SPAN OF CONTROL
The span of control is the number of persons directly reporting to a manager.
Narrow: When the span of control is narrow, the manager has only a few workers to supervise. This span of control creates a taller structure which leads to having many levels of management.
· Pros: A narrow span of control provides better communication between managers and the workers and gives managers better control over their specific employees. Also, supervising fewer employees does not over stress the manager which allows the manager to function efficiently.
· Cons: More managers are needed to supervise the same number of people which increases the cost of operations of a business. Span of control tends to divide the organization in smaller departments creating additional problems of coordination between departments. Smaller span of management also results in higher number of organizational levels, increasing the distance between the employees at lower levels and the top management. Top management usually encounters difficulties in being aware of the problems faced by lower levels of the organization. Closer supervision by managers has an impact on the employees because it restricts the ability of people to exercise initiative and affects their morale.
Wide: When the span of control is wide many people are under the control of the manager. Wide span of control creates a flatter structure which has fewer levels of management.
· Pros: A wide span of control is less expensive because the business employs fewer managers. With only one manager, or a manager with a supervisor or team leader in management, the employees all work together under the same manager. Less supervision and control can create a more positive attitude among employees, who appreciate the extra trust and freedom.
· Cons: One person may have to give information to lots of others which can be very time consuming.
Some workers may feel they lack personal contact with the manager, as the manager has many employees to supervise. Fewer promotional opportunities for the employees which can be de-motivating and bring down the morale of workers. It is also difficult for the manager to keep up with the work of all employees and to ensure that the employees are getting the work done. Increase the risk of wrong decision being made as subordinates may be less well trained or lack experience.