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           New managers are often asked to fill supervisory positions without any formal training or guidelines. As a result, they develop a managerial style based on their own personalities and personal theories about appropriate managerial behavior, or they rely on experience as a guide to their actions. Unfortunately, this philosophy increases the likelihood that new managers will make basic errors as they attempt to become effective managers. They might develop an ineffective management style that they carry with them throughout their managerial careers.

Training Scenario


           Tom has recently been promoted to day supervisor for the electrical department. His promotion was well received by everyone in the department because he had no problem interacting with co-workers or management. Besides, Tom was clearly recognized as the best electrical technician in the generating plant. When others could not solve a problem, Tom was often called and the gauge, pump, or terminal was soon working again. 

           In the generating plant technicians float throughout the facility working on problems and checking equipment. As a result, there is little interaction between the supervisor of the electrical unit and subordinates unless a problem arises, or work is being assigned. Recently, a number of people in the electrical group have complained that Tom is hard to reach because he's out working on a tough job. Last week the union filed a grievance that Tom was doing production work. Tom was very disturbed and angry not only at the grievance but also with the suggestion by his boss that he should make himself more readily available to all his staff throughout the day.

           Tom couldn't see why everyone was making such a big fuss about his behavior. He had long believed that supervisors and subordinates were part of the same team. As long as the equipment was kept running and customers received their power, it shouldn't matter who provided the effort. Tom put it this way: "If I'm out in the plant and I see a gauge out of adjustment, it is easier for me to fix it than to find one of my crew to do it. That's what I've been trained to do for five years. And this business of being available—what do they expect of a guy? After all, I can only be in one place at a time. Besides, I've been reading up on all the equipment in the generating plant and, if need be, I can now fix just about anything."


           You are a group of Training and Development specialists in the Human Resources Department of this electricity generating plant. The Manager of the plant has asked you to develop a training program for Tom, the new manager, to help him develop an effective managerial style. Start by analyzing Tom's situation. What is the problem, what are some of the basic errors he made, what does he need to do? You should follow the provided framework to design a comprehensive training program for new managers that should be ready in two months.

Taken from:

Mealiea, L.W. (1994). Skills for Managers in Organizations. Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin.

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I.                  Identify the Needs of the Organization

A. Types of Problems

B. Sources of Needs

C. Organizational Diagnosis: How is the company doing, how can it do better?

II.               Specify Job Performance

           A. Perceptions of the Job

           B. Interdependency of Jobs

           C. Gathering of Data: Sources and Methods

III.            Identify the Needs of the Learner

           A. Gathering of Data: Sources and Methods


IV.            Determine Objectives

           A. Program Objectives

           B. Learning Objectives

V.               Build Curriculum

           A. Content

           B. Categories

           C. Sequence

           D. Lesson Plans

VI.            Select Instructional Strategies

           A. Types

           B. Selection


VII.         Obtain Instructional Resources

           A. Physical Resources

           B. Financial Resources

VIII.      Conduct Training

           A. Participants

           B. Facilities, Equipment and Materials

           C. Opening, Operating, Evaluating and Closing the Program

Taken from:

Nadler, L. & Nadler, Z. (1994). Designing Training Programs: The Critical Events Model. Houston,TX: Gulf Publishing Co.


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