Methodology For Managing The "Digital"Generation Of Employees: HR-Logo-Management


The erratic and dynamic external environment, the expected mass arrival of a "digitized" generation of employees in the labor market makes it necessary to rapidly comprehend the situation and adapt the organization to it. HR- management methodology is important.The concept of HR-logo-management is introduced and the relevance of human management based on senses in VUCA world is justified. HR Management (Human Management by Sense HMbS) is management at the level of senses involvement - rational-logical bases of activity and problems. Logical management has been conceptualized as philosophy and practice of HR management. Human Management by Sense integrates hermeneutic, existential-phenomenological and pragmatic-constructive approaches and their corresponding methods: critical thinking, intentional and project. Concepts of world-view and methodological settings of Gen Z, relevant to HR management: concept of “self”, concept of working hedonism, concept of understanding, concept of cooperation, concept of flexibility and short-term are revealed.The main logo-management indicators (personal sense, sense of work, sense of labor relations, and sense of working conditions) and functions (existential and rational reference point, Well-being, collaboration, flexibility of organizational conditions) are developed on the basis of these concepts. A methodological conceptual scheme of HR-logo-management has been developed, based on recognition of HR-operand functional importance for the organization, whose methodology is project-construction-oriented. The methodological conceptual scheme includes factors affecting HR-logo-management (employee-manager-organization), logic processes (decoding and clarification of sense, problematic, designing and evaluating viability of sense), main indicators and functions of logo-management, stages HRM and HR-tools. Main effects of logo-management are identified.

Keywords: "Digitized" generationlogo-managementmethodologymindfulnessproblemsense


Searching for and introducing various human management concepts into management practice is a response to the external environment challenges due to the need to adapt organizational reality to them. First, the environment transformation creates fundamentally different opportunities for people. Key trends are: technological (digitalization, automation, and robotization), social (demographic changes, network society formation) and technical and social (economic, technological and cultural globalization, greening) define a new image of the workplace (Skills of the future…, 2017), the emergence of new employment forms, professions of the future and "retired professions" and their adequate super-professional skills (Atlas of New Professions 3.0, 2020).

Second, information redundancy, erratic and dynamic VUCA world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) require the quality of "Rapid Insights", i.e. "ability of quick understanding about the essence of any situation" to be manifested (Barman & Potsangbam, 2017). However, digital transformation as such does not provide a universal rational basis for understanding and addressing the problems of human organizational existence.

Problem Statement

The high-tech electronic environment influenced the worldview and methodological attitudes of young employees (born since 2003 according to RuGenerations classification) the Russian School of Generational Theory (Rugenerations –Russian School of Generational Theory, 2020), who did not know the world "before Google" and "touchpad." "Digital Natives" (Prensky, 2001) is the first generation of employees who were born and raised in the world of new technologies. The "digits" tools are "Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives" (Prensky, 2001, p. 1). The specific character of this cohort, according to the generation theory of N. Howe and W. Strauss (Howe & Strauss, 2007), are reflected in the iGen: "Z," NetGen, "digital generation," centenials, "selfie," network generation, "techno-drug addicts" and so on (Stillman & Stillman, 2017; Turner, 2015).

2.1. The study of corporate culture in Russia (Corporate Culture in Russia…, 2019) revealed the so-called "lack of sense" caused by the difficulties of interaction in organizing different generations of employees and self-determination problem of new generation representatives (Corporate Culture in Russia…, 2019). Nor does abuse of electronic devises contribute to a meaningful attitude towards reality; it justified, "that readers’ electronic device usage is negatively correlated with the involvement of key brain regions for integrative information processing" (Hsu et al., 2019, p. 5), whereas Gen Z prefers these means of communication to other means, and uses them for different purposes including professional ones. It is necessary to comprehend the essence of work in case the idea of Basic-Income Guarantee is accepted (Zwolinski, 2020) - when the working population is paid in order to ensure people’s basic needs, as well as a preventive measure to free them from fear of losing work: "why then will a person go to work? If a person goes to work only to earn a livelihood, he will not need such work" (Skills of the future…, 2017).

2.2. It should be borne in mind that the generational values of modern youth are not properly reflected upon (30 Facts about Modern Youth, 2017; Bogachova & Sivak, 2019) and may change as they grow older in accordance with "Generational Diagonal" (Howe & Strauss, 2007, p. 45). However, it is high time for the organization to rethink the attitude towards employee management due to the "digitization" of Gen Z, the integrity of the real and virtual world perception. It is relevant for the organization to be adapted to the value settings of Z-experts due to their expected mass arrival at the labor market: "by 2025 generation Z (1997 born and younger) will make up about 25% of the total labor force" (Russia 2025: From Personnel to Talents, 2017).

Research Questions

Relevance of HR logo-management

Rethinking working conditions, finding effective HR concepts and management methods is a necessary tool to adapt the organization to the challenges of the environment. HRM balancing in a volatile environment will provide existential support for rational organizational behavior. In order to acquire it the organization must "hook" Gen Z on the rational-logical and emotional level of sense, i.e. sense of the situation taking into account context. And it is appropriate to do so in the short term, because the future for Z is abstraction. This is what logo-management aims at - managing a person in an organization on the basis of sense (senses, HMbS). The focus of sense is necessary so as to identify and clarify the initial position of staff, develop concepts and alternatives, analyse and assess the risks of possible changes.

Organizational Sensemaking

Addressing sense in the context of organizational "making" is a trend of modern research. Despite the lack of the coordinated expert definition of Sensemaking, authors agree that the process of organizational Sensemaking is the instrument of plausible understanding of intricate, ambiguous or knotty problems or situations (Brown et al., 2015; Gudova, 2020; Maitlis & Christianson, 2017; Sandberg & Tsoukas, 2015; Smith, 2016; Weick et al., 2005; Weick, 2015). The nature of organized Sensemaking and the stages of sense production are identified; the usefulness of Sensemaking for organizational research from the perspective of organizational theory and management practice is determined (Weick et al., 2005); the main components of Sensemaking are systematized (Sandberg & Tsoukas, 2015). Sensemaking appears to be an integrative process of "unpacking," understanding, and creating sense (Brown et al., 2015; Maitlis & Christianson, 2017), important for management decision-making and organizational change management (Brown et al., 2015; Gudova, 2019; Konlechner et al., 2018; Maitlis & Christianson, 2017; ; Peng, 2018 Will & Pies, 2018). The conditions of efficient organizational Sensemaking are studied (Kudesia, 2017), Sensemaking is proposed to solve poorly structured problems (Smy et al., 2016), to overcome negative influence of emotions (Diochon & Nizet, 2019; Helpap & Bekmeier-Feuerhahn, 2016; Will & Pies, 2018). However, the instrumentality of Sensemaking in a person’s management in the organization has not been developed, which would be based not on organizational processes, but on HR-operand and would take into account the specific characteristics of the new generation of employees, for whom it is important to understand the sense of the situation and the final work result, creative realization of self-interest in work that gives pleasure, relations of cooperation with colleagues and management. This article is an attempt to develop a methodological concept of HR-logo-management.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to work out a methodological concept of HR-logo- management (Human Management by Sense) of “digital” generation employees. To achieve this purpose it is necessary to carry out the following tasks: to identify concepts of world-view and methodological settings Gen Z, which are relevant for HR management; to prove relevance of logo-management; conceptualize Human Management by Sense as a philosophy and practice of HR management; to build a methodological conceptual scheme of HMbS.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study was pragmatic constructivism.

The main methods of research used in the work are: dialectical method, critical analysis method, logical-heuristic method, systemic approach, communicative-pragmatic approach, and conceptualization.

The results of research into the values of Russian representatives of generation Z served as empirical basis of research (30 Facts about Modern Youth, 2017; Generation Selfie…, 2016; Generation Z and Labor Market in Russia, 2019; Trends in personnel management in Russia, 2019; Ivanova & Ryabinina, 2019).


Gen Z Mindsetst Concepts

The main criterion in choosing an employer and the main material motivator for the vast majority of Russian Gen Z representatives is the level of wages and material remuneration. In this, the new generation of employees is no different from its predecessors.

Gen Z’s worldview and methodological settings are characterized by the following concepts relevant to HR management.

  • The concept of the self, "DIY" (do-it-yourself)

Gen Z are individualists, the possibility of self-identification, self-realization, and self-development is important for them. However, centennials do not have ambitions to become leaders: only 40% expressed such desire (Generation Z and Labor Market in Russia, 2019).

  • The concept of working hedonism

People must enjoy their work, it should be creative, bring pleasure from tasks performance; lack of interesting projects/routine work tasks, as well as public criticism, demotivate Z. Moreover, 72% of Russian Z are ready to fundamentally change their profession if they do not like what they do (Generation Z and Labor Market in Russia, 2019).

  • The concept of understanding

It is important for the "digital" generation to understand the sense of the work tasks performed and the ultimate goals of the activity. Explicit and clear setting of tasks, separating areas of responsibility and assessing work results facilitates understanding own success and benefits to business. 56% of respondents believe that the situation "when there is no understanding of what the sense is, and what its implementation will eventually give," demotivates their working process (Generation Z and Labor Market in Russia, 2019).

The authors of the article consider the concept of understanding to be the methodological core of the Russian representatives of generation Z. mindset.

  • The concept of cooperation/anti-hierarchy

The digital generation values the importance of partnership with adults, the comfort of the working environment and a friendly team. Their idea of an ideal leader is a mentor, the one who "slightly directs" and helps professional and personal development; who is able to set accurate and clear tasks; who is capable to give feed-back and to estimate work results. Only 17% of respondents are ready to recognize the leader only because of his position on the career ladder (Generation Z and Labor Market in Russia, 2019).

  • The concept of flexibility and short-termed

Gen Z prefers flexible working conditions (flexible hours, remote work): only 13% of respondents are ready for full-time work in the office (Generation Z and Labor Market in Russia, 2019). The new generation of employees prefers short-term projects "here and now" to abstract future; they can appear as "labor ghosts" for the organization (Ivanova & Ryabinina, 2020), or "organizational travelers": 61% of Russian Z-s plan to leave the company within 2 years (Trends in personnel management in Russia, 2019).

Human Management by Sense as a Philosophy and Practice of HR Management

Sense is the concept of human management in the organization. Sense (from ancient Greek λόγος - a word, thought, reason, and common sense) indicates the presence of thought in the speech or in the action of the subject, the basic essence of the mind. Ontologically, human management in the organization is not reduced to the automatic action of the subject on the personnel, like the mechanisms management. This is a conscious and deliberate influence on people by actors and governing bodies in order to obtain the desired results.

HMbS is based on the trinity of hermeneutic, existential-phenomenological and pragmatic-constructive approaches and is relevant to the Soft methodology of "pragmatic constructivism" (Ivanova & Ryabinina, 2019; Nørreklit, 2014).

Hermeneutic approach demands identification and understanding of sense as mutual understanding "about the subject matter" (Gadamer, 2006, p. 385). The process of reflection requires responsible participation, informed actions at different levels of management: the level of the individual, the team and the organization as a whole. It should be borne in mind that such "mindful action requires not only commitment to our values and beliefs, but also courage to doubt" (Kudesia, 2017, p. 31). In other words, the hermeneutic approach implements a method of critical thinking that requires the employee to implement skills of interpretation, analysis, evaluation, understanding, explanation, and self-regulation (Facione, 1990) and is not reduced to an infinite regression of doubt. “Critical thinking doesn’t mean we disparage everything, it means that we try to distinguish between claims with evidence” (Levitin, 2018, р. 20); this is ‘using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems” (The Future of Jobs Employment…, 2016, р. 52).

The existential-phenomenological approach highlights the personality of sense: sense is interpreted as being and a subject inseparable from the world, sense "is conditioned by the individual’s conscious intentions, implemented by himself" (Jaspers, 1997, p. 337). The act of self-awareness is fully correlated with the intentional method of understanding sense in communication with other people. The understanding of sense is achieved at the junction of hermeneutic and existential-phenomenological approaches and the application of appropriate methods.

According to the pragmatic-constructive approach, employees in the community generate sense. They design ideas that are practically useful for them and the organization and that are to be implemented, preferably in the short term. The sense is assessed by viability: taking into account strengths and weaknesses, risks of implementation, opportunity of the employee to enjoy performance of tasks and work results, including in the monetary form. This approach corresponds to the project method aimed at solving the problem, creating a clear basic idea, which will make it possible to overcome the mismatch between the actual situation and the expected situation and form a unique vector of professional development of the employee and organizational advancement. Schematically the construct of HMbS is presented in figure 1 where: H is hermeneutical approach, ST is a method of critical thinking, ER is existential and phenomenological approach, I is an intentional method, RS is the pragmatic- constructive approach, P is a design method, SU is understanding of sense, - -----is the line of understanding sense, ⊠S is uncertainty of sense, Si is sense of a source, Sn is sense of the recipient, EM is effect of management.

Figure 1: Construct of Human Management by Sense, HMbS
Construct of Human Management by Sense, HMbS
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The main indicators and main functions of logic control are defined taking into account the factors of influence on HRM, concepts of Gen Z mindsets, concept and design of HMbS. The methodological conceptual scheme of HR logo-management, which implements the design and constructive orientation of methodology is developed. This diagram is showing Figure 2 .

Figure 2: Methodological conceptual scheme of HR-logo-management
Methodological conceptual scheme of HR-logo-management
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The personal sense - "it matters to me" - is the employee’s own existential-rational reference point, guiding him to reasonably achieve vital goals. The function of the work sense is implemented in improving the level of an employee’s well-being on the basis of his/her involvement in work: the employee understands the sense of the work performed, understands the contribution to the achievement of common goals, sees the work result and shares this value with the company. Understanding the sense of labour relations manifests itself in rational anti-hierarchical cooperation to achieve common goals. The purpose of the sense of working conditions is to implement flexible conditions by the organization, enabling it to adapt quickly to the changing situation. It is equally important that the need to work in changing conditions is understood by the employee, including learning new skills/professions demanded in the labour market.


The logic control can be applied in a continuous HR control cycle. It is particularly important to implement it at the stages of personnel recruitment, adaptation, and organization of project solution of tasks, evaluation and professional development of personnel. The general organizational effect of HMbS is a pragmatic-constructive adaptation to the challenges of the environment - VUCA world and the mass arrival of the workforce of the “digital” generation. This effect is based on understanding the sense of the actual activity and the problem situation. The general effect of logo-management for the employee is the possibility to increase Well-being on the basis of acquiring existential-rational orientation of self-development: when consciously performing clearly set diverse and interesting tasks, in connection with understanding of the ultimate goal of activity when performing tasks. This can help to increase the employee’s loyalty to the organization.

Understanding the sense regulation of the management subjects behavior - compliance of the senses of specific subjects with their age peculiarities, special character of the social identification process, will provide the opportunity to build the process of management in the organization otherwise. Understanding the personal sense of the employee means saving time and funds for their adaptation, development, and release. Understanding the sense of work, the labor relations, the actual activity and a problem situation for the employee is the basis for rational behavior, reflection of their own points of growth, planning and implementing the corresponding procedures. The synergistic effect of HMbS is determined by the "communicative success" of sense: the agreement of sense in the anti-hierarchical partnership community and the division of responsibility of actors for its implementation.

Thus, the introduction of HR-logo- management into management practice is based on the need to adapt the organization to the challenges of the external environment. HMbS implies an appeal to the level of grounds of activity and problematic situation. This philosophy and practice of management implements hermeneutic, existential-phenomenological and pragmatic-constructive approaches and is built as identification, understanding and awareness of the actual situation sense and generating the sense which is practically useful for the organization and enhancement of the employee’s Well-being. HMbS has potential effects for both the organization and the employee and can be implemented at different stages of HRM.


The research was supported by the RFBR in the framework of research project № 19-010-00322 “Transformation of the concept of human management: understanding the relationship of a person and organization in the era of post-industrialism in the light of new generation labour influx”.


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Ivanova, O. E., & Ryabinina, E. (2020). Methodology For Managing The "Digital"Generation Of Employees: HR-Logo-Management. In O. D. Shipunova, & D. S. Bylieva (Eds.), Professional Culture of the Specialist of the Future & Communicative Strategies of Information Society, vol 98. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 608-617). European Publisher.