Sociologists are often called on to take leadership roles in a variety of settings in the academy, in public service and in private enterprise. Our supervision can take place in the academy, in graduate and undergraduate programs. We can become delegators to our over-burdened academic colleagues, controlling the depth and pace of service assignments as a potential reward system. We supervise field researchers, and staff members take direction from us in their day-to-day work assignments, establishing our responsibility for ethical processes. As direct supervisors of students or employees we have a responsibility to hire and train employees and delegate tasks appropriately. We bear responsibility for the supervision of the new generations of sociologists who will come behind us. Outside of our regular occupation roles, we are called to other roles which require delegation and supervision, perhaps because we are viewed as having a special understanding of the group dynamics of communities, bureaucracies and institutions. Perhaps we come to these roles because we understand the power of position.
In any case, few Sociologists have specialized undergraduate or graduate training in the many dimensions of organizational and interpersonal skills, or the requirements of review and compliance boards attached to supervision and research activities. We have an obligation to learn fully about these responsibilities as we move through positions inside and outside of the academy.