Improving Communications Between Supervisors and essay

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"A central tenet of emotional labor theory is that employees must follow emotional display rules that specify which emotions are appropriate and how those emotions should be expressed to others" (p. 273). This research leads to support for Kongsberg developing training that could teach employees techniques for managing their emotional displays, and management can incorporate emotional display behaviors in goal-setting and performance reviews.


Diefendorff, J., Richard, E., & Croyle, M. (2006). Are emotional display rules formal job requirements? Examination of employee and supervisor perceptions. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 79, 273-298.

Pater, Van Vianen, Bechtoldt, and Klehe (2009) noted the importance of promotability evaluations when it comes to employees' career development as well as the organization's human resource management procedures. The researchers found that there was limited research on this topic, with most focused on the employee's current job performance and non-behavioral, fixed predictors. As such, they took a behavioral approach to determine "besides how one performs (i.e. job performance) what one performs also serves as an indicator of promotability. Specifically, (they) examine the relationship between employees' promotability over and above employees' current job performance" (p. 297). Kongsberg can use this information to develop challenging work assignments and appropriate evaluations of their promotability.


Pater, I., Van Vianen, a., Bechtoldt, M., & Klehe, U. (2009). Employees' challenging job experiences and supervisors' evaluations of promotability. Personnel Psychology, 62, 297-325.

Allen, Jimmieson, Bordia, and Irmer (2007) surmised that there is a lack of understanding about the processes involved with an employee addressing perceptions of uncertainty as a major consequence of organizational change. As such, their research examined "the role that different sources of communication play in addressing change-related uncertainty for employees" (p. 187). To this end, the researchers performed a qualitative study of 25 interviews of organization employees, to examine how employees handle change-related uncertainties. It was found that in certain instances, these uncertainties should be addressed by different communication sources. Kongsberg can use their findings that direct supervisors are the best source of providing implementation-related and job-relevant information during times of change. In contrast, Kongsberg senior management should be the source of strategic information.


Allen, J., Jimmieson, N., Bordia, P., & Irmer, B. (2007 Jun). Uncertainty during organizational change: Managing perceptions through communication.. Journal of Change Management, 7(2), 187-210.

Kassing's (2009) study explored how employees justified their participation in circumvention activities, such as going around or above their supervisor. They detailed a time when they participated in a circumvention, on the survey instrument. Kassing found that the primary reasons for circumvention were due to supervisor inaction, supervisor indiscretion or supervisor performance. In addition, it was found that the employees enhanced the severity of the issue as a means of further justifying the circumvention. Kongsberg supervisors should be aware of this proclivity in an effort to minimize circumvention and as a means of keeping the communication lines through the chain of command intact.


Kassing, J. (2009 Jul). Breaking the chain of command: Making sense of employee circumvention. Journal of Business Communication, 46(3), 311-334.

Liu and Batt (2010) conducted a study to examine the individual and synergistic effects of how supervisors improve their employees' performance, with the use of group management and coaching practices. Subject participants were call center agents, in a highly standardized field of employment. The results showed "that the amount of coaching that an employee received each month predicted objective performance improvements over time" (p. 265). In addition, employees showed higher performance in instances where the supervisor implemented group assignments and group incentives. Lastly, a positive relationship was found between coaching and performance when group incentives were involved. Kongsberg can utilize this information to help improve their employee performance, through coaching, group assignments and group incentives.


Liu, X. & Batt, R. (2010). How supervisors influence performance: A multilevel study of coaching and group management in technology-mediated services. Personnel Psychology, 63, 265-298.

Camuffo and Gerli (2007) noted that although manufacturing has decreased in most North American and European regions, northeast Italian organizations have been successful because of their "superior manufacturing capabilities grounded, among other things, on people's competencies" (p. 728). As such, the researchers investigated the nature of the competencies employed by production supervisors in this region. Their research identified four threshold competencies and nine distinctive competencies, which offered insight into the relationship these competencies and their organization's manufacturing capabilities. Threshold competencies were: efficiency orientation, initiative, empathy, and group management. Distinctive competencies included: planning, attention to detail, persuasiveness, networking, self-confidence, developing others, use of concepts, using technology, and social objectivity. Kongsberg supervisors can use this information to implement tools to develop skill development in these critical areas to increase their manufacturing competitiveness.


Camuffo, a. & Gerli, F. (2007 Oct). Competent production supervisors. Industrial Relations, 46(4), 728-737.

Leschinsky and Gagnon (2006) noted that individual employee performance has been proven to play an important role in the performance of an organization overall. This individual performance, they surmise, is affected by the employee's direct supervisor. However, the researchers noted that the relationship was not fully understood. Their study investigated the means of how supervisors influenced the work performance of their hourly-paid subordinates. Employee performance was categorized as either in-role or extra-role behaviors, and multiple predictors of performance were tested, using data from the supervisors and employees. It was found that supervisors do have a direct affect on subordinate performance and that "a large percentage of employees report engaging in behaviors that could reduce efficiency, quality, etc." (p. 19). With this knowledge, Kongsberg supervisors should develop their interpersonal and communication skills, to improve organizational performance.


Michael, J., Leschinsky, R., & Gagnon, M. (2006 Jun). Production employee performance at a furniture manufacturer: The importance of supportive supervisors. Forest Products Journal, 56(6), 19-24.

Sussman, L. (1974) examined the relationship concerning message distortion among employees and supervisors' job satisfaction. The researcher tested the theory that a positive correlation could be found between the supervisor's job satisfaction and his perception of the messages from subordinates as accurate. Sussman further surmised that supervisors rely upon accurate information from their employees, as a means of maintaining a their role within the organization. If the supervisor perceived the subordinate messages as inaccurate, this would have a negative effect on the perception of the supervisor's pivotal organizational position. These findings illustrate to Kongsberg supervisors the importance of the communication environment among their subordinates.


Sussman, L. (1974 Summer). The relationship between message distortion and job satisfaction. The Journal of Business Communication, 11(4), 26-29.

Wegge, Bipp and Kleinbeck (2007) conducted two experiments centering on telework within an advertising company. The supervisor motivated the employees either face-to-face or through an online video conference. These employees were motivated to solve brainstorming tasks. The researchers found that "in both experiments, stimulating challenging goals improved performance compared to 'do your best' instructions when goal setting was conducted via a video conference. Moreover it was found that participative goal setting was more effective than directive goal setting" (p. 169). Kongsberg can use this research to implement a policy for supervisors to utilize participative goal setting when goals are being set via a video conference with their employees.


Wegge, J., Bipp, T. & Kleinbeck, U. (2007). Goal setting via videoconferencing. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 16(2), 169-194.

Tangirala, Green and Ramanujam (2007) noted that "dyadic relationships in an organizational hierarchy are often nested within one another" (p. 309). They gave the example of a supervisor's relationship with an employee is nested within the relationship built between the supervisor and his superior. Studying 581 front-line nurses and 29 supervisors, the researchers proposed this leader-leader relationship moderated the effects…[continue]

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