What is the difference between Delegation and Decentralisation?

Decentralisalion is much more than delegation. Delegation means transfer of authority from one individual to another. But decentralisation implies diffusion of authority throughout the organisation. The main points of distinction between delegation and decentralisation are presented as follows:

  1. Delegation is the process of devolution of authority whereas decentralisation is the end result which is achieved when delegation is systematically repeated up to the lowest level.
  2. Delegation can take place from one individual (superior) to another (subordinate) and -be a complete process. But decentralisation is completed only when the fullest possible delegation is made at all levels of organisation.
  3. In delegation control rests entirely with the superior. But in decentralisation the top management exercises only overall control and delegates the authority for day today control to the departmental managers.
  4. Delegation is a must for management as subordinates must be given sufficient authority to perform their duties. But decentralisation is optional in the sense that top management may or may not disperse authority.

Delegation is a technique of management used to get things done through others. However, decentralisation is both a philosophy of management and a technique.

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