Instruction (Germany)

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In organizations ( companies and public administration ), the right to issue instructions or to issue orders is the right to dictate to other bodies , authorities or legal entities which actions are to be taken and which are to be omitted .


A right to give instructions results from a legal or contractual superordinate and subordinate relationship, according to which the instructing or instructing person may give the recipient of instructions clear and legally compliant instructions. The authority of the employer has a right to issue known. Within a group , the parent company has the right to issue orders to its subsidiaries under stock corporation law . The public administration is empowered by public law to issue instructions in the context of administrative acts or notices . Each superordinate administrative body is authorized to issue instructions to the subordinate administrative body. Instructions are vertical communication on the designated channels , which can be made orally or in writing. Not all employment relationships are subject to the authority to issue instructions. Freelance journalists and cameramen are subject to e.g. B. not the authority to issue instructions, otherwise they are not allowed to work as a freelancer.


There are labor law, group law, administrative law and military authority to issue orders:

Content and scope

The content of instructions must be clear and legally compliant. It is unambiguous if instructions give the instruction recipient clear, non-interpretable instructions for action, whereby only the permitted or non-permitted activities may be listed. The instruction itself and its consequences must be consistent with the applicable legal system . The limits of the instruction are generally formed by the principle of good faith and the ban on harassment , especially the legality of its issuing and its content.


Numerous laws also show the consequences of not following clear instructions. Failure to comply with an instruction from the employer represents a refusal to work due to the existing follow-up obligation and - after a previous unsuccessful warning - can be the reason for dismissal ( termination of the employment relationship ). The civil service law sees failure to comply with an instruction as an administrative offense . According to Section 308 (2) AktG, the management board of the dependent company is obliged to follow instructions given to it. If this does not happen, the management board of the controlling company can sue the dependent company. Non-compliance is even a legal obligation in those cases if the instructions obviously do not serve the interests of the group and are disadvantageous.

Individual evidence

  1. Rolf Bühner: Betriebswirtschaftliche Organizationslehre , 2004, p. 65.
  2. Jens Kuhlmann / Erik Anis: Corporate and Transformation Law , 2010, Rn. 594.
  3. ^ Sven Timmerbeil: Outline of corporate and transformation law , 2012, p. 19.
  4. BVerfG, decision of December 5, 2002, Az. 2 BvL 5/98, full text = BVerfGE 107, 59 .
  5. Carl Creifelds , Creifelds Legal Dictionary , 2000, p. 1558.
  6. Central Service Regulations (ZDv) 1/50, Basic Terms for Military Organization - Subordination - Official Instructions , No. 305
  7. Central Service Regulations (ZDv) 1/50, Basic Terms for Military Organization - Subordination - Official Instructions , No. 311