Centralization and Decentralization Friday, Dec 19 2008 

The terms Centralization and Decentralization describe the general degree to which delegation exists in the company.

Decentralizing an Organization:

 

The appropriate degree of decentralization for an organization depends on the unique situation of that organization.

 

Relevant Questions will be:

 

  1. What is the present size of the organization?
  2. Where are the Organization’s customers located?
  3. How homogeneous is the organization’s product line?
  4. Where are the Organizational Suppliers?
  5. Is there a need for quick decisions in the Organization?
  6. Is creativity a desirable feature of the Organization?

 

SIZE:

 

The larger the organization, the more the chance that decentralization will be advantageous. Delegation is an effective means for helping managers manage their increasing workload in big organizations.

 

But in some cases, the Organization may be too large and decentralized.

 

If the proportionate manpower costs are very high, then that organization may actually benefited by centralization of some of the aspects of the organization.

 

 

CUSTOMER LOCATIONS:

 

The more physically separated the organization’s customers are, the more viable a significant amount of decentralization is. This is less valid in the ecommerce business but most other cases, it makes complete sense.

 

 

HOMOGENEOUS PRODUCT LINE:

 

Generally, as the product line becomes more heterogeneous, or diversified, the appropriateness of decentralization increases.

 

 

SUPPLIER LOCATION:

 

Decentralization of some functions becomes a requirement, in case of high geographic diversity in the suppliers.

 

 

 

 

QUICK DECISION MAKING:

 

If speedy decision making is essential, then decentralization of the relevant functions can be critical.

 

 

CREATIVITY:

 

Decentralization generally fosters creativity.

Advertisements

Obstacles in the Delegation Process Friday, Dec 19 2008 

Obstacles that can make delegation within an organization difficult or even impossible can be classified into 3 general categories:

 

  1. Obstacles related to the Supervisor
  2. Obstacles related to Subordinates
  3. Obstacles related to Organizations

 

Obstacles related to the Supervisor:

 

A supervisor who resists delegating his authority to subordinates because he cannot bear to part with any authority.

 

Two other supervisor related obstacles are the fear that the subordinates will not do a job well and the suspicion that surrendering some authority may be seen as a sign of weakness.

 

If supervisors are insecure in their jobs or believe certain activities are extremely important to their personal success, they may find it hard to put the performance of these activities into the hands of the others.

 

Obstacles related to Subordinates:

 

Subordinates may be reluctant to accept delegated authority because they are afraid of failing, lack self confidence, or feel the supervisor doesn’t have the confidence in them.

These obstacles will be especially apparent in subordinates who have never before used delegated authority.

 

Other subordinate related obstacles are the fear that the supervisor will be unavailable for guidance when needed and the reluctance to exercise authority that may complicate comfortable working relationships.

 

Obstacles related to the Delegation Process:

 

In organizations, where few job activities and little authority have been delegated in the past, an attempt to initiate the delegation process may make employees reluctant and apprehensive, for the supervisor would be introducing a significant change in procedure and change is often strongly resisted.

 

 

 

ELIMINATING OBSTACLES IN THE DELEGATION PROCESS:

 

 

Advantages of Delegation are:

 

  1. Enhanced Employee Confidence
  2. Improved Subordinate Involvement and Interest
  3. More free time for the supervisor to accomplish tasks
  4. Assistance from subordinates in completing tasks the manager simply wouldn’t have time for otherwise.

 

What can managers do to eliminate obstacles to the delegation process?

 

Firstly uncover the obstacles to delegation.

 

Then taking actions to eliminate these obstacles with the understanding that they may be deeply ingrained and therefore required much time and effort to overcome.

 

Among the most effective management actions that can be taken to eliminates obstacles to delegation are building subordinate confidence in the use of delegated authority on established working relationships, and helping delegates cope  with problems whenever necessary.

 

MANAGERIAL CHARCTERISITICS REQUIRED:

 

  • Willingness to consider the ideas of others seriously
  • The insight to allow subordinates the free rein necessary to carry out their responsibilities,
  • Trust on abilities of subordinates
  • The wisdom to allow people to learn from their mistakes without suffering unreasonable price for making them.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY & DELEGATION Friday, Dec 19 2008 

Accountability refers to the management philosophy whereby individuals are held liable, or accountable, for how well they use their authority and live up to their responsibility of performing predetermined activities.

The concept of accountability implies that if an individual does not perform predetermined activities, some type of penalty, or punishment is justifiable.

The punishment theme of accountability has been summed by one company executive ” Individuals who do not perform well simply will not be around too long.

The accountability concept also implies that some kind of reward will follow if predetermined activities are performed well.

 

DELEGATION:

Delegation is the actual process of assigning job activities and corresponding authority to specific individuals within the organization.

Important Dimensions of Delegation include:

  1. Steps in the Delegating Process
  2. Obstacles to the delegation Process
  3. Elimination of obstacles to the delegation process.
  4. Centralization and Decentralization

STEPS IN THE DELEGATION PROCESS:

According to Neman and Warren, the delegation process consists of 3 steps:

  1. Assign Specific duties to the individual. Manager must be sure that the subordinate assigned to specific duties has a clear understanding of what these duties entail. Whenever possible, the activities should be stated in operational terms so the subordinate knows exactly what action must be taken to perform the assigned duties.                                             
  2.  The delegation process involves granting appropriate authority to the subordinate -i.e. the subordinate must be given the right and power within the organization to accomplish the duties assigned.                                
  3. The subordinate must be aware of the responsibility to complete the duties assigned and must accept the responsibility.

GUIDELINES FOR MAKING DELEGATION EFFECTIVE:

  1. Give employees task to pursue tasks in their own way.                                       
  2. Establish Mutually agreed upon results and performance standards for delegated tasks.                                                                                                                 
  3. Encourage employees to take an active role in defining, implementing and communicating progress on tasks.                                                                       
  4. Entrust employee with completion of whole projects or tasks whenever possible.                                                                                                                   
  5. Explain the relevance  of delegated tasks to larger projects or to department or organizational goals.                                                                         
  6. Give employees the authority necessary to accomplish tasks.                        
  7. Allow employees access to all information, people and departments necessary to perform delegated tasks.                                                                           
  8. Provide training and guidance necessary for employees to complete delegated tasks satisfactorily.                                                                                     
  9. When possible, delegate tasks on the basis of employee interests.