Centralization is said to be a process where the concentration of decision making is in a few hands. All the important decision and actions at the lower level, all subjects and actions at the lower level are subject to the approval of top management. According to Allen, Centralization is the systematic and consistent reservation of authority at central points in the organization. The implication of centralization can be :-
Under centralization, the important and key decisions are taken by the top management and the other levels are into implementations as per the directions of top level. For example, in a business concern, the father & son being the owners decide about the important matters and all the rest of functions
|like product, finance, marketing, personnel, are carried out by the department heads and they have to act as per instruction and orders of the two people. Therefore in this case, decision making power remain in the hands of father & son.|
The degree of centralization and decentralization will depend upon the amount of authority delegated to the lowest level. According to Allen, Decentralization refers to the systematic effort to delegate to the lowest level of authority except that which can be controlled and exercised at central points.
Decentralization is not the same as delegation. In fact, decentralization is all extension of delegation. Decentralization pattern is wider is scope and the authorities are diffused to the lowest most level of management. Delegation of authority is a complete process and takes place from one person to another. While decentralization is complete only when fullest possible delegation has taken place. For example, the general manager of a company is responsible for receiving the leave application for the whole of the concern. The general manager delegates this work to the personnel manager who is now responsible for receiving the leave applicants. In this situation delegation of authority has taken place. On the other hand, on the request of the personnel manager, if the general manager delegates this power to all the departmental heads at all level, in this situation decentralization has taken place. There is a saying that Everything that increasing the role of subordinates is decentralization and that decreases the role is centralization. Decentralization is wider in scope and the subordinates responsibility increase in this case. On the other hand, in delegation the managers remain answerable even for the acts of subordinates to their superiors.
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