Can a large sized organisation be totally centralised or decentralised? Give your opinion.

No, any organisation cannot work smoothly if it is either completely centralised or completely decentralised. Rather a balance is required between the two.

Centralisation refers to a situation where the decision making power is concentrated only in the hands of the top level management. Herein, only the top level managers are authorised to take the needed decisions. All the functions related to policy making, planning and controlling are curtailed to the top level management. In contrast to this, decentralisation refers to a situation where the decision making power is delegated to the lower level managers. Herein, the power of taking actions and deciding the policies is distributed at different levels.

An organisation cannot function either with extreme centralisation or with extreme decentralisation. As an organisation grows in size, it cannot maintain complete centralization. Rather, a need arises to move towards decentralisation. For a smooth functioning, the individuals involved in the actual work must have certain degree of authority and responsibility. With decentralisation, the overall management of the work becomes more efficient. It allows for better control of the work at each level of hierarchy. Moreover, as the organisation grows in size, decentralisation would facilitate quick decision making. This is because in a decentralised system the decision making power is near the point of actual work. Thereby, the delay in work is avoided.

However, an organisation cannot also follow extreme decentralisation. If all the decision making power is delegated to the lower level managers, then it may harm the harmony of the organisation. It is possible that lower level managers at each department mould the rules and policies according to their own convenience and thereby, diverge from the organisational goals. Thus, certain degree of authority and control must be retained at the top level management so as to maintain integrity of the organisation.

Hence, we can say that a large sized organisation cannot be totally centralised or totally decentralised, rather it must maintain a balance between the two.

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