Wide span of control
A manager has many subordinates under his control for whom he is directly
It is normal for the span of control to be narrower at the top of a business
as the senior managers have more complex and important roles that are more
difficult to supervise. Lower down the hierarchy managers can have wider
spans as they are supervising individuals who do similar and less complex
Encourages the manager to be more democratic and delegate more authority
to the subordinates, which can be motivating
Fewer layers of hierarchy needed- therefore improves vertical
Creates a more entrepreneurial culture as workers can take responsibility for
Fewer promotional opportunities so can be de-motivating.
Harder for manager to supervise and co-ordinate the exact work of
subordinates and ensure they are working towards same common goal.
Increase the risk of wrong decision being made as subordinates may be less
well trained or lack experience
Narrow span of control
A manager has few subordinates under his control for whom he is directly
Reverse of above arguments.
Note: narrow spans of control produce more distance between the bottom of
the hierarchy and the top thus creating a ‘them and us’ culture