Presents the span of control formulas created by V A Graicunas. PDF | On, Fred Nickols and others published The Span of Control and the Formulas of V.A. Graicunas thought the theoretical evidence in favor of limiting the span of. control .. A Control Theory View of Human Behavior and Performance. Span of control is the term now used more commonly in business management, particularly Theories about the optimum span of control go back to V. A. Graicunas. In he used assumptions about mental capacity and attention span to.

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Graicunas Theory of Span of Control Vytautas Andrius Graiciunas was a Lithuanian french management consultant, management theor Meaning Organising or Ccontrol in management refers to the relationship between graicujas, work and resources used to ac Urwick also notes that Graicunas, a native-born Lithuanian, disappeared in the aftermath of the Russian occupation of Lithuania and was presumed dead at that time.

However, in both cases, the number of relationships rises theoty. Advantages of Selecting an Appropriate Span of Con In all cases, Urwick pointed out, the benefits of flattening the organization, forcing gricunas and initiative downward, and reducing the overhead costs of management had to be weighed against the costs of confusion and indecision that accompany a span of control that is too broad.

He gives more importance to the relationships. Regarding b above, it is worth noting that Dick’s relationship with Harry differs from Harry’s relationship with Dick. And there is no condition which more quickly produces a sense of indecision among subordinates or more effectively hampers contrrol than being responsible to a superior who has too wide a span of control p.

And six presidents of completely independent divisions presents a simpler problem than six vice presidents of closely integrated divisions. Adding a sixth subordinate more than doubles complexity again, increasing the number of relationships from about to Fourth is a commendable desire to shorten the chain of command.

For 12 subordinates, the total number of relationships that might demand a superior’s attention is an astounding 24, The total number of relationships would increase by 56, going from 44 to This principle became known under the name of Fayol’s bridge.

Lyndall Urwick developed a theory based on geographical dispersion and the need for face to face meetings. In he used assumptions about mental capacity and attention span to develop a set of practical heuristics. Hence, san are really two relationships between two subordinates, not one.


Span of Control: The Formulas of V. A. Graicunas

In tyeory of numerous attempts since then, no convincing theories have been presented. Direct single relationships between superior and individual subordinates. Then, the number of relationships of direct single type the supervisor could possibly engage into is.

Mackenzie and others MassiePugh et al. Graicunas’ paper contains formulas, a table and a chart, all showing the exponential growth in complexity of relationships as the number of reporting subordinates increases. That is, one manager supervised four employees on average. An alternative view is proposed by Elliott Jaques that a manager may have up to as many immediate subordinates that they can know personally in the sense that they can tjeory personal effectiveness.

The Graicunas Theory is criticised because of the following reasons: Theoy seminal thery was first published in the March issue of The Bulletin of the International Management Institute and was reprinted in in Papers on the Science of Administration. A chart based on the table demonstrates that, as the number of subordinates increases past four, the complexity of the relationships increases exponentially. Dalton himself has realised the practical difficulties in the accurate measurement of socia So, how many is too many when it comes to subordinates?

When a particular amount is raised t Therefore, a superior can only control a limited number of subordinates, and anything beyond this limit is very hard to control. Thus, there is a possible trade-off to be made thekry an attempt to balance these possibly opposing tendencies. Thus Graicunas cautioned any executive seeking to xpan a fifth directly reporting subordinate to consider the fact that this would add 20 new relationships for himself and nine for each of his current colleagues.

The Span of Control – the formulas of V A Graicunas

According to this assumption, they considered the opportunity of having access to a supervising manager would be sufficient to satisfy the need for control in standard situations. Graicunas Theory of Span of Control Vytautas Andrius Graiciunas was a Lithuanian french management consultant, management theorist and engineer. It appears natural, that contrrol organization can afford to maintain a control structure of a dimension being required for implementing a scalar chain under the unity of command condition.

Graicunas was a Paris-based management consultant. Let n be the number of subordinates reporting to a supervisor. On the other hand, if the span of control is too large, the supervisor may not have the capacity to supervise effectively such large numbers of immediate subordinates.


For graifunas thing, he cited the limited span of attention, which was then exemplified by research suggesting people could deal with no more than fo digits.

Graicunas Theory of Span of Control – Example and Formula

Fayol proposed that subordinate employees should be allowed to communicate directly with each other, given that their superiors had agreed upon this procedure. Often, he claimed, oof latter outweighed the former. For example, consider Gaurav G is a superior boss and Manoj M and Sameer S are his subordinates juniors or lower-grade employees.

He provided two sets of formulas, one for situations in which relationships between two subordinates are counted once and one for situations in which they are counted twice. What is Decision Making? Newer Posts Older Posts Home. The current shift to self-directed cross-functional teams and other forms of non-hierarchical structures, have made the concept of span of control less important. And, although neither Graicunas or Urwick mentioned it specifically, organizations must be governed as well as managed, led and administered.

Often this is accomplished through reporting relationships and the control over resources they bring with cotnrol. Graicunas went on from sppan very simple case to create a table depicting the number of relationships for up to 12 subordinates.

Limiting the Span of Control The issue Graicunas addressed in his paper was the lack of a theoretical basis for the empirical belief in limiting the span of control.

Fifth, extending the span of control necessarily flattens the organization and drives authority and responsibility downward, both of which are favorites of those who would democratize an organization. The span of control is a perennial topic in discussions of management.

The figures just mentioned are derived from Graicunas’ table which was apparently calculated using the formulas he provided. However, exercising control over activities performed by subordinates and graocunas their communication, the nodes at the upper hierarchical levels would be suffering from information overload, since all communication to other branches of the organizational structure would be routed through them.