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What is span of control?

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

An indication of the number of staff supervised by a manager


You can either have a wide or narrow span of control in each firm. The span of control of a firm could be identified from the organisational structure. Is a wider span better than a narrow span? Or a narrow span better than a wider span?


There are both benefits and limitation to either span. How firms benefit from a wide or narrow span of control depends on the nature of work the firm does, and more specifically the management's leadership style.


A manager with many subordinates may find difficulty in controlling and communicating effectively. As such, a narrow span would be favourable for firms where subordinates need close supervision or have wide responsibilities, to ensure clear communication.



Which would you prefer? To work for a company with a wide or narrow span of control?


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