In organization planning there is a special focus on four points: (1) structure, (2) span of control, (3) height, and (4) breadth. Emphasis is placed on the division of work into efficient groupings to meet the needs of the organization. Concern is shown for the interrelationships of each group with the other groups, but not nearly as much concern as is typical of the modern theorists. Span of control is a key factor in any organization management. Mathematical formulas have been suggested to determine the optimum span, but there is no firm answer to the question of how many people one person can supervise. To the height and breadth of any organization are key factors that will strongly affect results.
There is much argument over how many levels should exist between the worker on the line (in the case of the manufacturing company) and the chairman of the board (organization height). Advocating only a few levels in height people are faced with the question of organization breadth, which goes back to the question of what constitutes an effective span of control. Another key point is the question of relationships between line and staff, especially the question of whether staff personnel have any authority and/or responsibility in the organization.
The modern organization theories are concerned with the identification of the strategic parts of the organization-the dependence of the various groups one on the other, the glue or linking process at work in the organization, and the goals sought by the organization and its members. In his view, effectiveness is the result not of structure, but of group interaction and cooperation.
Effectiveness depends, on the type of market served, production techniques, growth strategies, and the capabilities of organization members, the information processed, and the decisions made. Organization specialists tend to agree on the following major principles:
Organizational efficiency tends to increase as the work is directed toward the objectives of the organization.
Within limits, the more specialization of work the better.
The more a manager can manage, the less people it takes to get the job done.
There must be a clear line of authority from the top to the bottom of any organization.
No one should report to more than one supervisor.
Areas of responsibility and authority should be stated in writing.
Managers should always be accountable for the actions of subordinates.
Authority should be delegated as far down in the organization structure as possible.
Span of control, the ability to manage a certain number of people, is determined by the diversity of the jobs to be performed, the dispersion of people performing the jobs, the complexity of the jobs, the volume of work, and the manager's ability to delegate. For example, a manager of 12 sales representatives selling the same product does not have diverse management problems, only the same ones 12 times over, whereas the national sales manager for several products has different types of problems for each product, reducing the number of persons that can be managed effectively.
The location of personnel in widely spread areas lessens a manager ability to handle large numbers of persons. The number of persons that a manager can teach and aid in achieving objectives determines the span of responsibility. This becomes an unfixed limit. Organizations are designed to process information. The amount of information an organization receives and the organization ability to process it should affect structure. Any unplanned need for information processing may dictate the creation of special ad hoc groups to handle the situation.