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Supervision Concepts and Skill-building, S. Certo 7th ed.


a manager at the first level of management, which means the employees reporting to the supervisor are not manager

Taft-Hartley Act

defines supervisor as "any individual having authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment"

Frederick W. Taylor

1856-1915. Father of scientific management. Bethlehem Steel Company. In order to improve efficiency, it is important to consider the best way in which a job can be completed.

Henri Fayol

1841-1925. Pioneer of administrative theory. Managers must plan, organize, lead, and control.

Abraham Maslow

1908-1970. Hierarchy of needs.

Supervision - historical perspective

Supervisors should focus on efficiency
Supervisors should focus on functions to be performed
Supervisors should focus on people

Classic understanding of management skills

Technical skills
Human relations skills
Conceptual skills
Decision-making skills

Technical skills

The specialized knowledge and expertise used to carry out particular techniques or procedures

Human relations skills

The ability to work effectively with other people

Conceptual skills

The ability to see the relation of the parts to the whole and to one another

Decision-making skills

The ability to analyze information and reach good decisions

Modern view of management skills

Task-related activities
People-related activities
Change-related activities

Task-related activities

Efforts to carry out critical management-related duties, such as planning, setting objectives for employees, and monitoring performance

People-related activities

Efforts to manage people by providing support and encouragement, recognizing contributions, developing employees' skills, and empowering employees to solve problems

Change-related activities

Efforts to modify components of the organization, such as monitoring the environment to detect a need for change, proposing new tactics and strategies, encouraging others to think creatively, and taking risks to promote needed changes

Skills of successful managers

Clarifying roles
Monitoring operations
Short-term planning
Envisioning change
Taking risks for change
Encouraging innovative thinking
External monitoring

Supervising a diverse workforce

The percentage of the US workforce consisting of white men is expected to fall fro 51% in 1980 to 43% in 2014. Effective supervisors must be able to relate to a diverse workforce.

Attacking subtle discrimination

Have employees work with someone who is different
Set an example with behavior, including demonstrating respect for others
Question negative stereotypes

General functions of the supervisor



setting goals and determining how to meet them


setting up the group, allocating resources, and assigning work to achieve goals


Identifying, hiring, and developing the necessary number and quality of employees


Influencing people to act (or not act) in a certain way


monitoring performance and making needed corrections

Responsibilities of the supervisor

Recognize the talents of each subordinate
Share your vision of where the organization wants to go
Treat employees with dignity and respect
Conduct necessary meetings efficiently and ensure they accomplish their intended tasks
Keep staff informed and up-to-date
Be accessible
Conduct periodic evaluations of your group's progress
Provide an opportunity for employees to evaluate you
Praise your staff for their accomplishments
Keep in touch with your industry
Be able to perform the duties of those you supervise
Keep a sense of humor
Be fair
Follow proper hiring practices
Know the law as it applies to your company and your job
Adhere to workplace safety rules and regulations
Keep accurate employee records
Avoid sexual harassment and discrimination
Know how to fire an employee without violating his or her rights


The practice of imposing penalties for failing to adequately carry out responsibilities and providing rewards for meeting responsibilities

Becoming a supervisor

Set limits on your behavior
Don't be a rescuer
Figure out how to measure success
Communicate with everyone
Be firm
Learn from others

Characteristics of a successful supervisor

Communication Skills
Positive Attitude
Desire for the Job
Ability to Delegate

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