Everything You Need to Know About Decentralized Organizations

The teams closest to the customer can use that grassroots knowledge to improve services and products, without needing to refer them up to senior leaders (who typically grow apart from the customer as they climb the corporate ladder). Decentralisation is referred to as a form of an organisational structure where there is the delegation of authority by the top management to the middle and lower levels of management in an organisation. For example, if you own a remote company, you may benefit more from a decentralized structure. If you own a tech company, you may benefit more from a centralized structure.

  • With a decentralized approach, decision-making becomes faster as the subordinate has a better idea about the scenario.
  • As a result, they’ll be able to customize their approach to better meet the needs of the new market.
  • In addition, managers can see the possibility of advancement when they are able to nurture their decision-making abilities.
  • It also helps in a faster decision-making process as the people involved in decision making are fewer.

These decisions are inappropriate for a single business unit to make and often involve legal, risk, regulatory, or investor-related topics. McKinsey advises that while decentralization is often beneficial, ‘not all corporate functions are up for grabs’. They recommend that a central function maintains control of the following non-negotiables ‘because of the types of decisions and activities they involve’.

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In such a structure, the top management of a firm entrusts the middle and lower-level management with the responsibility to take decisions pertaining to the firm’s daily operations. In general, these are rather different take on decentralized organization. In reality, we are more interested in organizations that uses blockchain to support their business processes. In the cost recovery method of revenue recognition case of decentralization, there is more autonomy in making decisions compared to a centralized organization. This autonomy enables individuals within the organization to take decisions without completely being dependent on the central authority or top-level management. The whole organizational structure needs to act more responsibly to make decentralization a success.

Whether it’s at a country, community, major corporation or small business level, decentralization is coming. Those that prepare for and embrace it will be the winners in this next decade. Business leaders can get on board with this shift by taking a good look at their company’s culture.

  • In most cases, government, market uncertainties, and trade union movements can hamper proper decentralization function.
  • Based on our estimates, 90 million lives will be in VBC models by 2027, from 43 million in 2022.
  • Most businesses need a hybrid approach where a central function maintains control and consistency in key matters – albeit in a much-reduced format.
  • Decentralization empowers low- and mid-level managers and can help with employee retention when managers see they have the power to make decisions and implement initiatives within their department or group.
  • Everyone already knows what he or she wants to talk about because of the streamlined set of metrics and communication tools decentralized companies have.

Centralized structures revolve around upper management and leave little room for employee initiative and leadership. Organizations with top-heavy management can result in an imbalanced organizational structure. Managers at centralized organizations come with training, experience, and expertise. The right answer for a company depends on the markets it’s in but also on the skill and capabilities of its leaders and employees. You can’t just rely on the received wisdom of last century’s leadership gurus if you want to deliver value and have success over time.


Decentralization empowers low- and mid-level managers and can help with employee retention when managers see they have the power to make decisions and implement initiatives within their department or group. In addition, managers can see the possibility of advancement when they are able to nurture their decision-making abilities. A decentralized organization can struggle with multiple individuals having different opinions on a particular business decision. As such, these businesses can face difficulties trying to get everyone on the same page when making decisions. Small businesses often use a centralized structure since the owner is responsible for the company’s business operations. Centralized approaches are also commonly seen in highly competitive industries where companies specialize in similar products to their competition.

Advantages of decentralization for business

We estimate increased labor costs and administrative expenses to reduce payer EBITDA by about 60 basis points in 2023. VBC models are undergoing changes as CMS updates its risk adjustment methodology and as models continue to expand beyond primary care to other specialties (for example, nephrology, oncology, and orthopedics). We expect established models that offer improvements in cost and quality to continue to thrive. The transformation of VBC business models in response to pressures from the current changes could likely deliver outsized improvement in cost and quality outcomes. The penetration of VBC business models is likely to lead to shifts in health delivery profit pools, from acute-care settings to other sites of care such as ambulatory surgical centers, physician offices, and home settings.

examples of decentralized management

Decentralization gives employees more autonomy, which is proven to increase engagement. Employees who feel valued and have the opportunity to influence the company’s direction are more likely to be committed to their work. When team members are given the freedom to experiment, and take risks, they are more likely to come up with novel solutions. This can lead to innovative new products and services that set you apart from competitors. This democratizes and diversifies decision-making processes throughout the entire organization, and encourages the free flow of information and ideas.

The degree of decentralization in business depends upon your company’s size, culture, and business model. Each question defines a hurdle that a centralization proposal must meet. While the questions set a high bar for centralization, they do not produce formulaic answers; considerable judgment is still required. They benefit companies by allowing advocates and opponents of centralization to conduct a debate in a way that helps CEOs and their senior teams make wiser choices. The questions can be asked in any order, but the one presented here is often natural to follow (exhibit).

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However, it is still quite difficult to introduce a more extreme level of decentralization on a larger scale since they are so deeply entrenched in the traditional centralized form of organization. Some multinational corporations can work well as decentralized business models, with multiple units functioning autonomously. While there is more autonomy given to store owners in terms of hiring and operations, certain aspects of business such as product development and marketing are reserved for senior management.

Any business with narrow product lines would never be able to take advantage of decentralization. In a decentralized company, senior leaders do not impose functions, decisions, or central costs on its operating companies. For example, many of the companies we analyzed did not have one common enterprise resource planning (ERP) system because it can force common processes that are not ideal for all of the various businesses. The cost/benefit is not there, and it would be an act of centralization.