What does mean by Span of Control? Discuss the factors affecting Span of Control.

Span of Control:

Span is the length between starting point and the end. So span control indicates the length of supervisory control. Supervision is path of all working and supervisory control is the part of controlling and directing function of management. Span control should not be either very wide or too narrow. Effective span of control needs a balance as it affects the organization in different ways.

The availability of time with a supervisor and number of subordinates reporting to him decides the span of control and it effectiveness. Wide span of control permits only general control, fewer levels of supervision and facilitates communication. Narrow span of control provides for more level of supervision and provides for attention to details and timely remedial corrective steps. Span of control is also dependent on skills of people, nature of work and quality of work.

Factors Effecting Span of Control.

Nature of work: It is the nature of work which decides the span of control, if the work is simple and repetitive and being done by experienced worker the span of control can be wide. But if it is a quality oriented work narrow span of control is needed.

Ability of the manager: Ability of the manager especially the availability of time with the manager decides the span of control. Very able manager may have a wide span a less experienced manager a narrow span of control.

Efficiency of the organization: Organization with a effective and efficient working system and skilled employees can have a large span of control.

Staff assistants: If managers have staff assistants and they can handle routine work, the managers may have a wide span of control.

Ability of the subordinates: Skilled, experienced and sincere workers hardly need much supervision and can even work without effective supervision hence provide for large span of control. Fresher or unskilled or semi-skilled workers need a close supervision and hence a narrow span of control.

Degree of decentralization: If an organization is centralized and decisions are to be a taken at top the span of control will be different nature whereas in a decentralized organization span of control will be different.

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