Closing the Supervisor/Superior Gap

by Guvenc Alpander

Fall 1970

Volume 13
Issue 1

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Industrial organizations are becoming more deeply concerned with the interpersonal relations of their personnel. They seem increasingly anxious to reduce interpersonal conflicts and to promote harmonious working relationships. They are searching for policies and programs to promote greater job satisfaction. One of the greatest challenges facing management today is how to increase the skills of present and future managers. An increasing number of management development programs have been instituted in business. Generally, management wants to increase employee productivity by enhancing supervisors' utilization of techniques, which can develop and sustain mutually satisfying human relations. This article summarizes the research undertaken to shed some light on one aspect of supervisory leadership. The principal aim is to determine and eliminate possible sources of conflict between first-line supervisors and their immediate superiors through a new training method. Cooperating in this research project were nine business firms from a wide variety of industries, including food processing, pulp and paper, shoe manufacturing, and utilities. Participating firms were asked to select several first-line supervisors whom they felt should follow a supervisory training program aimed at increasing leadership effectiveness.

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