Case Study: Span of Management


Prof. Dileep Kumar. M

Baron Zink Ltd a large-scale private sector industrial establishment has been running with profit for the last one decade. The company had a good marketing network and sales force all over the country. The organisation has divided the entire marketing region into six divisions like East, West, North, South, Central and North East. Kiran Kumar (38) is in charge of marketing, Southern region. As a marketing manager he is very competent, hardworking and committed to his work and the organisation. The culture of the organisation widely held employees and employers competency, skill and knowledge of employees to get better reward in the organisation. The company management has better impression upon the performance of Kiran. Kiran has to maintain a manageable of sales force of Southern region. Though the Southern territory was little wide for networking, with the help of his sales force he maintained the entire region competing with other companies.

Kiran maintained a mentor-portage relationship with subordinates and engaged himself to solve many of the personal and professional problems with his sales force and made available to his sales and marketing team at any hour for quarries and concerns for strategic decision making. He usually conducts regional level meeting with his marketing and sales force to get better feedback about the product, quality, design, price, demand competition and fluctuating market environment etc. He tried to conduct market research to get information about the changes in the market. As the number of sales force members was manageable to him he made close contact with the group. By developing informal relationship and communication channels he believed that better superior-subordinates relationship could produce better results in the performance level. Kiran was excellent in developing better marketing strategies compared to other territory mangers since he was getting current information from his sales force about the market fluctuations and changes. the culture of the organisation promotes performance and competency. Kiran maintained a retention strategy of recognition and appreciation through monitory and non-monitory reward system.  Under him almost 7 middle level managers and 21 junior level managers were working. He used to conduct weekly performance meeting with his subordinate level managers and strictly followed follow-up strategies. Based on the meetings he was directing their subordinate's the marketing methods that to be changed and new strategies to be adopted. During his close interaction with the sales force members he used to extend positive strokes to improve their performance. Since the sales force and the span of management were manageable to Kiran in the southern region he could manage his region with better sales and profit. The top management didn't have any objection in his way of dealing with his sales force.

Mohan Kumar (42) Marketing Manger of central division has resigned from his post since he got better opportunity in one of the companies in North. The Central division was running with profit but not in par with other regions. The situation was critical to the company. To manage the central division, since the management didn't have immediate alternative they asked Mr. Kiran to take additional responsibilities of the central region. The central division covers many areas more than Northern region. The task was challenging to him. Kiran was unaware of the marketing network, market conditions, market fluctuations, competition of local market products and the sales force. Since the company asked only for a stopgap arrangement, for one-month time for the selection of new manager, he said 'yes' to the management. He started to managing two divisions. Thus two territories, two sales force and two set of subordinate managers came under his guidance and management. He has found difficulty in conducting regular follow-up meetings with the middle level managers, junior level managers and the sales force of two territories. Many times he was delayed in getting aware of marketing problems of new territory and existing territory, since because of that he failed to take strategic decisions in both territories. More over, he couldn't maintain the mentor portage relationship that he practiced with his sales force and the managers, in the advent of tow territory sales force due to lack of time.

Mr. Mohan Kumar followed centralized decision-making process in his territory. The span of management was very limited. He had only ten mangers to manage huge territory. The number of sales staff was high compared to South division. When the regular follow-ups and the meeting started he has faced difficulty to understand many of the marketing problem faced by the sales force in the central division. More over couldn't develop good interaction and interrelation with his central division sales force because of hectic work schedule in a limited time span. The members of central sales force had the fear and anxiety about the new Marketing Manager (Kiran) who took in charge of their territory. There were many organisational situations where Kiran could not be able to control his functional interventions and organisational behaviour. He observed the superior level performance and the target accomplishments of his sales force, compared to the central division. He realized one thing that when he took up central division, he has lost his control over his own sales forces of Southern region.  He couldn't find enough to maintain the relationship that he developed with his own sales force and the managerial members. The situation reach up to such a state that neither he could control his own regional sales force nor the new one central sales force.

Periodical review of six regions happened on the month of July. The top management recognizes the fact that the performance of the two territories viz., Central and South fall drastically within a period of three months. The wise president of marketing Division called Kiran and asked explanation of the poor performance. Kiran reported that he took up the additional responsibility of new division only for one month. He was expected to move back his division after One month. He further informed the management that the arrangement made in the marketing division was only temporary. He took in charge of the Central division as it gives sufficient time for management to recruit new manager in the vacant position. The company delayed the appointment. The two - territory was unmanageable for Kiran to handle. More over the span of management was unaffordable to single manager. The report of Kiran was not satisfactory to management.

Within a period of one week the company appointed a marketing manager in the Central division. The top management took back the responsibilities of Central division from Kiran and handover the same to the new Marketing manager. Kiran found himself highly satisfied with the management decision that at least he can extend better functional performance on his own division.


1. Differentiate job enrichment, job enlargement and span of management?

2. How the span of management affects managerial control at operational level?

3. Do you believe that management style influence the business operations? Differentiate the management style of and Mohan Kumar?

4. Will you agree with the statement that 'higher the span of management lower the flow of information and communication with subordinates'?

5. 'The company could have avoid the loss of surplus.' Elucidate.

Prof. Dileep Kumar. M

Source: E-mail July 25, 2006


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