Koontz and O'Donnell, authors of the famous and popular management text, Principles of Management devoted a chapter to the working of staff specialist in their book. It shows the importance of staff specialists in the management process.
They advocated the practice of keeping staff informed. Line has to keep its staff informed of various events in the organization so that when their help is sought, they are in the know of things and do not take up a problem as people without knowledge of the organization issues. Line managers have to continuously communicate to its staff the relevant information of events happening in the organization.
Staff also have the responsibility of knowing proactively what is happening in the organization so that when required they can apply their special tools of analysis on company specific processes. So staff have to update their discipline tools as well as organization processes.
What does it mean for industrial engineering practice?
As an organization adopts new technology, business processes or managerial processes, it has to inform its industrial engineers and train them also in these new processes. Industrial engineers have to take interest and learn relevant aspects of these new processes so that they industrial-engineer these processes as and when their services are sought for redesigning the new processes.
An interesting comment on the note by Scott Sink in Linkedin Community