Centralization of Power: A Boon or Bane

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Written By:– Aayushi Singh


Centralization Power: Centralisation refers to the concentration of a government’s power -both geographically and politically -into a centralized government.

Centralization refers to the process in which activities involving and decision-making within an organization. In a centralized organization, the decision-making power is retained in the head office, and all the other offices receive commands from the main office.

Centralized Government:

A Centralized Government is one in which both executive and legislative power is concentrated centrally at the higher level as opposed to it being more distributed at various lower-level governments. In the national context, centralization occurs in the transfer of power to a specific unitary sovereign nation-state.

History of Centralization of Power:

Centralization of authority is defined as the systematic and consistent concentration of authority at a central point or in a person within the organization. This idea was first introduced in the Qin Dynasty of China. The Qin government was highly bureaucratic and was administered by a hierarchy of officials, all serving the First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The Qin Dynasty practised all the things that Han Feizi taught, allowing Qin Shi Huang to own and control all his territories, including those conquered from other countries. Zheng and his advisers ended feudalism in China by setting up new laws and regulations under a centralized and bureaucratic government with a rigid centralization of authority.[1]

History Features of Centralization of Power:

The monarchical power is the supreme power in the empire. The emperor monopolizes all the resources in the country; his personality and abilities decide the prosperity of the country. This autocratic system allows for faster decision-making and avoids complex solutions to problems that arise. One disadvantage is that courtiers, who compete for the emperor’s favour, are able to amass power for themselves, leading to internal strife.

The administrative department has highly centralized power. The duties of each bureaucratic occupation are not clearly defined, leading to inefficiencies as functionaries manage the government and effectively rule the country.

The idea of centralization of authority Edit:

The acts for the implementation are needed after delegation. Therefore, the authority for taking the decisions can be spread with the help of the delegation of the authority.

The centralization of authority can be done immediately if the complete concentration is given at the decision-making stage for any position. The centralization can be done with a position or at a level in an organization. Ideally, the decision-making power is held by a few individuals.[2]

Centralization of Power: A Boon or Bane:

There are some Advantages and Disadvantages in Centralization of Power:

Advantages of Centralization of Power:

  • Responsibilities and duties are well defined within the central governing body.
  • Decision-making is very direct and clear.
  • The central power maintains a large “encompassing interest” in the welfare of the state it rules since it stands to benefit from any increase in the state’s wealth and/or power. In this sense, the incentives of state and ruler are aligned.
  • A centralized organization benefits from a clear chain of command because every person within the organization knows who to report to. Junior employees know who to approach whenever they have concerns about the organization. On the other hand, senior executives follow a clear plan of delegating authority to employees who excel in specific functions. The executives also gain the confidence that when they delegate responsibilities to mid-level managers and other employees, there will be no overlap. A clear chain of command is beneficial when the organization needs to execute decisions quickly and in a unified manner.
  • In a centralized organization, decisions are made by a small group of people and then communicated to the lower-level managers. The involvement of only a few people makes the decision-making process more efficient since they can discuss the details of each decision in one meeting. The decisions are then communicated to the lower levels of the organization for implementation. If lower-level managers are involved in the decision-making process, the process will take longer and conflicts will arise. That will make the implementation process lengthy and complicated because some managers may object to the decisions if their input is ignored.

Disadvantages of Centralisation of Power:

  • Bureaucratic leadership: Centralized management resembles a dictatorial form of leadership where employees are only expected to deliver results according to what the top executives assign them. Employees are unable to contribute to the decision-making process of the organization, and they are merely implementers of decisions made at a higher level. When the employees face difficulties in implementing some of the decisions, the executives will not understand because they are only decision-makers and not implementers of the decisions. The result of such actions is a decline in performance because the employees lack the motivation to implement decisions taken by top-level managers without the input of lower-level employees.
  • Lack of employee loyalty: Employees become loyal to an organization when they are allowed personal initiatives in the work they do. They can introduce their creativity and suggest ways of performing certain tasks. However, in centralization, there is no initiative in work because employees perform tasks conceptualized by top executives. This limits their creativity and loyalty to the organization due to the rigidity of the work.
  • Decisions may be misunderstood while being passed on and lower position departments do not have the decision-making power, therefore it requires an efficient and well-organized top department.
  • Attention and support for each department or city may not be balanced.
  • Delay of work information may result in inefficiency of the government.


India is not a purely centralized country; It’s a quasi-federal country in which power is divided between Centre and State, but the main power is in the centre. We having Democracy structure of government or parliamentary structure power distributed into three parts: Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary.

Having a centralized power is both A boon as well as a bane. India has a huge population, diversity of India makes it difficult to work. So, it’s having quasi-federal structure State also have some powers for making law within the state.


[1]  Jin, G. and Liu, Q. (1992). The Cycle of Growth and Decline – On the Ultrastable Structure of Chinese Society: Chapter 7. 2nd ed. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.

[2] Bachman, D., Bickers, R., Carter, J., de Weert, H., Elders, C., Entenmann, R. and Felton, M. (2007). World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. New York: Marshall Cavendish, p.36.

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