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Konstantin Barannikov1, Fayruza Ismagilova2
  • 1 Institute of Management Design and Competitive Strategies LLC, Russian Federation, 620050, Yekaterinburg, Sedov str., 44, a-71
  • 2 Ural Federal University, named after B.N. Yeltzin, 51, Lenin Str., Ekaterinburg, 620000 Russia

Interaction between manager and young professionals about their professional mistakes: An analysis using the focus group method

2022. Vol. 12. No. 3. P. 70–91 [issue contents]
The article presents the study of the interaction between managers and their young subordinates where both sides discuss the subordinate’s mistake. Purpose. The purpose of the study is to determine the psychological characteristics of such an interaction. Method. As a research method four focus groups for managers and their young subordinates have been used. All participants (N = 34) work in different branches at the Ural commercial and industrial company (Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Ufa, Tyumen and Perm). Each focus group was conducted remotely and lasted for 1.5 hours. The following variables were recorded for analysis: 1) the type of behavior of young subordinates (proactive or reactive); 2) interaction strategies (“win —win” or “win — lose”), 3) willingness of subordinates to acquire new knowledge through error analysis; 4) consistency of the positions of the leader and subordinate; 5) both sides’ mistakes in planning, organization of work and control. The total number of collected statements in the focus groups of managers turned out to be twice as high as the statements of young professionals. Findings. Two significant differences were revealed in the positions of managers and subordinates. They are the following: a) a different understanding of what kind of behavior is expected from a young employee — proactive or reactive; b) different attitudes towards compliance with organizational norms and standards. In addition, managers have shown that they do not have, or at least are not able to explicitly formulate their strategy for dealing with their subordinate’s mistakes. At the same time, they expect a “win — win” interaction strategy from him. Young subordinates also do not have sufficient competence to implement the win — win strategy when discussing their mistakes with the manager. The recommendations formulated based on the results of the study emphasize the importance of prescribing a strategy that is clear to managers for their work with the mistakes of a subordinate and an attentive attitude to his skills in planning, organizing and controlling work. As one of the effective tools, an algorithm for joint error analysisis proposed that allows you to transfer the conversation from an emotional plane to a constructive one. Practical value of the results and perspectives of the study. At the stage of professional growth, young specialists form the prerequisites for a strategy of systematic concealment of mistakes. This strategy’s psychological indicators are not only the fear of possible punishment, but also the lack of effective communicative, organizational, and operational competencies in both participants in the interaction “manager — specialist». In addition to the recommendations, this study allowed us totest the scenario of a focus group in organizational conditions, which can be used by organizational psychologists, consultants, personnel managers to identify contradictions in critical interactions abouterrors in the workplace. The recommendations proposed in the article may be relevant in the context of organizational changes, when employees’ errors become almost inevitable since the organization is implementing a new strategy. More in-depth research is needed to better understand the links between career orientations of a young specialist and his or her attitudes towards the “win — win” strategy in interaction with the employer.

Citation: Barannikov K., Ismagilova F. (2022) Vzaimodeystviye rukovoditelya s molodymi spetsialistami po povodu ikh professional'nykh oshibok: analiz metodom fokus-gruppy [Interaction between manager and young professionals about their professional mistakes: An analysis using the focus group method]. Organizacionnaâ psihologiâ (Organizational Psychology), vol. 12, no 3, pp. 70-91 (in Russian)
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