From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

COLLEGIALITY (Latin collegialis – collective) – organisational principle in a decision-making process by collective bodies; collegial – based on cooperation of a group of persons, a team; collective, team. Collective decision making is also related to the responsibility for the decisions. It is generally assumed that decisions made in a collegial process are better than those made by a single person. In Roman Republic, col. was a common practice in a form of appointing at least two persons for every position (it always was an even number), e.g., Senate members – two people acting from one office was believed to ensure the mutual control, prevent frauds and corruption. The reason for this way of acting was a simultaneous division of power and responsibility in order to prevent domination of a single person and to assure the effectiveness and rightness of the decisions. Col. as an organisational rule is present in public authority institutions (government – board of ministers, local government – the county board, the voivodship board), at universities (senate, department board), business (management boards), and non-governmental organisations. Col. in the decision-making process has an indubitable advantage which is the opportunity to use a bigger amount of information and broader knowledge since the members of collegial bodies differ in knowledge and professional experience and have diverse opinions on the subject at hand. That is why it is believed that they can identify and assess more solutions than one person. In public administration, two types of col. can be distinguished: structural and functional. The former relates to organisation (of many people) of deciding bodies. The latter relates to the way public administration bodies operate, consisting in making decisions in a group, usually by majority vote [ M. Kaczorowska ].

Literature: C. Gallagher, Collegiality in the East and the West in the First millennium. A Study Based on the Canonical Collections, „The Jurist” 2004, no. 64 ■ R. Griffin, Podstawy zarządzania organizacjami, Warszawa 2004. Originally published as Fundamentals of management. ■ S. Robbins, Zasady zachowania w organizacji, Poznań 2001. Originally published as Organisational behaviour.