IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Optimum Span of Control in a Pure Hierarchy

  • Michael Keren

    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • David Levhari

    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Falk Institute, Jerusalem)

This is a model of a pure hierarchy which oversees a given number of productive units. Its aim is to minimize costs, which are the sum of wage costs and costs caused by delays in decision making. The advantage of the model is that it permits the calculation of an optimum formal structure of the hierarchy in terms of the span of control at different levels. The general result is that spans of control should increase as one goes down the levels of the hierarchy. However, when time savings become more and wage costs less important, the difference between the optimum spans of control shrinks; in the limit, when wage costs are not considered at all, they become equal. These results support the findings of some empirical studies: there is evidence for increasing spans of control in business organizations, while in armies, where cost considerations are secondary, spans of control tend to be more uniform.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.25.11.1162
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 25 (1979)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 1162-1172

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:25:y:1979:i:11:p:1162-1172
Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:25:y:1979:i:11:p:1162-1172. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.