What are the factors influencing centralization and decentralization?

J. V. Fester has noted the following four kids of factors which govern the process of centralization or decentralization:

1. The Factor of Responsibility

This factor which generally acts as a deterrent to decentralization, favours centralization. The heads of the organization is always held ultimately responsible for everything in his organization. Naturally, he is not willing for the decentralization. He prefers to keep every important matter in his own hands to ensure smooth operations.

2. The Administrative Factors

There are many administrative factors like the age of the agency, stable policy and competence of the field officers etc. Decentralization is easier in an old agency than in a new one. Procedures and precedents are already crystallized in a fairly old organization whereas in the young agency constant reference to the headquarters is the order of the day. Frequent changes in policy matters do not favour decentralization for which a stable policy is essential. Centralization is inevitable if field personnel are not competent enough to work in responsible manner. Lastly, centralization cannot be avoided when there is pressure for urgency and economy.

3. The Functional Factors

Decentralization becomes necessary when a department is required to perform many functions of technical nature as the departmental head has neither time nor technical competence to look after them. Naturally, he leaves such functions under the charge of a division or branch with autonomous powers. On the contrary, centralization is necessary in such functions like defence and communication which require nationwide uniformly.

4. External Factor

The factors which are external to administration also decide the issue of centralization and decentralization For example when a popular or local support for a programme like family planning is necessary, only decentralization can ensure it. Secondly, the grassroots administration‖ is impossible without decentralization. Some political parties

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *