I like the idea of a loose federation, with the authority remaining close to the community and to the mission. There are things that are centralized, for the good of all, but there is also an agility and a mutual responsibility in community if the buck stops right here, in each local community or cluster. It is related to the Vatican II notion of subsidiarity, however with a significant difference. In subsidiarity, the power is presumed to 'belong' at the central level, and is only delegated to the local level for practical reasons. In federation instead, the power is presumed to reside locally, and is only given to the central authority if it is best exercised there. Basically you come to the same result, but the federation is more flexible and more adaptable.
I was talking with a Vietnamese sister about her congregation which was founded in the 17th century, like the CSJs. She said that her community also split into separate congregations so that they would be smaller and more able to adapt to local needs and conditions. They have resisted merging, because they see the benefits of the current arrangement.
This has been an interesting discovery as we begin to discuss emerging CSSJ futures.