Witzel (2004) defines centralization as the concentration of the various organizational activities within a given location. In this regard, the activities which can be centralized include but are not limited to planning as well as decision making. On the other hand, centralization can also be defines as placing decision-making in a few hands. Centralization is in most cases distinguished from decentralization where the latter is essentially the delegation of decision-making tools as well as authority to the various organizational management levels.
However, it should be noted that decentralization differs from delegation. There are a number of which are brought upon sustainable development in the organization as a result of centralization with some being negative while the others remain positive. For instance, centralization helps in sustainable development through the enhancement of specialization.
This could go a long way to enhance the organizations continuous improvement, what is in some instances referred to as kaizen because of the effectiveness brought about by letting a few people do what they can do best. Further, sustainable development can be enhanced by the fixing of responsibility which is facilitated in the case of centralization. Here, it becomes increasingly easy to identify deviations from the norm and institute speedy corrective actions; something which is not possible when it comes to decentralization.
However, bureaucracy that comes about as a result of centralization could go a long way towards hindering sustainable development in an organization. Here, there are significant delays which affect the efficiency of the organization and by extension the very sustainable development of the organization. Loyalty, an important ingredient of sustainable development in an organization also lacks in the case of centralization.
Witzel, M. (2004). Management: the basics. Routledge