Span of Control


There are a number of different approaches to defining the ideal span of control. Success factors, limitations and implementation steps are provided, alongside case evidence from different sectors to help managers understand the effects of delayering on organisational design and performance.

Technique Overview

Span of Control

Span of Control Definition

Span of control simply refers to the number of employees that a manager can supervise effectively at any given time without compromising his or her own performance, or that of the employees he or she manages (Hindle, 2008).

Span of Control Description *

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Business Evidence

Span of Control Strengths *

Span of Control Weaknesses *

Examples of Span of Control *

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Business Application

Span of Control Implementation *

Success Factors of Span of Control *

Measures of Span of Control *

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Professional Tools

Span of Control Videos *

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Further Reading

Span of Control Web Resources *

Span of Control Print Resources *

Span of Control References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Arnold, J., Silvester, J., Patterson, F., Robertson, I., Cooper C.L., and Burnes, B. (2005) Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behavior in the Workplace (4th Ed.), Pearson Education, Harlow, Essex.
  • BBC News (2000) Dyke Moves to Streamline BBC, [Online] Available at: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/827518.stm) [Accessed 6 October 2015]
  • City of Portland Span of Control Study (1994) City of Portland Audit Services Division by Public Knowledge, Inc. and The Kemp Consulting Group.
  • Doran, D. (2004). Impact of Managers’ Span of Control on Leadership and Performance. In: Foundation CHSR.

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