Decentralisation is an optional policy. Explain why an organisation would choose to be decentralised.

Decentralisation refers to the dispersal of the decision making power among the middle and lower level managers. It is an optional policy as it depends on the organisation how much power the top level management wants to delegate to the lower levels. An organisation may choose to be centralised or decentralised depending on the objectives and the decisions of the top level managers. Following are a few factors that explain why an organisation would choose to be decentralised.

(i) Initiative: Decentralisation allows a sense of freedom to the lower managerial levels as it lets them take their own decisions. It gives them a higher degree of autonomy to take initiative. Moreover, it promotes a feeling of self-confidence and self-reliance among them. When the power is delegated to lower level managers, they learn to face new challenges and find solutions for the problems themselves. This helps in spotting those potential managers who can take the needed initiative.

(ii) Managerial Competence: Once the authority is delegated to the managers at lower levels, it provides them the needed opportunity to develop themselves. It provides them with the opportunity to gain experience and thereby, develop the skills and knowledge to face new challenges. Decentralisation gives them a chance to prove their talent and get ready for higher positions. It also helps in pre-identification of the future managers who are well-equipped with the necessary talent required to deal with managerial problems.

(iii) Control: Decentralisation helps in evaluating the performance of the organisation in a better manner. Decentralisation helps in analysing and evaluating the performances of each department separately. Thus, the extent of achievement of each department and their contribution to the overall objectives of the organisation can be easily can be easily evaluated.

(iv) Active Decision Making: Since through decentralisation, the authority of making decisions is passed on to lower levels of management, decisions are taken quickly and timely. This is because the decision can be taken at the nearest points of action which thereby, helps in easy adjudication of the problems.

(v) Growth: Managerial efficiency is developed to a large extent with the help of decentralisation. Decentralisation results in greater authority to the lower level managers. It promotes competition among the managers of various departments. In a race to outperform each other, they give their best shot and thereby, increase the overall productivity and efficiency. The organisation gains from the increased overall performance and thereby, grows.

(vi) Reduced Workload of Top Managers: Delegation of authority provides freedom to top level managers. It helps them in shifting the workload to their subordinates and gives them time to concentrate on more important and higher priority work such as policy decisions. Moreover, direct supervision by the top level management is decreased, as the subordinates are given the rights to take the decisions by their own.

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