What is span of control?

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

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.


Here is what inc.com has to say about span of control.


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


PAST YEAR QUESTIONS

  1. What is meant by "span of control"? (2 marks) Oct/Nov 2019/11

  2. State four factors the might effect leadership style (4 marks) May/June 2020/11

RELATED CONCEPTS

  1. Organisational Structure

  2. Leadership Style


Read all post from Unit 2 - People in Business