Distinction between Delegation of Authority and Decentralisation

Although decentralisation is closely related to delegation, there are some differences between decentralisation and delegation which are discussed below.

1)    Delegation is a process of systematic transfer of authority while decentralisation is the end result of planned delegation.

2)     Delegation refers to the transfer of authority from one individual to another. Decentralisation refers to the systematic delegation of authority to all units in an organisation-wide context.

3)     Delegation can take place from one person to another and be a complete process. But decentralisation is complete only when the fullest possible delegation is made to all or to most of the people.

4)     Delegation is between a superior and a subordinate while decentralisation is company-wide delegation as between top management and divisions or departments.

5)     Delegation is necessary for effective management because no individual manager can afford to look after everything. But decentralisation is optional, necessitated by the growth of the organisation.

6)     In delegation, operational control is exercised by the delegatee but in, decentralisation, the overall control is by the top management.

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