The historical emergence and changing role of the industrial supervisor

Patrick Mark Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The two predominant themes within debates on the relationship between technical change and industrial supervision focus attention on: firstly, the extent to which there has been a shift in supervisory emphasis away from the supervision of people and towards the supervision of technical processes; and secondly, the degree to which the traditional 'people-oriented' and more recent `technology-oriented' supervisor are becoming increasingly 'pivotal' or peripheral' to modem production systems under new forms of work organisation. The first part of the paper provides a summary account of the historical emergence and changing role of the industrial supervisor. From this discussion two general supervisory types are characterised These characterisations are then utilised in the second part of the paper which provides an analysis of the effects of technical change on the role of the supervisor. The implications of the more recent developments in technology and new production arrangements are examined and the current challenges facing management in the development of supervision are discussed The paper concludes with an appraisal of the future role of the industrial supervisor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
JournalAsia Pacific HRM
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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