I. Organizational Decentralization
Rationale of Decentralization
The term decentralization is often used in business environments and can be defined as the organizational severance and division of power, capital, and technical procedures and control into multiple units of the business.1 Decentralized corporations make it possible for managers to control without ownership. 4 In decentralized organizations, the breakdown is that the president of each unit of a business is on his or her own management-wise. The president of each unit is provided a board of directors and a financial budget from the parent company, but is allowed to run the company with no hindrance as long as financial goals are met. 2 Decentralization is seen as an issue of power as opposed to centralized units, where the chief executives keep as much power to themselves as possible and delegate as little power as possible to lower-level management. Many believe that decentralization is an organization's form of freedom, which opens the gate to perception and leads to advancement. 1 There are some experts that believe decentralization brings greater awareness and sensitivity to individual and community needs as well. With decentralization, there is also the idea of prevention of overload and clogging of communication channels, causing lengthy holdups within the structure. 5 Studies show that employees that are happy in their work environment and enjoy their career, are likely to have increased job performance. Decentralized organizations provide the freedom for employees to enjoy their work.3 Many prefer decentralization over centralization due to the former's style of focusing on an aspect called the "human factor". This refers to employees in organizations making decisions based on insight and observation along with statistical data. Centralized companies tend to depend a great deal on statistical data, computer program findings, and past events alone.2 Instead, decentralized components are associated by bonds of shared business dealings and interdependence, familiar tasks of service, and a common supply and foundation of support. 1
Companies must ensure that their long-term prospects can fall in line with a program of decentralization. Set guidelines of what activities will be handled by headquarters and which will be handled by business units, must also be established.5 As discussed earlier, there must be individual divisions of the parent company, run by individuals, separate from the parent company. The parent company's main purpose is to be a finance provider to each business unit. Company decisions are made by managers that experience happenings of the unit on a day-to-day basis, instead of by headquarter's top management. There must also be an ongoing effort to maintain unit flexibility for emergency situations or making sudden and valuable decisions. 2 For decentralization to exist, a corporation must be prepared to assign control and not just accountability. There must be several capable managers involved in decision making, because it results in long-term achievement. 1 The parent company must have an assured level of faith in the progress of its decentralized units. Any and all reservations must be removed in reference to the capability of the unit president to run a division competently. For each unit to prosper, its course and goals of advancement must be clearly defined. They must be able to answer questions such as "What will be our position in the community among other related businesses?" 2 There also needs to be a want of products or services from consumers, and in response, the capability to satisfy those wants. To accomplish this need, decentralization condenses the lines of communication and enhances directness with customers. 1 A considerable degree of dispersion, or quantity of geographic setting, of organizational units in decentralization is also important. For example, if three receptionists are five feet...
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