designated to an individual or group with the objective of achieving certain goals in an organization.

Whoever exercises authority in a place defines the limits and the actions that those under it must take in order to ensure the success or progress of a project.

If we go to the social context, more specifically of a nation, we observe that the services related to authorities are services that involve a lot of responsibility; Therefore, those who occupy the positions as authorities are supposed to be people with a great deal of knowledge and experience in their fields.

Finally, power is the use or manipulation of authoritarian rights ; it is the ability to control, while authority is the right to exercise that control. For example, a president can be considered very powerful; however, this does not mean that you have the authority to implement actions according to your wishes.

Authority is possessed or earned through hard work or experience, while power is force applicable during any regiment within a social or business organization.

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