Spans of control refer to the number of subordinates a manager or supervisor can directly supervise in an organization. Some of the major factors that affect the span of control in an organization are describe below.
Nature of work performed bu subordinates. As the complexity and variety of work performed by the subordinates increases, each subordinates requires more attention from the manager, leading to reducing span of control.
Capability of Subordinates. When the subordinates are knowledgeable and skilled in their work, they require less supervision and guidance from their manager, and therefore the span of control tens to increase.
Physical location. It is easier to control and supervise when all the subordinates and manager are working at the same location as may happen with a production supervisor and his team working in a factory. In this case span of control tends to be bigger. In comparison, when manager and the subordinates work in a widely dispersed location, for example a sales manager and the salesmen working in different geographical territories, the span of control is smaller.
Capability of the Manager. All other things being equal, a more experienced and capable manager will be able to supervise and control more subordinates as compared to less capable and skilled manager.