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Title: Charting the course of future research on supervision
Author(s): Tsui, Ming Sum 
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Sage Publications
Related Publication(s): Supervision as collaboration in the human services: Building a learning culture
Start page: 272
End page: 280
The aim of this chapter is to identify a research agenda for expanding the knowledge base of supervisory practice in the human services. It includes a review of the empirical research on supervision to identify gaps and areas for future research related to the changing environment of service delivery and client demographics. Future research should provide information that will enhance the supervisory process, foster organizational change, promote effective practices, and motivate front-line staff. Ultimately, all these efforts are designed to benefit clients, which is the primary goal of effective supervisory practice.

Supervision occupies a unique and important position in human services. It is a major focal point for assessing the quality of service received by consumers, the level of professional development of front-line practitioners, and the degree of staff satisfaction (Harkness, 1995; Harkness & Hensley, 1991; Harkness & Poertner, 1989; Kadushin, 1992b; Tsui, 1997a, 2004). However, there is a limited amount of empirical research on supervision in the human services (Erera & Lazar, 1994a; Loganbill, Hardy, & Delworth, 1982). Given the sensitive and hidden nature of the relationship between supervisors and front-line workers, it is extremely difficult to collect information about supervisory performance, satisfaction with supervision sessions, or the relationship between supervisors and front-line workers in an organizational setting. In many different organizational cultures, it is difficult to persuade human services staff to consider the merits of examining this sensitive topic. This may explain the fact that there is less research literature on staff supervision than on student supervision.
DOI: 10.4135/9781483328829.n23
CIHE Affiliated Publication: No
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