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Morning Star, a leading food processor, demonstrates how to create an organization that combines managerial discipline and market-centric flexibility—without bosses, titles, or promotions. In fact, management may be the least efficient activity in any company. Is there any way to get the flexibility of a market system and the discipline of a tightly knit hierarchy—without a management superstructure?

First, Let’s Fire All the Managers

Span of control , also called span of management, is the term used in business management , particularly human resource management. The term refers to the number of subordinates or direct reports a supervisor is responsible for. In simple words, span of control means the manageable number of subordinates of a superior.

In a hierarchical business organization of some time in the past [ when? In the s corporate leaders flattened many organizational structures causing average spans to move closer to 1-to That was made possible primarily by the development of inexpensive information technology.

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.

The current shift to self-directed cross-functional teams and other forms of non-hierarchical structures, have made the concept of span of control less important.

Theories about the optimum span of control go back to V. In he used assumptions about mental capacity and attention span to develop a set of practical heuristics. Lyndall Urwick developed a theory based on geographical dispersion and the need for face to face meetings.

In spite of numerous attempts since then, no convincing theories have been presented. 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. An alternative view is proposed by Elliott Jaques [1] that a manager may have up to as many immediate subordinates that they can know personally in the sense that they can assess personal effectiveness.

The first to develop a more general theory of management was Henry Fayol , who had gathered empirical experience during his time as general manager of a coal and steel company, the Commentary-Fourchambault Company. He was the first to add a managerial perspective to the problem of organizational governance. The rationale for defining a strict hierarchy of communication channels is found in the need for vertical integration of activities, imposed by management's need for control and information.

However, exercising control over activities performed by subordinates and monitoring their communication would inflict information overload to the nodes at the upper hierarchical levels, since all communication to other branches of the organizational structure would be routed through them. In addition, a larger number of subordinates also requires supervisors to monitor a high number of interactions below their own level; information overload and span of control are positively correlated.

Graicunas Gulick and Urwick , distinguished three types of interactions — direct single relationships, cross-relationships, and direct group relationships — each of them contributing to the total amount of interactions within the organization. According to Graicunas, the number of possible interactions can be computed in the following way. Let n be the number of subordinates reporting to a supervisor.

Then, the number of relationships of direct single type the supervisor could possibly engage into is. The sum of these three types of interactions is the number of potential relationships of a supervisor. Graicunas showed with these formulas that each additional subordinate increases the number of potential interactions significantly. It appears natural that no organization can afford to maintain a control structure of a dimension being required for implementing a scalar chain under the unity of command condition.

Therefore, other mechanisms had to be found for dealing with the dilemma of maintaining managerial control, while keeping cost and time at a reasonable level, thus making the span of control a critical figure for the organization. Consequently, for a long time, finding the optimum span of control has been a major challenge to organization design.

As Mackenzie , p describes it:. 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. Thus, there is a possible trade-off to be made in an attempt to balance these possibly opposing tendencies.

Fayol proposed that subordinate employees should be allowed to communicate directly with each other, given that their superiors had agreed upon this procedure. This principle became known as "Fayol's Bridge. At the same time, decision power is distributed to individuals on lower levels in the organization, and only decisions that exceed the pre-defined decision scope of an employee are referred upwards.

This, in turn, strengthens the co-equality of authority and responsibility. Since a Fayol Bridge is not limited to a certain functional area within the organization, but can span over functional boundaries, e. Mackenzie and others Massie , Pugh et al. There are instead several factors influencing the balance between the desired level of control and the manageability of the organization. Firstly, it depends on the capabilities of the organizational members, managers and workers.

It was assumed, that no manager would be capable of supervising more than direct subordinates. However, this conclusion built on the assumption that the superior must actively monitor the work of all subordinates. Later on, this statement was diversified when Davis divided managerial work into two categories, one requiring the attention to physical work, the other one requiring mental activity.

Depending on the type of supervision, a span of subordinates for managers at higher levels was considered adequate, while first level supervisors, i. The neoclassical theorists have developed a different solution. They assumed that a considerable amount of decisions could be delegated to organizational members at lower organizational levels.

This solution would be equivalent to the application of Fayol's Bridge combined with the principle of employee initiative that he proposed. As a result, the need for supervision would be reduced from direct control to exception handling. According to this assumption, they considered the opportunity of having access to a supervising manager would be sufficient to satisfy the need for control in standard situations. Peter Drucker [2] refers to this principle as the span of managerial responsibility.

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NCERT Solutions for class 12 Business studies Organising

There are a number of factors that influence or determine the span of supervision in a particular organization, the most important of these are as follows:. The characteristics and abilities such as leadership, administrative capabilities, ability to communicate, to Judge, to listen, to guide and inspire, physical vigour etc. A person having better abilities can manage effectively a large number of subordinates as compared to the one who has lesser capabilities. Subordinates who are skilled, efficient, knowledgeable, trained and competent require less supervision, and therefore, the supervisor may have a wider span in such cases as compared to inexperienced and untrained subordinates who require greater supervision. Nature and importance of work to be supervised is another factor that influences the span of supervision.

Span of control , also called span of management, is the term used in business management , particularly human resource management. The term refers to the number of subordinates or direct reports a supervisor is responsible for. In simple words, span of control means the manageable number of subordinates of a superior. In a hierarchical business organization of some time in the past [ when? In the s corporate leaders flattened many organizational structures causing average spans to move closer to 1-to That was made possible primarily by the development of inexpensive information technology.

Factors Determining Span of Management

If the superiors and subordinates are well-qualified, trained, experienced, and if they are experts in their jobs then the span of control will be wide and vice-versa. If the superiors are working at the top-level of management , then they have more responsibilities. Therefore, their span of control will be narrow and vice-versa. If there are good relations between the superior and subordinates, then the span of control will be wide and vice-versa. Under decentralisation , the superior has to take fewer decisions.

The span of management means the period during which higher managers supervisors and controls his subordinates. It also includes the limits within which he exercises his right of control. Thus , It is called the span of control , the span of supervision and span of responsibilities, etc.

Factors Influencing the Span of Supervision

Has your organization considered the effects of what narrow or wide supervisory and managerial spans of control mean for your employees and the levels of support and empowerment they receive on-the-job? Have you considered how your decisions regarding the number of levels of reporting in your organization and given to your supervisors and managers influence job satisfaction, communication practices, and your overall organizational culture? The structure of your organization matters for these reasons and more. Each type has its inherent advantages and disadvantages. Three or four levels of reporting typically are sufficient for most organizations, while four to five are generally sufficient for all organizations but the largest organizations Hattrup,

In a wider span of control, a manager has many subordinates who report to him. In a narrow span of control, a manger has fewer subordinates under him. In a classical type of organizational structure , which is the most common form, the effectiveness and efficiency of operations is determined by the number of people under direct supervision of a manager.

Span of control

Beyond Management as Usual

These ncert book chapter wise questions and answers are very helpful for CBSE board exam. Ans: Informal Organisation is not an element of delegation. Delegation refers to the transfer of authority to subordinates. Accountability, responsibility and authority are the major elements of delegation. On the other hand, informal organisation refers to the relationship which arises out of informal communication among the employees in an organisation. Such communication is purely informal in nature and does not involve any formal communication such as that in delegation.

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


Cairhadvingmou 14.06.2021 at 09:49

this paper span of control and span of management are considered to have the same meaning. As a prelude to the examination of the several.

Mirko P. 18.06.2021 at 16:30

Work specialization.

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span of management in construction projects in Gaza Strip - Palestine. important factor affecting the success and survival of many the same workplace​.

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affects the number of hierarchical levels. Keywords: Span of management, organizational structure. above mentioned factors affecting the size of size of the span of management. The same importance should be given to the defining.