Span control in management. Span of Control in Management: Definition, Factors and Types 2022-11-09

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Span of control, also known as span of management, refers to the number of subordinates a manager has in his or her supervision. It is a key concept in organizational design and management, as it determines the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizational structure. A manager with a narrow span of control is responsible for a smaller number of subordinates, while a manager with a wide span of control is responsible for a larger number of subordinates.

There are several factors that can influence the span of control in an organization. One of the most important factors is the complexity of the tasks being performed by the subordinates. If the tasks are complex and require a high level of expertise and decision-making, it may be more effective for a manager to have a narrow span of control, as they will be able to provide more individualized support and guidance to their subordinates. On the other hand, if the tasks being performed are relatively simple and routine, a manager may be able to effectively oversee a larger number of subordinates with a wider span of control.

Another factor that can influence the span of control is the level of trust and delegation within the organization. If a manager is able to delegate tasks and responsibilities effectively and trusts their subordinates to complete tasks without constant supervision, they may be able to maintain a wider span of control. However, if there is a lack of trust or a history of poor performance among subordinates, a manager may need to have a narrower span of control to ensure that tasks are being completed effectively.

The span of control can also be influenced by the leadership style of the manager. Some managers may prefer to have a narrow span of control and take a more hands-on approach to managing their subordinates, while others may prefer to have a wider span of control and take a more hands-off approach. The ideal span of control will depend on the specific needs and goals of the organization, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the manager and their subordinates.

In conclusion, the span of control is an important consideration in management, as it can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizational structure. It is influenced by a variety of factors, including the complexity of the tasks being performed, the level of trust and delegation within the organization, and the leadership style of the manager. By carefully considering these factors, organizations can determine the optimal span of control for their specific needs and goals.

What’s the Optimal Span of Control for People Managers?

span control in management

Types of Span of Control An organization can have two types of a span of control depending on its structure. This forms the basis for a manageable span of control. Thus, the sales manger must devote part of his time in contacting customers. With a low span of control, she is able to knock out her management duties in one day every week, has more time to focus on individual tasks, and can provide more support to her people. Self-sufficiency can be achieved in a couple of weeks because work requires few specific skills or people have the skills before entering the role. Final Words The number of employees that a manager can effectively control implies the span of control in management.

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Span of Control in Management: Definition, Disadvantages & Advantages

span control in management

The clarity in plans, definiteness in fixing responsibility and use of standing plans reduce the pressure of decision-making by the top managers that increase the span control. Highly skilled and qualified professional employees often prefer to operate within a large span of control. However, some experts with a more traditional focus believe that 5-to 6 subordinates per supervisor or manager are ideal. The matrix is a variation on the SWOT Analysis, and it seeks to address criticisms of the SWOT Analysis regarding its inability to show relationships between the various categories. Gallup reports that workers are 43% less likely to feel burnout if they control which tasks they work on, when they need to complete them, and how long they spend on each.

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Span of Control in Management: Definition, Factors and Types

span control in management

However, to avoid potential problems of wide spans of control, organizations are having to invest in training managers and employees and technology enabling the sharing of information and enhancing communication between and among managers and employees RfB, 2020. Example: Functional vice president Such a role typically needs a great deal of experience in the industry and business, and they bring their experience to bear. The main disadvantage of this type of control is employee management if the amount of employees is large. Provision of staff assistance thus helps the executive to supervise a large number subordinates. A higher number of reports per manager results in a flatter organizational structure and fewer opportunities for promotion. Do you provide technology to help guide management tasks? Employee competence By the same token, more experienced employees require a wider span of control with less training, direction, and delegation.

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Span of control in Management Concepts

span control in management

Time, for instance, sets a real limit to the number of minutes in an hour. Teams conduct the same type of work and similar activities. Typically, we see comprehensive span exercises reducing at least one layer in an organization. The Concept of Span of Control It is important to look at the concept of span of control in the context of the organizational structure levels of hierarchy. It clarifies the reporting relationships among superiors and subordinates in the organization. Recognizing these critical underlying issues is the first step to improving organizational efficiency.

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What is Span of Management? Meaning, Definition Factors, and Types

span control in management

On the other hand, a manager for a team with varied roles needs a narrow span of control because direct reports need different training and support. In this case, team morale and innovation may drop. Depending upon the situation and need, organizations can use a wide or narrow span of management. Other Factors That May Affect the Span of Control While early discussions of the span of control often centered on pinpointing the optimal number of subordinates, several factors may influence the span of control most appropriate for a given management position RfB, 2020. All vendors follow the same process, and it is repeated at a fixed time interval. In such situations, more subordinates can be effectively supervised.

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Span of Control Organizational Chart

span control in management

Capability of Subordinates 8. Hence, the span of control will be bigger. Yet having too many direct reports could create sub-cultures or cliques within the team that could lead to more conflict or personality management. This is basically the problem of deciding the number of subordinates to report directly to each manager. Understanding the dynamics behind the span of control is critical to assess whether an organization is well run. Evolution of our thinking on managers and management As more of the workforce has moved from manufacturing and production industries to service-driven and knowledge-based sectors, the old-school notion of span of control has become increasingly challenged. Territorial Contiguity of Functions Supervised Where functions are geographically separated, supervision of components and personnel becomes more difficult and time-consuming.

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What is the Span of Control in management? Definition, Types and Graicunas Theory

span control in management

Thus, a proper span for a manager or a supervisor is important to design the organizational structure and to set direction, and exercise control effectively and efficiently. Consequently, it increases the number of management levels making an organization taller in structure. For instance, a manager for account executives AEs usually has a wide span of control, since all team members need the same training and experience similar demands. Knowing the level of ongoing training ahead of time will help People teams determine which managers need narrow spans of control so they can provide more support. What is the average span of control for my whole organization? And that span of control, according to the researcher V.

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What’s a Manageable Span of Control? (+ Free Calculator)

span control in management

For example, if a manager has 10 direct reports, then he or she would have an indirect span of control of 10. Likewise, a manager who oversees positions that require minimal training can handle a wide span of control. As centralized organizations have a narrow span of management and vice versa. Here, it is also useful to consider how qualified the manager is to perform technical, non-managerial aspects of their position. An ideal manager for these team members is one who regularly offers guidance and skill development. How much training will the manager need to provide to their direct reports? By rightsizing your managerial spans of control, companies can dramatically improve the productivity and speed of their organization. The optimum number of subordinates under any one manager would vary and directly depend upon the type of relationship between the manager and subordinates, not only on a one-to-one basis but also with subordinates as groups, taking into consideration the cross­ relationships among the employees themselves.

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Span of Management

span control in management

Self-sufficiency can be achieved only after several years because work requires skills developed over an extensive apprenticeship. Keeping track of the productivity and progression of a large team, let alone developing healthy working relationships with each team member, can sound overwhelming. Narrow Span Structure Narrow span refers to the existence of too many levels in an organization. If and when your company is ready to grow, you need to do so with intentionality. How standard and formally structured is the work process? The direct reports can be self-sufficient within a month and the manager then has to handle only the exceptions. Process guidelines are in place.

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Span of Management or Span of Control

span control in management

Its very concept is being rethought and reimagined to exist in a modern, digital workforce, where people work remotely, globally, independently, and collaboratively, while doing a wide variety of analytical and creative jobs. How many direct reports can a manager have? The bigger the staff, the bigger the span of control. Relationship Between Manager and Subordinates The optimum number of subordinates under a manager would vary and directly dependent upon the type of relationship between the manager and subordinates, not only on a one-to-one basis but also with subordinates as groups, taking into consideration the cross-relationships among the employees themselves. Big organizations can have both spans of control. Organizations opt narrow span when the nature of work is complex and requires more assistance from the superior.

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