Global competition is mandating faster cycle times, cost effective operations, and responsiveness to customer needs. Many large, formerly decentralized firms are responding to these challenges by adopting federalist structures, intended “to make things big by keeping them small; to encourage autonomy but within bounds...” (Handy 1992, p. 60). Two characteristics of federalist structures are (1) a strong core organization that coordinates the activities of (2) responsive, flexible local offices.
Ross, Jeanne and Rockart, John, "Enabling New Organizational Forms: A Changing Perspective on Infrastructure" (1996). ICIS 1996 Proceedings. 41.