“This book is well-written, well-organized, and presented in a rational and systematic manner. The subject matter of the book is well-grounded in theory and a superb analysis of the literature is presented. The literature review is comprehensive, well-integrated, and provides a substantive synthesis of a voluminous body of published material. It makes important contributions to professional supervision practice and research in human service organizations.”

—Roosevelt Wright, Jr., Ph.D., University of Oklahoma

“Graduate students, upper level undergraduate students, and college-educated practitioners would find this text both accessible and interesting. The discussion questions at the ends of the chapters are very helpful in further allowing immediate application of the ideas that were presented. It is a well-designed and well-written text.”

—Miriam Johnson, University of South Carolina

Supervision as Collaboration in the Human Services: Building a Learning Culture integrates the latest thinking in the human services to provide supervisors and those preparing to become supervisors with a new approach to the important skills and knowledge needed for effective practice in the 21st century. While it builds upon past efforts to define the principles and practices of supervision in the human services, it seeks to chart new territory that reflects the changing nature of organizational life. Supervision as Collaboration in the Human Services uses a framework that features the key aspects of a learning culture, the process of organizational learning, and the roles that supervisors can play in transforming traditional human service organizations into learning organizations. Chapter authors are authorities in their respective areas of practice and have shaped their chapters around this framework.

The editors have divided the experientially focused chapters into sections that feature the collaborative and interactional nature of supervision, the managerial nature of the supervisory role, the analytic nature of supervisory practice, and the unique practice settings that affect the nature of supervision. The chapters include case vignettes and discussion questions.

This book is ideally suited as an essential core text for graduate and undergraduate students of social work and counseling, as well as a much-needed reference for human services supervisors and practitioners.

The Managerial Roles of the Supervisor

The managerial roles of the supervisor

Traditionally, scholars sort management into three levels: top, middle, and front-line supervision (Austin, 1981; Hasenfeld, 1983; Kadushin, 1976; Kettner, 2002). These levels roughly correspond to strategic, tactical, and operations management, respectively. To fully appreciate the role of the frontline supervisor, it is necessary to study it within its broader management context. In recent empirical studies, Menefee and Thompson (Menefee, 1998, 2000; Menefee & Thompson, 1994) tell us that social work management practice is composed of 12 competencies, and, as we shall see, each competence gets about the same amount of emphasis in each level of management (see Figure 12.1). The 12 competencies are boundary spanning, futuring, aligning, teaming, communicating, advocating, supervising, facilitating, leveraging resources, ...

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