Significant tasks in training of job‐shop supervisors

Leonard S. Pederson (Operations and Management Department, University of Wisconsin‐Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA)
Sally Dresdow (Operations and Management Department, University of Wisconsin‐Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA)
Joy Benson (Management and Marketing Department, University of Wisconsin‐River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin, USA)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 4 January 2013



The need for effective training of first‐line supervisors is well established. Well‐trained supervision is essential to our future as a country. A fundamental step in developing effective training is to develop a jobs needs assessment. In order to develop an effective needs assessment, it is necessary to know what the tasks are of supervisors. This study aims to develop a task list with a rating for job importance. It also aims to provide suggestions for training.


The study used the Delphi survey process methodology. An initial survey instrument was developed and pilot tested. The survey was modified and used for three Delphi rounds. A fourth round was initiated to triangulate the results.


The result of the panel was a task list of 49 tasks, with an importance to their job rating range from 1.9 to 3.7, based on 0 to 4. Using a Pareto concept of reviewing the top 20 percent or top ten tasks as sorted for importance to the job, seven of the top ten tasks were most closely related to interpersonal relationships.

Practical implications

This study provides suggestions for the type of courses needed for an effective supervisory training curriculum.


Few studies evaluate supervisory tasks from the supervisor's perspective. This study is unique in that it directly surveys supervisors as to their job tasks and the importance of the tasks to their job. The training recommendations focus on areas that supervisors could immediately apply to their jobs.



Pederson, L., Dresdow, S. and Benson, J. (2013), "Significant tasks in training of job‐shop supervisors", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 23-36.

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