Decentralization and centralization in the context of a global crisis
Abstract: Decentralization versus centralization is a discussed subject within the field of management, and it is about where control is allocated in the organization. This thesis aimed to contributewith understanding of these two contrasting structures by a multiple-case study consisting of Swedens’ decentralized, and Norway’s centralized national health care service in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Opportunities and challenges are studied within each organizational model by studying the handling of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). The empirical findings showed that the allocation of control at regional level in the organization of Sweden’s national health care resulted in opportunities to create new forms of regional collaborations, and challenges of having to change the current organizational model due to the complexity of the problem. In Norway, where control is allocated at the national level, an opportunity was the establishing of a national purchase and distribution system and to handle the problem proactively. For some parts of the local level, implementation of directives given by central authorities turned out to be a challenge.
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