Experiment results: what can human managers tell an artificial manager about their work? Part 2

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In the previous part of the post, I described how I recorded two managers working with TransistorsHead.com tools on the same project – setting goals and tasks. However, this is not the end of the story. We decided to add to this experiment to see what the participants really remembered and what – if we hadn’t recorded them – they would have told the artificial manager about their work.

After the experiment, we asked the participants about how they perceived the work they had done and what they remembered about the course of their work. The differences between the perception of their work and the actual actions taken by the participants in the experiment were quite significant. For example, one of the participants in the experiment believed that each of his team members had been given different tasks to perform, aiming to achieve set goals. In fact, the manager assigned all the tasks to the same person. There were similar confusions about, for example, the number of goals set, the frequency of their revision, the assessment of the degree of change in the content of the goals (i.e., the value of the quantities measured of these organizational quantities), etc.   

Comparing the opinions of managers with the results of observations of their work made it possible to accept as true two hypotheses posed in the study. The first was that managers are not fully aware of their activities during the management process they create. This means that managerial activities occur in organizational reality, which are the result of more unconscious than conscious actions of the manager. As a result of the verification of the second hypothesis, it was accepted as true that the size of the managed enterprise, measured by the number of processes performed (i.e., managerial activities), does not affect how conscious the manager is of the actions taken.

The results of the study confirmed the thesis that the memory of human behavior is related to the objects that man creates, and this memory, as it were, is located in the relations between these objects and in the relations between man and these objects. The comparison of managers’ opinions with the results of observation also revealed the weaknesses of traditional research techniques, such as the survey technique or the interview technique, used to study managers’ behavior.

In summary, people don’t remember what they did. They couldn’t teach the machine their work simply by telling about it. In the case of a robot manager, we need to use measurement tools that accurately record the manager’s work. I did this with online manager tools on the TransistorsHead.com platform. If you are curious about how these tools work, email me.

You can find the entire article on the subject here:

Flak, O., & Pyszka, A., Differences in perception of the participants in the management process and its real trajectory