Both these organizational structures have their advantages and the disadvantages. Photo by: Michael Brown Span of control or span of management is a dimension of organizational design measured by the number of subordinates that report directly to a given manager. As an example, a manager with five direct reports has a span of control of five. The narrower span of management would result in more layers of management and slower communications between lower level employees and top level managers of the firm. The manager must spend considerable time in visiting the separate units and make use of a more time consuming formal means of communication. Narrow and wide spans of control differ in appropriateness according to the independence employees enjoy.
Training of the manager 2. They assumed that a considerable amount of decisions could be delegated to organizational members at lower organizational levels. Subordinates feel more autonomous and develop an independent spirit. Overseeing managers requires time, especially for communication, limiting the number of subordinates who can be effectively supervised. Thirdly, narrow span tall structure presents problems in coordination and control, as the top management is far away from the operatives where actual work is performed.
However, exercising control over activities performed by subordinates and monitoring their communication, the nodes at the upper hierarchical levels would be suffering from information overload, since all communication to other branches of the organizational structure would be routed through them. It is, thus, a costly form of structure. Organisational level: The top executives look after important and specialised activities and, therefore, the span is narrow at the top level but at lower levels the span can be wide, since supervisors are mainly concerned with routine jobs. In the 1980s corporate leaders flattened many organizational structures causing average spans to move closer to 1-to-10. Employees who need the manager may find him unavailable, which can lead to work not getting completed on time -- or growing frustration among employees.
On the other hand, if the span of control is too large, the supervisor may not have the capacity to supervise effectively such large numbers of immediate subordinates. Good constituency management allows you to scale time by creating time leverage across the enterprise and throughout a leaders entire sphere of influence. Although no perfect ratio likely exists, span of control is critical in understanding organizational design and the behaviors within an organization, such as the approach used to interact with employees and the effectiveness of communication between each level within an organization. The relationship of group size and span of control has been studied and there is a suggestion tat there is a good correlation, the larger the organization, the smaller the span of control. Wide span, on the other hand, may result into organisational inefficiencies. This is because the optimum span of control depends on numerous variables including organizational structure, available technology, the functions being performed, and the competencies of the manager as well as staff. He formulated a theory and suggested the number of subordinates under one superior based on mathematical calculations.
Span of Control means the number of subordinates that can be managed efficiently and effectively by a superior in an organization. A small span of management would make it necessary to have more managers and more layers of management to oversee the same number of operative employees than would be necessary for an organization using a wider span of management. It is important to note that all managers experience a decrease in effectiveness as their span of control exceeds the optimal level. His study was not based upon empirical observation, but rather upon theoretical projection by mathematics. The less motivated and confident the employees are, the better it is to have a narrow span of management so that the supervisors can spend time with them and supervise them well. Operating within the narrow confines of traditional definition does nothing more than narrow leadership effectiveness. There is a wide and a narrow span of management.
A small-business owner considering the team organizational structure, for instance, should understand that forgoing managers in favor of a wide span of control could be a mistake if teams are not adequately trained. Since a Fayol bridge is not limited to a certain functional area within the organization, but can span over functional boundaries, e. Number of Employees There are no specific numbers that define a wide or narrow span of control, as these can be relative to the size of the organization. Actual spans in business organization indicate that there is no single best number that can be universally applied. Optimum span of control ranges between 3 and 9 depending on the complexity of the work supervised and the need for tight control.
A wide span of control forces managers to develop clear goals and policies, delegate tasks effectively, and select and train employees carefully. This approach increases the number of interactions between the manager and his or her direct reports, which could cause managers to become overwhelmed but can also provide more autonomy. For instance, executives often have fewer direct reports than other managers in the organization. Span of management is situational in nature. As a result, the need for supervision would be reduced from direct control to exception handling. Without the people there is no platform, and ultimately nothing to lead.
Span of control is a Management concept in the process of decentralization in the hierarchy of delegation of work for efficiency as a trickle down process from the higher to the lower management level. Delegation of authority: Ambiguous or inadequate authority delegation consumes disproportionate time of the manager in counselling and guiding subordinates. Complex jobs that routinely require manager approval or assistance are best managed with a narrow span of control. On the other hand, a narrow span of control can also create a situation where managers are too involved in their subordinates' work, which can reduce innovation and morale among employees. Types of Span of Control Ok, now we know the meaning of this and the factors which influence, now its time to know about the types. As information technology was developed capable of easing many middle manager tasks - tasks like collecting, manipulating and presenting operational information - upper managers found they could hire fewer middle managers to do more work managing more subordinates for less money.