What is span of Control and also Organizational Structure?

It is very important to understand expectancy of control and organizational structure once describing an organization. Simply, span the control describes the number of subordinates under a manager’s direct control. As an example, a manager with five straight reports has a span of control of five. Expectations of manage is a an excellent metric to assess the efficiency of one organization, as long as it looked at in the paper definition of the company’s organizational structure.

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An executive team framework with a ‘narrow’ span of control

How plenty of direct reports must a manager have?

Is over there an optimal number? What requirements to be considered is the nature of the job-related subordinates space performing and how much attention each requires. For example, the expectancy of regulate can be over 100, if executive functions with high levels of collaboration and interaction could productively forgive no an ext than 3 or four. So the nature that the job-related being performed, and also how much attention the requires must govern the assignment the personnel to a manager, no some sector ideal goal.


Call facility organization reflecting a ‘wide’ expectations of control

Expanding top top the principle of span of Control

While we room addressing expectancy of control, let’s additionally broaden our knowledge to view it in the context of the business levels of hierarchy.

Width: company structures can be defined as vast (with a larger expectations of control) or small (with a smaller expectancy of control.)

Height: as there room levels that management, or hierarchy, an organization might be high (with plenty of levels) or flat (with under levels.)

Flat organizations have a ‘wide’ expectations of control and also Tall organizations have a ‘narrow’ expectancy of control. When there room pros and also cons with both tall and flat structures, a this firm structure should be draft to suit the business (the customer and markets) and in a method that fits with the workforce’s capability.

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A tall vs. Level organizational structure

Characteristics of a level Organizational structure (Wide expectancy of Control)


Encourages delegation. Supervisors must far better delegate to handle larger numbers that subordinates, and grant methods for subordinates to take on responsibilitiesAgile. Improves communication speed and also qualityReduces costs. Much more cost effective since of under levels, for this reason requiring fewer managersHelps avoid the workforce indigenous disengaging by focusing on empowerment, autonomy and self-direction


High managerial workload comes with high expectancy of controlRole confusion much more likelyMay cultivate mistrust of management
Characteristics that a Tall business Structure (Narrow span of Control)


More rapid interaction between small teamsGroups are smaller and also easier to control/manageThere’s a greater level of expertise and department of laborMore and much better opportunities because that employee promotion


Communication can take too long, hampering decision-makingSilos may develop and prevent cross-functional difficulty solvingEmployees may feel lost and powerless


As you deserve to see, an organization’s framework dictates the span of regulate assigned come managers. Even if it is you select a ‘tall’ or ‘flat’ structure should depend on the business and how to finest serve customers. While each structure has actually its pros and also cons the best way for you come model and also visualize the organization is with OrgChart. OrgChart gives you the ability come model and also visualize the company and automate the process.