Gregory M. Bounds and John A. Woods

SUPERVISION is a new college textbook for first line management. It covers the topics you expect to see in a book on this subject—from planning and decision making to hiring, leading, and understanding labor relations. However, this text covers these subjects and every subject from a special perspective: the systems view.
The systems view isn't complicated. It emphasizes the fact that all organizations are systems. A system takes in a variety of inputs and through a series of interdependent processes and using feedback from the market, turns them into products and services that customers value. By starting from the understanding that organizations are systems, this means that the fundamental job of managers, especially supervisors, is to take actions that make system processes operate well and keep customers satisfied. Helping readers learn how to do this is what this book is about.

To help supervisors manage successfully, this book focuses on six recurring themes—all consistent with the systems view. They are:

  • process management
  • teams and teamwork
  • empowerment
  • problem prevention
  • continuous improvement
  • customer satisfaction
As you read the book, again and again you will see how these ideas provide the rationale for behaviors that bring out the best in employees and deliver the highest quality products and services for the lowest costs. An important goal in writing this book is not just to provide readers with prescriptions for how to act as a supervisor but also help them see the reasoning behind these prescriptions.

Finally, we've also worked at making this book very readable. One reviewer says it's like having a friendly mentor on hand to help you understand the whats, whys, and hows of first line management. That captures it. It's easy reading, but it's not simple-minded. We've tried to explain things so that students will be able to take ownership and use them in their personal circumstances.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Systems View and New Supervisory Challenges
1. The Changing Business Environment and New Roles for Supervisors
2. Supervising People and Processes
3. Teams and Teamwork

Part 2: Planning, Decision Making, and Improving Processes
4. Planning for Performance and Improvement
5. Decision Making, Problem Solving, and Improvement
6. Control and Continuous Improvement

Part 3: Human Relations
7. Leading for Performance
8. Motivation and Performance
9. Communication in a Diverse Workplace
10. Managing Conflict and Creating Trust and Commitment

Part 4: Human Resources Management
11. Selecting New Employees
12. Appraising and Developing Employees
13. Labor Relations and Unions

Part 5: Other Challenges for Supervisors
14. Supervisors, Computers, and Information
15. Leading and Prospering in a Changing Workplace

Go here to check the detailed contents of Supervision

Read some
reviewer comments about this text.

Read a
brief excerpt from the conclusion of chapter 8 on motivation

Special Features of Supervision (Click on the links to see examples of these features.)
  • Chapter opening stories. These are mostly about real supervisors and how they deal with different different situations.
  • Key Terms. All new terms are boldfaced in the text with definitions in italics. The definitions are also on the page margins.
  • Boxed Sidebars. These provide detailed examples of various text concepts and describe various tools supervisors can use in applying the material in chapter.
  • Top Ten Ideas. At the end of each chapter is a section that summarizes the ten main ideas in the chapter.
  • Review Questions. About 10 to 15 questions ask students to remember key issues covered in the chapter. Questions often ask them to make connections between principles and sound supervisory action.
  • Self-Assessment Exercise. Each chapter includes an exercise designed to help students understand and apply one or more chapter concepts.
  • Skill Development Exercise. A set of videos accompany the text and nine of the chapters have an exercise centered on one of these videos.
  • Internet Exercise. Each chapter includes an Internet site address that provide students with additional perspective on chapter ideas and includes various questions for the students to consider. Here are the addresses of these exercises for each chapter.
  • Chapter Cases. There are two cases for each chapter that give readers a chance to apply chapter concepts to various situations supervisors might encounter.
  • Glossary. All terms throughout the book are gathered in a glossary with definitions.

  • Instructor's manual with lecture notes, answers to all text questions, answers to chapter cases, a test bank with testing software, and transparency masters (over 500 pages long with loads of help for effectively using this text)
  • Skill development videos
  • One hundred slides to use with PowerPoint presentation software
Would you like to know more about this book, its features, and how you can use it in a course or training program? Write to John Woods. We promise you a quick response.

To find out who your South-Western College rep is,
click on the logo:

Here are two articles written by John Woods that you might find helpful and interesting in thinking about the systems view theme of this text.

Paradigms, Systems, and TQM
The Six Values of a Quality Culture

book graphic

John Woods and CWL Publishing Enterprises has developed several other books that might also be of interest to you.

Check out our quotes on quality page with about 200 thought-provoking quotes on managing, leading, teamwork, and lots of other subjects.

Links and other internet resources for those interested in applying the principles presented in SUPERVISION.


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608 273-3710, Fax: 608 274-4554
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