Document Detail

Title: RR40-11 - Supervisory Development for the Construction Industry
Publication Date: 6/1/1996
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Reference
Pages: 258
Rogge, Weber, Leever, Ellett, Oregon State Univ.
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The purpose, scope, and two major objectives of the CII Continuing Supervisory Education Research Team were as follow:

PURPOSE – To develop a process of continuing supervisory education to improve performance of supervisors.

SCOPE – Research will identify and address the educational needs of supervisors in the construction industry throughout a full career. Owner, designer, and constructor supervisors will be studied. Study will focus on supervisory rather than technical skills. The full spectrum of methods for improving supervisory performance will be studied. This means that rotational job assignments, coaching, mentoring, and other non-classroom methods will be studied as well as more traditional methods of education and training.


  1. Provide information to guide senior management in allocating appropriate levels of resources to continuing supervisory education.
  2. Produce a product which will improve the performance of supervisors in the industry.

To accomplish these objectives, four major data gathering activities were undertaken. This “source document” summarizes these research activities:

  1. Expert Supervisor Workshop – The research team conducted a facilitated workshop to which CII member companies sent their best supervisors. The objective was to determine how the “experts” became “experts.”
  2. Data were collected from a cross-section of 68 supervisors from research team companies. Supervisors were classified as “best” and “other” and attempts were made to identify characteristics which could distinguish the “best” from the “others.”
  3. Companies which are leaders in supervisory education and training were identified and studied to determine common characteristics of supervisory development programs. These companies are designated best practices companies. The majority of these companies are outside of the construction industry.
  4. The very extensive literature on training and development was searched repeatedly to refute or validate research team activities.

Based on the information obtained in these four major research activities, two products were produced which represent the accomplishment of objectives one and two above. The CII Research Summary, entitled Continuing Supervisory Education, provides information which will allow senior management to make informed decisions regarding appropriate commitment to supervisory education. CII Implementation Resource 40-2, A Framework for Continuing Supervisory Education, is a “how-to” manual for establishing and maintaining effective supervisory development programs.

This source document is a comprehensive compilation of data obtained from the research activities listed above. It contains greater depth, detail, and breadth of coverage than the CII Research Summary and Implementation Resource. It provides a solid foundation for additional research or for supervisory development implementation efforts.

Major conclusions are developed in each of the following areas:

  • Training, education, and development (TED) statistics
  • Commitment and funding
  • Essential knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors (competencies)
  • Supervisor selection
  • TED delivery
  • Evaluation of TED efforts
  • Addressing barriers to effective supervisory development