Explaining the meaning of the term “span of control”, or SOC, we may say that this is the hierarchy system, which answers the question “how many individuals should report to each manager and who should report to whom?” (Naoum 87). Thereby, there are limits for managerial ability to guide his/her subordinates efficiently. He/she will not be able to fulfill his duties adequately if he/she is not provided with the necessary powers (88 Gahlot).
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Nowadays many questions of managerial responsibility depend on their workload that is the number of people they guide. Thereby, the question of the span of control is also presupposed by the project a manager should lead. A small project requires a small team and in this case, a project manager would be able to organize the work efficiently even without any formal structure of the organization. Still, nowadays small teams can hardly compete with large enterprises and firms, as long as most projects require more than several projects to fulfill them. Thereby, a project manager may face some difficulties if he/she tries to manage bid groups of people. No manager can “adequately control more than six direct subordinate managers and recommending a maximum span of five” (Lock 88).
Usually, there are two main types of hierarchies, flat and tall. A flat type represents a structure with one manager leading a lot of subordinates and a wide span of control. Usually, such a structure does not contain many hierarchical levels, while the tall structure presupposes many more levels of hierarchy but with a manager responsible for small groups of people. Also, tall structures are distinguished by a narrow span of control. “The taller structures tend to be more doctorial than the flatter structures” (March, 36). Still, managers which work in a tall structured company have more time to think over the issues they have to solve. At the same time, lower subordinates in flat structured companies often know their senior managers which may stimulate the development of a high-qualitative personal contact. Still, there is some data, that tall structured companies are more efficient on the measure of profit. Still, we single out the “rule of five” as the best way to deal with the problem of company structure (Harrison, Lock 39). It means that one manager should lead no more than five subordinates. In this case, he/she would not be overloaded with work, and the company, managers work for, would not employ great managerial staff and would not suffer from a too huge hierarchical structure. Moreover, this system seems to us the most efficient in the conditions which the current situation dictates to the corporate industry. To succeed in the modern highly competitive world, a company should achieve a well-balanced, stable and effective structure. We consider that the structure based on the rule of five fully corresponds to the current demands of the constriction market and may help a company develop a successful business.
Gahlot, Peter. Construction Planning And Management. New Delhi: New Age International, 2007. Print.
Harrison, Frederick, and Lock, Dennis. Advanced Project Management: a Structured Approach. Aldershot: Gower Publishing, Ltd., 2004. Print.
Lock, Dennis. Project Management in Construction. Aldershot: Gower Publishing, Ltd., 2004. Print.
March, Chris. Business Organization for Construction. London: Taylor & Francis, 2009. Print.
Naoum, Shamil. People and Organizational Management in Construction. London: Thomas Telford, 2001. Print.