What is Span of Control | Types Of Span of Control

Span of Control means the number of subordinates that can be managed efficiently and effectively by a superior in an organization. It suggests how the relations are designed between a superior and a subordinate in an organization.

Factors Affecting Span of control:

a) Capacity of Superior:
Different ability and capacity of leadership, communication affect management of subordinates.

b) Capacity of Subordinates:
Efficient and trained subordinates affects the degree of span of management.

c) Nature of Work:
Different types of work require different patterns of management.

d) Degree of Centralization or Decentralization:
Degree of centralization or decentralization affects the span of management by affecting the degree of involvement of the superior in decision making.

e) Degree of Planning:
Plans which can provide rules, procedures in doing the work higher would be the degree of span of management.

f) Communication Techniques:
Pattern of communication, its means, and media affect the time requirement in managing subordinates and consequently span of management.

g) Use of Staff Assistance:
Use of Staff assistance in reducing the work load of managers enables them to manage more number of subordinates.

h) Supervision of others:
If subordinate receives supervision form several other personnel besides his direct supervisor. In such a case, the work load of direct superior is reduced and he can supervise more number of persons.

Span of control is of two types:

1. Narrow span of control:

Narrow Span of control means a single manager or supervisor oversees few subordinates. This gives rise to a tall organizational structure.

types of span of control
types of span of control

• Close supervision
• Close control of subordinates
• Fast communication

• Too much control
• Many levels of management
• High costs
• Excessive distance between lowest level and highest level

2. Wide span of control:

Wide span of control means a single manager or supervisor oversees a large number of subordinates. This gives rise to a flat organizational structure.

• More Delegation of Authority
• Development of Managers
• Clear policies

• Overloaded supervisors
• Danger of superiors loss of control
• Requirement of highly trained managerial personnel
• Block in decision making

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