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DSST Principles of Supervision Study Guide

Updated: Feb 13

DSST Principles of Supervision Exam Outline

Are you preparing for the DSST Principles of Supervision exam?

Our study guide provides a comprehensive overview of the exam topics, helping you focus your study efforts effectively.

Good luck with your preparation!


Table of Contents


1. Roles and Responsibilities of the Supervisor

Supervisor discussing roles and responsibilities.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Supervisor (19% - 21%)

Skill Requirements

Management and leadership skills are crucial for effectively leading teams and achieving organizational goals.

Communication skills are essential for conveying ideas and information clearly to team members and stakeholders.

Collaboration skills are essential for working effectively with others to achieve common goals.

Critical thinking skills are necessary for analyzing situations, making informed decisions, and solving problems.


Managerial Roles

Managers often play the role of a facilitator, helping to coordinate activities and resources to achieve organizational objectives.

They may also act as negotiators, representing the organization in discussions with other parties to reach mutually beneficial agreements.

Additionally, managers may serve as spokespersons, communicating the organization's goals, policies, and actions to external stakeholders.


Levels of Management

In organizations, there are typically three levels of management: top-level, mid-level, and low-level.

Top-level managers are responsible for setting strategic goals and making high-level decisions.

Mid-level managers oversee departments or divisions and implement the strategies set by top-level management.

Low-level managers are responsible for supervising employees and ensuring that day-to-day operations run smoothly.


Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Business ethics are principles and standards that guide behavior in the business world.

Managers must maintain ethical standards when interacting with employees, investors, and vendors.

Corporate social responsibility involves the idea that businesses should act to enhance society and minimize negative impacts.


DSST Principles of Supervision Trivia Question # 231


2. Management Functions

Manager giving a presentation at a meeting.
Management Functions (59% - 61%)


Planning is the initial step in the management process, where managers define goals, establish strategies, and develop plans to coordinate activities.

It sets the direction for the organization and guides decision-making.


Organizing and Staffing

Organizing involves arranging resources and tasks to achieve organizational goals.

It includes creating organizational structures, defining roles and responsibilities, and establishing reporting relationships.

Staffing involves selecting and developing individuals for organizational positions.



Leading involves influencing and motivating employees to achieve organizational goals.

It includes providing direction, communicating expectations, and inspiring commitment.



Controlling involves monitoring performance, comparing it to goals, and taking corrective action when necessary.

It ensures that plans are implemented effectively and organizational goals are achieved.


3. Organizational Environment

Employees at a Company party with team members.
Organizational Environment (19% - 21%)

Legal, Political, and Economic Environment

The legal, political, and economic environment encompasses the laws and regulations that govern business operations.

For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor standards.

Economic regulations, such as antitrust laws, ensure fair market competition. Additionally, federal laws impact various business operations, from taxation to environmental protection.


Labor-Management Relations

Labor-management relations refer to the interactions between employers and employees, particularly in unionized environments.

For instance, yellow dog contracts are agreements where employees agree not to join a union as a condition of employment.

Arbitration is a method to resolve disputes between labor and management outside of court.

Collective bargaining involves negotiations between a labor union and an employer to reach agreements on wages, hours, and working conditions.


Organizational Culture

Organizational culture encompasses the shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape the workplace environment.

For example, a company that values teamwork may foster a culture of collaboration and cooperation among employees.

In contrast, a company that values innovation may encourage risk-taking and creativity among its employees.


Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity refers to differences such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and physical abilities. Inclusion involves creating an environment where all individuals feel valued and respected.

For example, a company may implement diversity training programs to educate employees about different cultures and perspectives.

Policies promoting equal hiring and advancement opportunities can also help create a more inclusive workplace.


Global Environment

In today's globalized world, businesses often operate in multiple countries and must consider global perspectives and skills.

For example, a company that expands its operations into a new country may need to adapt its products or services to suit the local market.

Additionally, businesses must navigate the complexities of international trade, including tariffs, regulations, and cultural differences.


DSST Principles of Supervision Trivia Question # 319


4. Conclusion

Woman talking in front of team members.

DSST Principles of Supervision

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5. Student Resources


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