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Decentralization is the systematic effort to delegate to the lowest levels all authority except that which can be exercised at central points. It is the pushing down of authority and power of decision-making to the lower levels of organization. The center of decision-making is dispersed throughout the organization. However, the essence of decentralization is the transference of authority from a higher level to a lower level. Decentralization, in recent years, has come to be accepted as a golden calf of management philosophy. It has come to be associated as a fundamental principle of democratic management where each individual is respected for his inherent worth, and constitution. As pointed out earlier, absolute centralization (where there is no room for subordinates) or absolute decentralization (where there is no coordinated, organized activity) is fictitious in practice; it is a matter of degree along a continuum. Generally speaking, decentralization is said to be greater:

  • ¬†When more decisions are made at lower levels.
  • When more important decisions are made at lower levels.
  • When more functions are affected by decisions made at lower levels.
  • When the checking on the decisions made at lower levels is minimal.