All types of businesses follow a customized management system, which helps them streamline daily operations and administrative procedures. Businesses often try to implement a centralized or decentralized organizational structure model, which helps establish a standard management protocol. This choice is made based on the company’s structure, staff size, product line, market share of the organization, etc.
When it comes to administering business operations, both centralized and decentralized models have benefits and drawbacks. Here In this article, we will try to have an overview of both centralized and decentralized structures by making a comparison of the benefits and shortfalls of each.
Centralized structure in operations
The centralized structure relies on the top-down model of business decision-making. One person or a core executive team approves all the key decisions. These decisions are then communicated down to various levels. The line managers further carry out the directives and rely on the challenges from employees to the supervisors.
A centralized management model is used at best in the organizations to optimize the manufacturing strategy and also by reducing the operations costs. The concept of centralization will also encourage effective collaboration between different departments and help streamline the ideal practices by coordinating with external and internal stakeholders and vendors. This is ideally the most traditional structure of legendary businesses, which you may still find to be so in many traditional businesses and small businesses.
Decentralized business structure
The decentralization approach involves further delegating the decision-making among various inter-departmental teams and employees. The individuals at the lower level can also take decisions and then report them to the upper management. With this approach, many new-age firms and emerging industries employ decentralized organizational culture as it becomes easier to move the employees to various roles and responsibilities.
A decentralized structure is ideal for companies that quickly respond to market demands and customer needs. They can also make quicker decisions to change or upgrade the product line to enjoy the first to market advantage. This is a very successful approach in localized markets. A decentralized operational structure is also ideal for empowering the employees to present new ideas and increase career growth opportunities. It can also offer a more relaxed commanding model. A decentralized structure will also be ideal as an alternative mechanism which you can see in many companies and businesses of all sizes and industries. You may also try to build a solid backend business database for informed decision-making, which RemoteDBA.com can support.
Centralized vs. decentralized organizations structures
In order to identify which organizational model will work the best for your business, you need to compare these and identify the key features of each. Let us compare the key features of centralized vs. decentralized management models here.
Speed of decision making
Small businesses can benefit from the consolidation of power through the centralized model, which helps to expedite decision-making. However, a centralized organizational structure may sometimes also obstruct the suggestions of others like that of the managers while making a key decision. However, when it comes to effective decision-making, the centralized model is highly effective if there is a dedicated profit model like the grocery stores, etc.
Decentralization is ideal for the bigger firms which have a wider regional or multinational coverage. It will be better if you are a business that offers a wide range of products or services, which need dedicated experts from various industries to manufacture, market, and sell the offerings. The bigger businesses which are pioneers in modern-day industries tend to be more decentralized as the scope of production output is high.
Creating standardized internal metrics
When you devise the performance metrics internally, it is so easy to create a standard format in the centralized approach. A top-down management approach will let you consolidate the communications, making reporting standards. There is only minimal opportunity for deviation, and the success metrics can be really set straightforward. It is also much beneficial to centralize the organizational structure with this approach.
Decentralized systems will let the individual departments and teams decide their unique reporting methods, which will make things easier for the businesses offering disparate products. To avoid confusion in terms of performance results, decentralization will enable better communication between executives and managers, which will further help answer reporting questions. The latest industries benefit largely from the decentralized approach as it is helpful to build more adaptable metrics for performance.
Suppose you are a kind of business for which it is ideal for building direct customer relationships. In that case, it can be easily done with the decentralized approach as there may not be many restrictions in terms of outreach and communication with this model. The ability to optimize the social media channel to its fullest capacities is the prominent feature of decentralization. It will let the businesses interact with many geographic areas with minimal effort. It will also enable online customer support through social media or email, which can be performed with well-structured conduct guidelines.
A centralized approach usually has some policies about the public interactions, which will allow better control over the set brand image. Companies in different industries like baby products etc., need to communicate effectively with the public through a solid PR team. For any complaints, they should have in-house support with thorough knowledge of the products and experience as opposed to automated support.
Deployment of talents
Any business needs to deploy talents strategically to drive growth. The companies with a centralized approach usually maintain a structured system to allocate the work duties. Older firms used to have some specialized application to train employees and ensure that there was someone always working on the associated tasks. The growing companies which are can also highly benefit from the centralized approach as it can predicate a functional onboarding process.
On the other hand, decentralized companies tend to assign and re-assign the work on an ad-hoc basis. The roles and responsibilities tend to change regularly, so it becomes easier for the admins to allocate work as needed. Allowing the employees to swap between various roles will also help to reduce burnout and turnover.
So, both centralized and decentralized business structures have benefits and drawbacks, but a benefit for a particular use case may be a shortfall for some other business. So, you need to thoroughly evaluate different aspects of these administration models to identify which suits the best to your need.