There is a wide variation in the authority assigned to committees and thus the nature of the committee also varies. The following discussion will make it clear.
Nature of committee
Committees are a fact of modern organizational life. They are used in almost all types of organizations-government, non-government, autonomous, and so forth. They are operating in education institutions, industrial organizations, and in purely commercial enterprises.
In a university or in a bank, for example, there may be dozens of standing and/or special committees either to share in administration or advise the administration on policy.
A board of directors of a company is also a committee, as are its various constituent groups such as the executive committee, the finance committee; the salary and wages review committee, the grievance committee, the planning committee, and numerous other standing and special committees.
Variety of functions and formalities of committees
A committee may be with or without managerial functions. Some committees may make decisions while others may receive information only. Some of them may have line authority (as the board of directors or the syndicate) while others only staff authority (as the bonus committee or the pension committee).
Committees may also be informal or formal. A committee, formed without specific delegation of authority usually by a top-level executive desiring group thinking on a particular problem, maybe termed an informal committee.
On the other hand, if a committee is organized as part of the organization structure, with specifically delegated duties and authority, it is a formal committee.
Committees may also be temporary or relatively permanent. When a committee is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded immediately upon the completion of its task, such as an inquiry committee, it may be called temporary.
But when some committees are assigned tasks to continue for a longer period, such as the finance committee, they are relatively permanent.
Different roles of committee members
Members play certain roles in committees. Some try to encourage others to contribute, others follow. Some give information, others seek information.
Some take an aggressive role, while others try to coordinate the group’s efforts or negotiate a compromise in the event of disagreements.
Related Content of Committees: