The primary interventions in this study consist of two management training courses, collaboratively designed by the firm's Human Resources department and our research team.
Participants in Group T1 are base-level workers not occupying supervisory or management positions. They will partake in a "managing-up" training program, aimed at enhancing their skills to effectively interact with and manage their supervisors. This course is composed of ten lectures covering the following topics: an introduction to managing up, overcoming barriers in managing up, understanding your boss's style, preferences, and expectations, self-awareness about your work, preferences, and expectations, aligning your style with your boss for a productive working relationship, leveraging a good boss's traits to excel as an employee, effective communication strategies, conflict resolution, giving and receiving feedback, and building relationships with superiors.
Conversely, the participants in Group T2, who are managers or middle managers, will undertake an online training program focused on honing their skills in managing their relationships with subordinates. This course, similarly, includes ten lectures, but the content is mirrored to focus on managing down. Topics include an introduction to managing down, relationship building with subordinates, effective communication with subordinates, providing and receiving feedback from subordinates, training, monitoring, incentivizing, and motivating subordinates.
Both training modules will be delivered online through the firm's e-learning portal and will include a comprehensive suite of materials, such as a detailed course syllabus, lecture slides, lecture videos, and practical exercises. Moreover, each lecture includes a corresponding role-play scenario, offering hands-on experience that bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.
Participants in both treatment groups (T1 & T2) will have full access to their respective training materials throughout the experiment, fostering self-paced learning and continuous skill reinforcement. This adaptable and comprehensive approach caters to different learning styles and paces, ensuring a personalized and effective training experience.
To encourage active engagement, participants will also receive periodic reminders from the firm’s Human Resources department to dedicate time to the training course. This combination of flexibility, interactivity, and supportive reminders aims to maximize the effectiveness and impact of the training interventions.