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Skill Development

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BUS 847 - Principles & Practices of Supervision C21

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Lisa Deguire
Course Dates:
05/13/2019 - 08/11/2019

Required Course Materials:
Supervision: Managing for Results, by John Newstrom, 10th Edition
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
This course has been designed to develop and improve the supervisory skills necessary for achieving increased productivity by effectively managing allocated human resources. Topics include motivation, delegation, leadership style, implementing change, setting and achieving standards and performance management.  The emphasis of this course is on practical skills – supported by academic theory and research.  The assignments and exercises will also support the development of, monitoring, controlling and staff development skills.
Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will:

Course objectives include a comprehensive presentation of the vital aspects of supervision with a focus on practical advice about how to handle real-life, on-the-job situations.  This course recognizes the ever-changing social and work environment and reviews the current trends and situations, and the latest professional concepts of supervisory practice. The modules/sessions are arranged with an emphasis on inquiry learning, which presents the key concepts in a clear and concise manner.  Examples of inquiries include:
  1. What are the relevant features of the applied behavioural science approach to leadership, supervision and management?
  2. How and when can management evaluate individual and group strengths - assign staff and organize teams?
  3. Which circumstances and priorities support the use of Situational Leadership techniques for motivation and communication?
  4. How does a leader identify a personal approach or “default style” for supervising – what are the opportunities for growth?
  5. When planning effective performance appraisals, what data should be used, how is evidence used to support decisions?
Course Evaluation
The final grade is calculated based on the following components:

Participation: Weekly Discussion Forums
20% of Total Grade

Assignment #1: Self-Reflection – Lessons Learned (Part I & Part II)
15% of Total Grade

Assignment #2: Mini Case Study
10% of Total Grade

Assignment #3: Mini Case Study
10% of Total Grade

Assignment #4: Mini Case Study
10% of Total Grade

Assignment #5: Comprehensive Case Study
35% of Total Grade
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in business and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This course emphasizes student participation through weekly online discussion boards.  It is expected that students will read the assigned chapters per the weekly requirements.
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied.  Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request. 

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour day window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Grading Scale:
Grade Equivalent
Grade Point
Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Course Schedule:
​​ ​
Week Topic Chapters What's Due?
1​ The Supervisor’s Role in Creating a Positive Workplace
2 Setting Goals, Making Plans, Improving Costs
2 Assignment 1 Part 1
3 Problem Solving and Managing Information
4 Organizing an Effective Department – Staffing with Human Resources
4 & 5
Training and Development
6 Assignment 2 Mini Case
6 Leadership Skills, Styles and Qualities
7 Effective Employee Communication
8 Employee Performance Management and Counseling
10 Assignment 3 Mini Case
9 Motivation – Control and Monitoring
9 & 11
10 Appraising Employee Performance
12 Assignment 4 Mini Case
11 Building and Managing Teams, Resolving Conflicts
12 Diversity in the Workplace – Supervisor’s Role in Health & Safety & Labour Relations
14 & 15

Assignment 5 Assignment 1 Part 2