Span of Control – Factors Affecting Span of Control in an Organization
In attempt to answer the question that says; “Discuss five (5) factors affecting span of control in formal organization”. It will be cosmic to define our subject matter, and defining our subject matter will enable us to underscore and gain more impact and knowledge on the subject matter such as the word “factor” according to “Oxford English Dictionary 6th edition” means a circumstance that contributes towards a result. While “span” is something extent from end or the distance or part between the uprights of an arch or bridge.
On the other hand, Lawrence and Ama (2005) in essential of business management, observed that an organization can be formed by certain goals. At interval, the goals of individuals in an in an organization may differ which may produce troubles and mutual suspicion to the detriment of the organization.
An organization could be setup because of the following reasons:-
- Profit maximization
- Social reason
- Political reason
SPAN OF CONTROL
The principle of span of control refers to the maximum number of subordinate personnel a superior can manage or supervise effectively. According to the prominent British management consultant, Linddall Clrwickly, the ideal number is four (4) for top management where tasks are are comple and at the lowest level of organization responsibility for the performance of specific tasks and not for the supervisor of others, the number may be eight (8) or twelve (12).
The problem with this principle is that there is no agreed number of subordinates a superior should control.
THE FIVE (5) FACTORS AFFECTING SPAN OF CONTROL IN FORMAL ORGANIZATION
Are as follow:-
- Ability to delegate
EXPLANATORY NOTE ON THE FACTORS
- Diversity: Diversity is all about dissimilarity of the work being supervised. There must be more effect and attention, a manager must devote to planning, organizing leading and controlling.
- Dispersion: The more widely separated (geographically) the activities being supervised; the more difficult it to plan, organize, lead and control them.
- Complex: The complexity of work being performed will determine the frequency with which new kind of problems arise and the difficulty of handling them. It is more difficult to plan, organize, lead and control complex work because of the breadth of knowledge and information require to do an effective job.
- Volume: The volume of work being performed by those being supervised will influence the manager’s ability to plan, organize, lead and control, the workers.
- Ability of Delegate: if the manager confirms himself largely to managing; that is planning, organizing, leading and controlling he can supervise more people than if he insists on doing much at their work for them.
The problem associated with span of control is that there is no agreed number of subordinates a superior should control. Managers cannot effectively plan, organize, lead and control without this five (5) factors of span of control. Therefore it is very important.