Komaki, J. (1986). Toward effective supervision; an operant analysis and comparison of managers at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 270-279.

Managers (N = 24) from contrasting groups -- top (effective) and bottom (marginally effective) 28% on motivational ability - were observed a minimum of 20 times, each lasting 30 minutes. The Operant Supervisory Taxonomy and Index (OSTI) was used to observe and classify Ss' behaviors.

Most OSTI items did not discriminate between the two groups. However, performance monitoring was the key difference, with effective managers spending significantly more time collecting performance information. Furthermore, effective managers used a particular method of monitoring, work sampling; they inspected the work itself or watched persons conducting their work. No differences were found in the time spent providing performance consequences or the positiveness or negativeness of the consequences.

Effective managers are perceived to take an interest in the objective substance of each individual's work. This has implications for the theory of coaching. A coach would be well advised to increase the frequency with which they engage in attending to each individual at practices, using performance information that is gathered objectively (or use athlete-generated information), and providing positive consequences for athlete behaviors.

Implication. Coaches should emphasize, as much as possible, working with individuals, using objectively gathered or athlete-generated performance information, and providing positive consequences for athlete behaviors if they wish to be effective.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.