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SPAN OF MANAGEMENT

DEFINITION
ACCORDING TO L. URWICK
The ideal number of subordinates is four in
case of higher level management and eight to
twelve in case of bottom level management

Meaning

Span of management means the number of
people managed efficiently by a single officer
in an organization
Factors affecting the span of
management
Character of the supervision work
Leadership qualities
Qualities of subordinates
Time available to supervisor
Nature of work
Level of supervision
Delegation of authority
Fixation of responsibility
Using of standards
Methods of communication
Graicuna s theory of span of
management
Direct single relationship
Direct group relationship
Cross relationship
Direct single relationship
It is a relationship in which a supervisor has
direct relationship with his subordinates
individually.

SUPERVISOR
A
B
Direct group relationship
A supervisor has direct relationship with his
subordinates jointly
A
B
C
While A can consult B while c is present in a
situation A can consult C while B is present
In cross relationship , a subordinate has
relationship with another subordinate
mutually.
Cross relationship
A
B
C
In the above mentioned diagram the
relationship prevailing between B and c is
cross relationship
Span of Management
MEANING
A term originating in the military
organization, but now used most
commonly in the business management.

Span of management is also called
as span of control or span of supervision.
It refers to the number of subordinates
who can be managed effectively by a
superior.
Contd-
It has two important implications-

1)It influences the complexities of individual
managers job.
2)It determines the shape of the organization

Span of management or span of control is the
number of subordinates who report directly to a
specific manager-

1)Managers should have neither too many nor too
few subordinates.



Contd-
2)It can be narrower or broader depending on the
circumstances of each managerial job.
Subordinates work in such that little interaction
with others is required
The work of subordinate is similar.
Problems are infrequent.
Managers have few non-supervisory duties to
perform
span of management determine the
number of hierarchical levels in an organization-
1. A tall structure
2. A flat structure

EARLIER IDEAS ON SPAN OF MANAGEMENT
Classical writers have suggested between 3 to 8
subordinates as ideal.
Graicunas a French management
consultant has suggested the fixation of no of
subordinates based on mathematical calculation.
He analyzed a superior subordinate relationship
and developed mathematical formulae.

Contd-
He identified 3 types of relationship:
1.Direct single relationships where direct
individuals contact the superior.

2.Direct group relation arise in all possible
combinations.

3.Cross relationship arises because of mutual
interaction of subordinates working under a
superior.

CONTD-
Graicunas has given formulae to find out various
relationship with various number of subordinates.


direct single relationship=n

direct group relationship=n(2*n-1-1)

cross relationship=n(2*n/2+n-1 )
FACTORS THAT MAY AFFECT SPAN
OF CONTROL

Job complexity

Capacity of superior

Capacity of subordinates.

Nature of work

Degree of decentralization

Degree of planning

Communication technique

Abilities of employees

Use of staff assistance