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Peculiarities and Factors of Personal Self-Determination in Business

Priority areas of development: law, humanitarian
Department: 'Business Psychology' Laboratory
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

The problem of self-determination is very important in theory and in practice. We observe that the need for socially and psychologically competent professionals, able to develop a business effectively and efficiently, is increasing in modern society. That is accompanied by rising demand for psychological services in individual work on the personal potential development of business people and employees and in work with companies in order to raise their level of competitiveness.

The problem of self-determination in business is studied on the basis of a psychological point of view on business which can be considered a multi-aspect activity and a specific professional community. The difficulty of the business activity, social responsibility, competition, and instability are all factors imposing special requirements on people doing business. It is vital for them to comprehend their own strengths and weaknesses, specific character of status and role relations in organizations, and their position in the social and professional environment. In addition, business representatives have to build relationships with the external environment, taking into account consumer behaviour and market dynamics. In this regard, professional and social personal identity in business is the actual problem of the present research.

The methodological background to the research is composed from personal identity studies in the context of the Russian psychology of the activity paradigm (Abulkhanova K.A., Zinchenko V.P., Klimov Ye.I., Pryazhnikov N.S., Rubinshtein S.L., Shadrikov V.D.). The core approach to the analysis of business people’s activity is V.D. Shadrikov’s concept of the activity system genesis. The research is based on the idea that specific professional qualities are formed within a person while mastering an activity, their position in social environment also changes. The principal attribute of the social and professional self-determination process is identity, which is a factor and a result of the professional formation of a person, their adoption of professional norms and values, and perception of interrelation conditions (the peculiarities of the company and consumer behaviour).

Research Object: Self-determination in the professional and social world.

Subject of Research: Factors and peculiarities of self-determination in business.

Research Goal: On the basis of a previously developed theoretical model of self-identity, to analyze factors of organizational and consumer behavior in the professional and social development of business subjects.

We used methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis, the complex variety of methodological approaches, procedures, research techniques, and treatment of the data. We elaborated the original methodology to study the features of self-identity in business.

Empirical Base of the Study: Representatives of business organizations, managers and business owners.

Main Results: A general model of self-determination as a process and the fundamental category of psychology was developed. The key components (identity and ways of decision-making) were clarified, as well as their possible relationship, which makes it possible to operationalize the studied phenomenon in empirical research.

The basic stages of self-identity in relation to specific business activities were revealed.

A procedure for the analysis of self-determination based on a combination of personal activity and organizational approaches to studying the activity in the field of business was elaborated.

A method for analysing the features of decision-making in business was designed.

Some new empirical evidence aimed at refining the model of self-determination was gained and the search for new approaches was conducted. In particular, it revealed new relationships in the structure of professional identity, specific problems and deformations of the person in business, organizational settings, and socio-psychological characteristics of self-determination, specific decision-making in business.

The new data on factors such as individual self-personality characteristics of businessmen (individual psychological factors), consumer confidence (a factor of consumer protection), gender, role and structure of psychological distance (social and psychological factors), specific activities and training (professional factor) were gained.

The results of the study are implemented in the educational process of the HSE's Department of Psychology. As part of preparing psychologists for the HSE, the results are being used in many courses of the Master's programme "Psychology in Business", which examines self-identity in business and the factors responsible for the efficiency of business operations. In addition, this data is used by project participants in reading courses in other departments of the HSE (Faculty of Management and GMU, the course Social Psychology: Personality in the Social World, Socialization of a Person, etc.).
Research Implementation Considerations: These results help to advance the understanding of the mechanisms of self-identity, as well as practical ways of providing psychological support in business, counseling, in-house training, recruitment, etc.

The developed model of self-identity can be used in building social and psychological projections, as well as for the development of the practice of psychotherapy, improving psychological support and assistance to businessmen in the current socio-economic conditions.
The model of self-determination and the results of the study can be substantial to support individual coaching and training for managers and staff of companies and enterprises.

The results can be used primarily as an informational basis of individual counseling and coaching of managers and staff of organizations and business people. In addition, the results can find application in the organization of in-house training, the development of vocational, social and psychological training, the development of social relationships in business organizations, to help staff adapt to the demands of a new socio-economic environment, etc.

These results are used to improve social relations in business, helping new employees adapt to jobs and organizations, and to improve socio-psychological training.

The results of the research may be useful for improving professional, social, and psychological training, developing social relations in commercial companies, supporting employee adaptation to new social and economic requirements, etc. Today, coaching and consulting have become the most popular kinds of psychological work undertaken with business people, top executives, and employees of commercial companies.

Within the framework of developing psychological education at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics, the research results may first be addressed to students in the “Psychology in Business” master's degree programme who are studying the problems and psychological effects of personal identity in business.


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