LBS Management Review

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Critical Systems Thinking on Decentralization: the Corporate Business Virus

Wallace Williams


Present-day environment is very harsh and life threatening for most large organizations. While the need for agile decision-making processes and speedy action is acknowledged in principle, not enough is being done in practice. This article calls for the devolution of power by large organizations to their subsidiaries or subordinate units – mainly Strategic Business Units (SBUs). It proposes more decentralized models of management and outlines a new theory taking a critical systems thinking approach. Corporations are advised to attack and overpower the Corporate Business Virus by re-structuring the dynamics between their headquarters and satellite operations in dealing with the “problem arrows” and “pressure points” in their businesses, thus moving their decision-making away from the influence of mere conjecture, and closer, in many ways, to reality.

LBS Management Review Vol.5(1) 2000: 61-71

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