The advantages of centralisation
A Legal Services Commission case study

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Page 4: Decentralisation

Decentralisation involves carrying out tasks locally within the individual units of an organisation. Decentralisation also has advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages of decentralisation may be:

  • higher costs of people and time
  • poor communications
  • the lack of standardisation across the organisation
  • loss of control of procedures by the centre.

However, the Legal Services Commission continues to maintain certain HR services within its separate regional offices.

These are services which may require local expertise to respond to local needs. For example:

  • The HR Business Partner works with local managers to decide on future recruitment plans in regional offices. Once an agreement has been reached on what the needs are, then the Shared Services Centre can handle the routine aspects, for example, the placing of advertisements for regional jobs and dealing with applications.
  • High-level or sensitive HR issues also need to be dealt with by local managers. For example, this might include grievance procedures, where an employee has a complaint about aspects of his/her treatment or working conditions. Whilst processes for dealing with grievances can be created centrally, individual issues may require the knowledge of the relevant regional officers and the HR Business Partner to find a solution.
  • Non-transactional activities continue to be carried out at a local level. These are activities for which central procedures cannot be developed because they are so individual in nature. For example, managing long-term absence where a manager and a HR business partner would need to be aware of individual circumstances and perhaps make a home visit.

Legal Services Commission | The advantages of centralisation