What are the Factors Determining Span of Management?

Factors Determining Span of Management

Span of Management states to the sum of subordinates who report directly to a supervisor.

Span of management, also known as ‘span of control’, states the sum of people a supervisor directly manages. In a broader span of control, a supervisor has several subordinates who report to him. 

In a narrow span of control, a supervisor has smaller amount subordinates under him.

The span of management can be determined on the basis of a sum of relations that a supervisor can manage. They are given as follows:-

  • The capacity of Superior: capacity means the capability of a supervisor to understand the problems quickly. Also, communication skills, decision-making ability, controlling power, leadership skills are important factors of managerial capacity.

  • The capacity of Subordinate: If the subordinate is qualified and well-organized in satisfying his roles with little help from the supervisor, the organization can have a wide span. This means a supervisor can be able to many subordinates as it will require him just to give the broad plans and give a reduced amount of time on each.

  • Nature of Work: If they require the subordinates to do a routine job, with which they are well experienced, then the supervisor can have a broader span. But, if the work is complex, and the supervisor is mandatory to give instructions, then the span has to be narrow. Also, the change in the guidelines affects the span of management. If the guidelines change frequently, then the supervisor needs to give more time and from now the span would be narrow whereas if the guidelines continue stable, then a supervisor can concentration on many subordinates. Similarly, guideline knowledge also plays a critical role in defining the span.

  • Degree of Decentralization: If the supervisor delegates authority to the subordinates, then he is required to give a reduced amount of attention to them. Therefore, the advanced the degree of decentralization, the wider is the span of management. But in case, subordinates do not have sufficient authority, then the supervisor is normally checked for the explanations, and as a result, the supervisor devotes a lot of time to this.

  • Planning: If the subordinates are well-versed about their work roles, then they will do their work without consulting the supervisor again and again. This is possible only because of the straight plans that they follow in their repetitive decisions. Over a proper plan, the workload of a supervisor decreases and can have a broader span of management.

  • Staff help: The use of staff help can support the supervisor in reducing his workload by acting certain managerial tasks. Through responsibility, the supervisors can have a broader span of management.

  • Supervision from Others: The traditional method to the span of management, i.e., each individual should have a single supervisor but nowadays the subordinates are being managed by other managers in the organization such as staff personnel. It would help the manager to control have a big number of subordinates under him.

  • Communication Techniques: The approach of communication also determines the span of management. It required if the supervisor does face-to-face communication with each subordinate, then further time will be spent. As an outcome, the supervisor cannot have a broader span. But in case, the communication is in writing and is collected done by a staff personnel; the supervisor can save a lot of time and can have the supervisors can have a broader span of management.

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    Happy Readings!!

    Nadeem Khan
    M.Com, MBA
    mail - ndmk1338@gmail.com

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