A Supervisory View of Unit Effectiveness

by Thomas Mahoney, William Weitzel, Norman Crandall



This research suggests that the "man-in-the-middle" supervisor holds priorities more akin to those of managers than of employees. The supervisor, in fact, assigns less priority to human relations variables than does his superior. The supervisor tends to perceive human relations variables as instrumental in achieving productivity, not as ends in themselves. Assuming that supervisory values reflect assessment of the instrumental worth of these values, achievements in these human relations dimensions are useful in achieving long-run productive performance. Whether priority ought to be accorded the human relations dimensions of organizations or not is a value decision which cannot be answered through research. Many will agree that they are important only as means to the economic performance dimensions; others will argue that they ought be given priority as independent ends. The findings suggest that supervisors, at least, tend to view the human relations dimensions of organizations as having only instrumental value. The supervisor does not appear to have been affected much by the numerous arguments concerning the appropriate ends of business organizations.

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