3. Decentralised Operations

[Last amended: 17 July 16]


Subject Area:


Decentralised Operations; that is the delegation of authority to lower levels within the organisation and so enabling subordinates to act as they see appropriate in order to cope with the situation that faces them.


Issue being addressed:


Within academic literature there is general agreement that complex situations are best managed by the decentralisation of decision making in order to promote the variety of options needed. Put in another way, complex environments require an increasingly sophisticated approach to management where judgement is key. The pinnacle of this approach is the intuitive interaction of those involved to achieve a joint end. At the other end of the scale it is seen to be the need to comply with scripted routine which here I have labelled "Taylorised Systems". This Taylorised approach has a mechanical model of the world whereas the intuitive team sees the world more as a self-generating organism.


While literature promotes decentralisation, there is as yet no scale to link these two extremes. The figure below offers a starting point for this debate and it offers a couple of scales for consideration.

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Aim of the Research Question:


The aim of this research question is to help the research team to develop a scale against which an organisation’s level of management sophistication can be judged.


From the answer to this question I would wish to collect a range of options from which I plan to synthesise the appropriate categorisation.




  • What is the scale of progression from Taylorism to intuitive interaction?


  • How would you define each of your steps?