It is anybody’s knowledge that a manager cannot effectively supervise the activities of an infinite number of subordinates.
Span of Management
It is anybody’s knowledge that a
manager cannot effectively supervise the activities of an infinite number of
subordinates. This is because of the limitations of time, energy and skills.
These limitations place natural limit on the number of subordinates that a
manager can effectively supervise. But for this limit, organizations would have
not taken the pyramid shape. Span of management refers to the number of
subordinates that report directly to a manager. The traditional thinking was
that an effective span involved some definite number of subordinates. For
example, Lyndall Urwick found “the ideal number of subordinates for all
superior positions to be four and at the lower level of the organization, the
number may be eight or twelve”. Often, one of the first things done by an
organizational analyst or consultant was to count the number of subordinates
reporting to each manager. In each instance, when the number exceeded a
definite figure, say – six or eight, there would be a recommendation to narrow
the span. Thus, the thinking of the classical theorists about the span revolved
around a definite number.
Tags : Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Organisation Structure And Design
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