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Organizational Practices/Management Control pertains to the ability to identify ineffective practices, methods and systems in use or proposed for use by subordinates and to exercise management control, where appropriate, in redirecting, guiding and holding subordinates accountable for meeting their responsibilities and established goals or objectives; to recognize situations in which employees are evading their responsibilities or engaging in ineffective practices and to provide guidance and direction as appropriate to improve performance; to deal effectively with issues related to job classification, organizational structure and employee accountability; to avoid solutions to problems which are appealing n the short run but which have long-term negative consequences for productivity, efficiency, employee accountability for results and/or employee morale.

Five General Management In-Basket (GMIB) items are used to score this factor but a maximum of four skill descriptions may appear in this report section.

The following are the major characteristics of this assessee's current skill level and managerial style on this factor:

  • Skill Description:  Demonstrates a very good understanding of how to manage situations involving substandard performing employees' identifies pitfalls and ineffective organizational practices and avoids them, even when they appear on the surface to have merit; demonstrates a willingness to exercise appropriate management control and skill in doing so; also demonstrates some understanding of long-term issues related to the need for management control and employee accountability.
  • Developmental Areas and Learning Objectives:

    Managing Employee Performance Problems:  Learn to identify all possible options that are open to the manager in dealing with employees whose performance problems persist over the long run; learn to establish a meaningful long-term plan in correcting problems, specifying the actions to be taken under various circumstances; adopt action strategies that convey the organization's policies and which have the effect of developing a common understanding of these policies among employees and subordinate supervisors or managers.

  • Skill Description:  Demonstrates average skill in identifying inefficient organizational practices; demonstrates a willingness to exercise management control in situations where control is appropriate; however, does not demonstrate insight into, or recognition of, some less obvious inefficient methods of organizing work, thereby permitting certain organizational practices and subordinate activities that call for management scrutiny and control.
  • Developmental Areas and Learning Objectives:

    Planning and Organizing Work:  Learn to scrutinize methods of planning and organizing work activities, especially in cases where multiple subordinates are involved in efforts that require cooperation and planning, with the following question in mind:  "What would be the most effective method of planning and organizing this activity?"  Develop the habit of projecting the importance of efficiency in organizing cooperative activities and request information or plans as necessary from subordinates to ensure that they take efficiency into account.

  • Skill Description: Demonstrates above average skill in identifying ineffective organizational systems or procedures and in exercising appropriate management control to insure organizational effectiveness; recognizes the need to correct methods, systems or procedures that are not well thought out and which could lead to negative organizational consequences; exercises appropriate management control in guiding and directing subordinates to insure organizational effectiveness; improvement could result, however, by developing greater insight into the impact that interpersonal relationships can have on methods or operation and the attainment of organizational objectives.
  • Developmental Areas and Learning Objectives:

    Organizational Values: Develop a better understanding of how to create a work environment, and system of values among subordinates, that leads to mutual problem solving based on both the needs of the organization and the interpersonal needs of subordinates; learn to examine ineffective attempts at problem solving to determine whether subordinates are properly balancing and integrating the needs of the organization with their own needs for interpersonal harmony and group cohesiveness; learn to implement action strategies which reduce the likelihood of ineffective problem solving in the future.

  • Skill Description:  Demonstrates a need for greater insight into, and understanding of, situations in which subordinates are promoting their own dependency on their supervisor; in situations where other issues related to organizational goal attainment appear to take precedence, does not tend to recognize dependent behavior by subordinates; does not identify the need for more effective organizational practices by subordinates, focusing instead on the need to solve the immediate problem; apparently as a result, does not provide appropriate developmental guidance, direction and management control to hold subordinates accountable for more effective and competent performance in the future; demonstrates a tendency to take actions which perpetuate subordinate dependency to a significant degree.
  • Developmental Areas and Learning Objectives:

    Performance Assessment:  Learn to assess subordinate performance in various job-related situations in an ongoing manner, with particular attention to whether poor performance is a function of poor skill level, lack of effort and/or a poor attitude; learn to devise action strategies appropriate for each of these situations, setting reasonable expectations of performance as appropriate to the underlying problem, then guiding and motivating subordinates to meet these expectations.

    Holding Subordinates Accountable:  Learn to identify situations in which subordinates are engaging in attempts to effectively decrease their accountability for results, whether through making excuses, blaming others, or projecting a lack of skill or authority to accomplish a task or objective; learn to critically analyze such situations, and where it is clear that the subordinate is evading responsibility and accountability, adopt action strategies which realistically address the underlying problem, and hold the subordinate accountable.

Our In-Basket Exam Prep packages include full-length practice examinations as well as in-depth explanations for each question and corresponding behavior dimensions.  Also included in this exam prep package are: 

  • Elements of an In-Basket
  • Assessment Center Behavior Dimensions
  • Top-Scoring In-Basket Performance Strategies that have proven to be extremely successful for hundreds of promotional candidates

Your investment in these practice examinations could mean the difference between you getting promoted and not.  Don't go into an In-Basket Examination unprepared.

If you would like to review additional promotional exam prep packages, go to our Assessment Center Exam Prep pages at the links below:

Promotional Oral Interview Exam Prep

Fire Tactical Exam Prep

Subordinate Counseling Exam Prep

Lieutenant/Captain/Battalion/Deputy Chief In-Basket Exam Prep

Leaderless Group Exam Prep

Test-taking Strategies & Career Articles

Don McNea Fire School's Assessment Center Exam Preparation has been put together by Fire Chiefs who are nationally-recognized authors and who have been assessors for thousands of assessment center examinations.

As always, all of our Assessment Center Exam Prep products come with a no-risk guarantee.  If you are not completely satisfied, we will refund 100% of the product cost no questions asked.


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