Principles of Supervision

Course Description

In the workplace, supervision consists of the interlocking functions of organizing, planning, controlling, and managing an organization’s resources in order to achieve the organization’s objectives. Issues such as planning, organization, directing and motivating personnel, and managing the workplace environment are a supervisor’s responsibilities.

The Principles of Supervision DSST exam was developed to enable schools to award credit to students for knowledge equivalent to that learned by students taking a business supervision course. This exam tests the knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the supervisor–planning, organization and staffing; directing at the supervisory level; legal issues; stress management; union environments; and quality concerns.

Exam Outline

The following is an outline of the content areas covered in the examination. The approximate percentage of the examination devoted to each content area is also noted.

I. Roles and Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisors – 20%

  1. Evolution of management/supervision
  2. Knowledge and skill requirements
  3. Managerial roles
  4. Levels of management
  5. Business ethics and corporate social responsibility

II. Management Functions – 50%

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing and staffing
  3. Leading
  4. Controlling

III. Organizational Environment – 30%

  1. Legal, political, economic and social
  2. Labor-management relations (e.g. unions vs. non-union, exempt vs. non-exempt)
  3. Organizational culture
  4. Diversity and inclusion
  5. Global
  6. Sustainable environments
  7. Organizational change
  8. Workplace safety and security

Sample Questions

All test questions are in a multiple-choice format, with one correct answer and three incorrect options. The following are samples of the types of questions that may appear on the exam.

1. Which of the following terms is commonly used to refer to each employee’s obligation to execute all duties to the best of his or her ability?

  1. Authority
  2. Responsibility
  3. Delegation
  4. Accountability

2. The planning that supervisors do is directly derived from plans of?

  1. customers
  2. subordinates
  3. upper management
  4. colleagues

3. A supervisor who works in a company that follows the party principle of delegation would be most likely to say which of the following?

  1. “I have adequate responsibility but not enough authority.”
  2. “I have adequate authority but not enough responsibility.”
  3. “I have an equal amount of authority and responsibility.”
  4. “I have adequate authority to meet my responsibility.”

4. Which of the following is an example of a line employee?

  1. An industrial engineer
  2. A salesperson
  3. A security guard
  4. A manufacturing department foreman

5. Employee counseling is usually NOT appropriate for addressing an employee’s?

  1. marital problems
  2. substance abuse
  3. career planning
  4. pre-retirement planning

6. When a prospective employee is being interviewed, which of the following questions CANNOT be asked?

  1. “Do you have any training that qualifies you for this job?”
  2. “Do you have any relatives working for this company?”
  3. “What is your marital status?”
  4. “Are you in this country on a visa that permits you to work?”

7. Which of the following persons developed the theory of a hierarchy of needs?

  1. Douglas McGregor
  2. Rensis Likert
  3. Abraham Maslow
  4. Kurt Lewin

8. Maintenance of departmental discipline in a factory is the function of the:

  1. human relations manager
  2. supervisor
  3. president
  4. shop steward

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Quick Facts

Here’s what you need to know about this exam:

  • 100 questions
  • Time Limit: 2 hours
  • Course Equivalent: Principles of Supervision
  • Recommended Credit: 3 Semester Hours