(i) A hierarchy is a system where people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or power within the company. i.e. the manager of a store would be above an intern or a new employee.
(ii) A department is a section within a business, dealing and managing with a separate aspect or area of activity. You put your business into departments if it’s large with members of authority above different people or groups of people within the business. i.e. a school has different departments for different subject areas as well as departments such as IT and grounds/ maintenance and a department for running the school.
(i) The span of control in the business is the area managers responsibility and duty over the rest of the business, the area manager is at the top of the hierarchy so can delegate jobs and responsibilities to members bellow him for example the snow safety supervisor but, the area manager that’s at the top of the hierarchy has sole responsibility for the business as a whole. The ratio of managers to workers is relatively even so the span of control is functional. With 13 patrollers, bottom of the hierarchy, and 5 sectors above consisting of 14 people overall the patrollers can be successfully managed.
(ii) The patrol leader has control and can therefore delegate tasks to the 4 senior avalanche patrollers, the 5 senior patrollers and the 13 patrollers. To reduce the responsibility and therefore span of control of the patrol leader they may, and should, delegate tasks to the senior avalanche patrollers that are one under the snow safety supervisors. By doing this the responsibility is spread out, the senior avalanche patrollers can then delegate down the senior patrollers and so on down the snow safety department hierarchy.
In the 1980’s there was no set hierarchy consisting of around 40 employees’ and the departments were vaguer so members of one department would take on the role of a different department if practical. E.g. members of the trial crew would organise help if they were first on the scene, this wasn’t normally there responsibility, and this would have increased the efficiency, speed, of the medical help in this situation and the business as a whole in different areas and situations. On the other hand communication would have been less organised, employees unsure who to talk to or delegate jobs too, and this may have reduced efficiency in the day to day running of the business.
In the 1990’s the company cut down the amount of employees to 25 and a hierarchy system was put in place. This meant efficiency gains were possible because the staff had to work more intensely, as well as being more closely supervised, someone above them in the hierarchy had to make sure they were actively doing the jobs set to them. Communication would have been more obvious and clear to members of the business because of the hierarchy and more consistent and set departments. Responsibility in the business was spread out. Instead of the area manager having sole responsibility over all 25 employees he had delegated ‘leaders’ in different departments throughout the hierarchy.
Delegating authority throughout the business makes the employees feel more confident and appreciated to be given more authority, making them want to rise to the challenge and work more efficiently; helping the business as whole. Delegating more responsibility and jobs to staff would mean having to raise their pay, this could be seen