Monday, April 16, 2012

Equilibrium of spans - designing an effective organization

In the last blog we looked at how high performing organizations could be designed using the concept of entrepreneurial gap. In today's blog we look at the need for a good balance of the various spans and how we could visualize these.

A careful observation of the four spans indicate to us that these could be classified into supply side spans and demand side spans.

Span of control and span of support are related to the supply of resources at the position of responsibility. The span of accountability and span of influence deal about the demand side of the organization resource. So, the balance that is under discussion is the way these 2 classifications of the spans are handled.

Research has shown that for organizations to operate at maximum efficiency the supply of resources must match the demand for these resources - in this context, span of control plus span of support must equal the span of accountability plus span of influence. If we are to plot this using the mechanisms shown earlier, this would mean the 2 lines intersect each other - similar to the supply and demand. This could be pictorially depicted as below.
Source: Fig - Four spans of software company, Desining High-Performance Jobs - by Robert Simons

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