Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Dissertation


The purpose of this research was to provide to industry and education a better understanding of what makes a supervisor a good supervisor of today's educated and technically skilled work force. Manufacturing firms that depend on advanced technologies and employee-technology relationships have made an impact on the role of supervision. The modern supervisor has a new role in managing production operations. The role has changed from that of directing and controlling employees to that of effectively leading the improvement of employee performance. This study builds upon previous research in an effort to further identify and authenticate a leadership model with which to view this new role, and a set of skills to fulfill it. A leadership model and set of supervisory skills were synthesized from a review of literature in the area of human performance technology. Categorizing the supervisory skills by their use in the leadership model, a questionnaire using Likert-type rating scales was constructed to serve as the data collection instrument in this study. Three groups (employees, supervisors, and managers) that represent manufacturing firms in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa metropolitan area were asked to rate the importance of each category of skill and skill within each category. The data collected were analyzed in three ways: First, a Pareto analysis was conducted to determine which categories and skills were most important. Second, a comparative analysis was conducted to measure how the three groups differed in their ratings for each category and skill. Finally, a one-way analysis of variance F -test was conducted to determine significant differences between the mean ratings of the three groups for each category and skill. Where significant differences were discovered, a post hoc test was also conducted to assess pairwise differences. This study was successful in identifying a leadership model and set of skills in which to fulfill a new supervisory role of improving employee performance. Although all categories and skills were rated relatively high, significant differences in the extent of their importance were discovered. Impacts on productivity strategies are discussed. Recommendations for further study and application are provided.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

David Else, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 124 pages)



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