What are the advantages and disadvantages of a narrow span of control?

Expert Answers info

Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write1,737 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

An organization’s span of control can be determined by the number of employees reporting to the manager/ supervisor. A narrow span of control refers to a structure with few employees reporting to the manager, while a wide span of control refers to a structure with many employees reporting to a supervisor.

The advantages of a narrow span of control include the following:

  • A narrow span of control increases the level of contact between the manager and members of the team. The increased contact improves the ability to supervise activities carried out by the employees effectively, which may increase productivity.
  • A narrow span of control enhances communication between the supervisor and the team members. The team members can easily access the supervisor for assistance. Enhanced communication also helps in faster decision-making and problem-solving.

The disadvantages of a narrow span of control include the following:

  • A narrow span of control may be expensive to implement depending on the number of teams in the organization.
  • A narrow span of control may limit the ability of team members to exercise independence in decision-making and problem-solving processes.
Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write2,982 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

The concept of span of control is an important concept in business. It refers to how many workers a manager is supervising. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a narrow span of control.

When a manager has a narrow span of control, the manager will be able to communicate quickly with the employees that he or she is supervising. The manager should also have a good handle on what is going on in the business....

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 519 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mrkirschner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write934 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial