Span of Control

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Description of Span of Control. Explanation.

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Definition Span of Control. Description.


Span of Control is the number of people/subordinates that can be effectively managed by one manager. It is an organizational theory term that refers to how relationships are structured between leaders and subordinates in organizations. A wide span of control exists when a person oversees many subordinates. A narrow span of control exists when a leader oversees few subordinates.


The optimal Span of Control is dependent upon a great number of factors, some of which include:

  • The nature of the work of the subordinates.

  • The skills, capabilities, experience, seniority, qualifications of the subordinates.

  • The skills, capabilities, experience, seniority, qualifications of the manager.

  • The use of information technology.

  • The detail at which work rules and procedures have been formalized and are known by the subordinates.

  • The applied management style (command and control or democratic / affiliative).

  • The desired depth of the hierarchy in an organization (steep or flat).

  • Organizational approaches (Self-directed Teams, Empowerment, cross-functional teams, etc.)




Span of Control Forum (6 topics) Help
  Control in Management  - Control in management and leadership is mandatory. If you have significant control on the employees then you'll be able to develop a strategy and to implement it. The control can lead your firm to higher productivity and more creativity....      
  Effective People Management  - I think that the span of control can be an effective means of people management in an organizattion. The span of control is an intervention propounded by V.A Gracuinas, I believe to remedy the many challenges confronting HRM in any organization....      
  Two Different Views towards Span of Control?  - How did the behavouralist theory view span of control and how did the classical approach of theory view span of control?...      
  Increasing Subordinates and Span of Control  - When should we add more subordinates?...      
  Benefits and Drawbacks Wide Span of Control  - What are the main benefits and drawbacks of a wide span of control?...      
  Best Organizational Structures  - Out of the tall, flat and narrow span of control, which is the best balance?...      



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