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Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Organisation Structure And Design

Factors Influencing Span of Management - Organisation Structure And Design

   Posted On :  17.05.2018 11:20 pm

Factors Influencing Span of Management - Organisation Structure And Design

Factors Influencing Span of Management
 

Manager’s personality: If managers share a strong need for power, they may prefer a wider span of control. On the other hand, some managers feel threatened because they cannot oversee the activities of too many people. Such managers would naturally prefer a narrow span.

Manager’s capability: An experienced, well trained and knowledgeable manger is normally able to handle a relatively wider span than a less capable manager.

Subordinates capabilities: Experienced and well-trained subordinates will be able to resolve the difficulties themselves. They do not take much of the time of the superior. The need for frequent contacts is also obviously less.

Fatigue tolerance: Physical and mental fatigue may limit a manager’s capacity for control. There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many things can be done at a time. Consequently, the greater the physical or mental demands of a job, the narrower the span of control.
 
Activity level: The pace and pattern or work in an engineering firm, an investment firm, and a university differ in many respects. Moreover, there also exist differences between the various units of an organization. For example, production activity compared to public relations. Thus, the more active the pace and pattern of a manager’s work, the narrower the appropriate span of control.

Non-supervisory activities: If a manager spends more time on non-supervisory activities like long-range planning and outside assignments, he tends to have less time to supervise the subordinates. This obviously limits the span.

Similarity of activities supervised: If the nature of activities performed by the subordinates is routine, the superior can manage many subordinates. On the other hand, if unique and non-routine problems are more frequent, the span is limited.

Complexity of work: Simple job assignments are usually easier to supervise than complex ones. The problems that arise are generally less demanding and take less of the superior’s time. Thus, less
supervision will be necessary, contributing for a wider span.
 
Availability of sophisticated facilities: Availability of more advanced and sophisticated facilities like high speed telecommunication devices, modern office equipment, etc., will help the manager in managing a relatively wider span.

Location: If subordinates are physically dispersed, a manager will need to spend more time in travelling and communicating. The span of control in such a case will be narrow. To conclude, it has to be remembered that despite the desirability of flat structures, the span of management may be limited by certain factors. As an enterprise grows, the increase in organization levels cannot be completely avoided. What is required is a precise balancing of all the factors in a given situation. Widening spans and reducing levels may be the answer in some cases, while the opposite may be true in others.

 

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