• When applied to management, ‘span ’ refers
to the number of subordinates a manager or
supervisor can supervise, manage or control
effectively and efficiently.
• If the number of subordinates placed under
one manager is too large, it will become
difficult to effectively control them and the
desired results cannot be achieved.
• On other hand, if the number is too small, the
time, energy and abilities of the supervisor are
not utilized fully and the task may not be
• According to Spriegal ‘Span of control’ means
the number of people reporting directly to an
authority. The principle of span of control
implies that no single executive should have
more people looking to him for guidance and
leadership than he can reasonably be
expected to serve.
• The span of control is also known as span
of supervision, span of
management, span of responsibility, span
of authority and span of direction.