Concepts: Chapter 3

Supervisory Skills and Cooptation.

Supervisory Skills:

One of the change strategies devised by the human relations school gives importance to supervisory skills in promoting worker morale. Supervisors required special training in order to become more sensitive to the social and psychological needs of those whom they managed. Mayo (influenced by Barnard) stressed the important role played that supervisors needed to play in order to encourage cooperation between workers which would not occur automatically. Emphasis on supervisory skills in the human relations approach led to the birth of many diverse efforts in leadership training.

Leadership training programs continue to play an important role in organizations; managers need to be in tune with their employees in order to be able to achieve their goals and targets as organizations. This has been discussed widely in both education and management spheres since the rise of the millennial generation has required re-training of many generation-X managers.

(Scott and Davis, p. 68)


Cooptation is a mechanism by which external elements are incorporated into the decision-making structures of an organization. For example, local leaders may be recruited to participate in an organizations decision-making process. Such tactics can ensure that the organization would enjoy local support for its programs. However, such support is normally received in exchange for some influence on the organization’s workings.

Cooptation can have the adverse effect of allowing private interests to hijack projects where the goal is public benefit. It is then up to the management in an organization to decide what price are they willing to pay to accomplish what – some goals may have to be compromised to achieve other more important ones.

(Scott and Davis, p. 75)

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