Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Job design - span of Influence and span of support

In the last blog, we looked at span of control and span of accountability. In today's blog we look at span of influence and span of support, and how they are to be considered while designing a job.

The span of influence refers to the width of connections that the individual would need to generate to collect data, probe new influence and influence others. An employee with a narrow span of influence would not pay much attention to people outside the small area that is aligned with his job alone, on the other hand a person with a wider span of influence would need to interact with many people extensively. 

It is interesting to note that the span of accountability is driven by the nature of manager's gorals and the difficulty level associated with goal drives the sphere of influence. Executives in companies could use accounting and control systems to adjust the span of control. It has to be borne in mind that more complex and interdependent the job is the more import a wide span of influence becomes.

The span of support refers to the amount of help and individual could expect from people in other units of the organization. Positions in organizations that have a commission based in an efficient market do not require wide spans of control; however when the organization is looking at customer loyalty as a strategic focus having a wide span of support is critical. It is the employee's sense of shared responsibility which is important to really!

Over the next few blogs we would look at how these 4 spans interact with each other and what would be the considerations when a job is being designed.

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