Lost managers or industrial dinosaurs? A reappraisal of front-line management

Patrick Mark Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A narrow concept of industrial supervision continues to dominate discussion on the future rôle of the supervisor. Although the nature and purpose of workplace supervision has continuously evolved, there remains a general reluctance to accept the significance of these changes. Substantive shifts in supervisory control indicate that there is a far broader range of policy options available in the development of supervision than is currently suggested in the literature. It is therefore important that management understand what constitutes supervision if they wish to be active and constructive shapers rather than passive observers of tomorrow's front-line management.
This paper examines the need to reconceptualise supervision and go beyond the simple dichotomy of technical competency and labour regulation. It is argued that the supervisor is neither an “Industrial Dinosaur” nor simply a “Lost Manager”, but a key organisational player whose position should be realigned to meet current organisational needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
JournalAustralian Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • supervisor
  • supervision
  • change
  • control
  • manager


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