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  1. Cathcart, Deb MS, RN
  2. Jeska, Susan EdD, MBA, RN
  3. Karnas, Joan MS, RN
  4. Miller, Sue E. MS, RN
  5. Pechacek, Judy MS, RN
  6. Rheault, Lolita BA, RN


Prompted by manager concerns about span of control, a large, integrated health system set out to determine if span of control really mattered. Was there something to it, or was it just an excuse for poor performance?


A team of middle managers studied the problem and ultimately demonstrated a strong relationship between span of control and employee engagement. Consequently, it was decided to add 4 management positions to note the effect. One year later, positive changes were observed in employee engagement scores in all 4 areas.


This study suggests careful review of manager spans of control to address the untoward effects of large spans of control on employee engagement.