There may be many reasons behind a dysfunctional collaboration between a manager and one or more employees.  

One of the most frequent causes of bad cooperation is differences in personality, values, and problem-solving approaches. There is ample research indicating that diversity in an organisation leads to better solutions, but this can just as easily create tensions and challenges. People are very different, and most assume that others think and act as they, themselves, would. When managers and others involved in recruitment, do not possess adequate knowledge and experience to identify these differences and evaluate if, and how, they may contribute positively – there is a risk that the cooperation may become difficult and stressful. Here, a test provides a good opportunity to reveal differences in personality, values, and approaches – both in recruitment contexts, and when there is a need to improve an existing collaboration – see more under Tests (psychological tests).

Another cause for poor cooperation may be organisational: That there has not been established goals, methods, and frameworks when solving a task, or that these have not been sufficiently clarified.

A third cause may be that there, within the organisation, are not sufficient opportunities to vocalise thoughts and feelings concerning decisions, relations in the organisation, etc. Often, expressing every thought and emotion may not be constructive and beneficial for cooperation and relations. However, there is a risk for increased frustration, and decreased motivation, energy, and engagement, if thoughts and feelings are held back. For this reason, it is essential to find methods where both positive and negative emotions can be expressed constructively.

Course on collaboration employing a Type Indicator Test  

The course focuses on differences in personality types, values and approaches to solving the core assignment in an organisation. The participants have beforehand filled out a type indicator (MBTI) that clarifies and explains differences in how an individual functions and solves tasks, so that instead of a recurring discussion about which approach is the best, there is instead developed an understanding of how we individually with our approaches and preferences attempt to contribute and solve the challenges. 

 The course also focuses on communication – how disagreements can be handled through constructive dialogue and how differences in perspectives and solutions can be applied constructively to achieve a better result. An additional focus is how emotions are best utilised and handled in an occupational context where one is responsible for clients/inmates, or one has to be a positive role model and not expose oneself in ways that may later be used against oneself. 

Finally, the course focuses on how managers can provide sufficiently clear structures and goals.  

The course/concept can be used to improve the relationship between a manager and an employee, the collaboration between colleagues/employees or within a team or a department.  


Organisational and cultural concept that creates engagement, satisfaction, quality, and productivity by establishing a “feedback and improvement” work culture.

SAM-arbejde is about improving the organisation’s way of being an organisation:

  • the cooperation in the organisation
  • how tasks are solved
  • the quality of the work
  • employee well-being and job satisfaction
  • productivity
  • reduced sick days
  • lower employee turnover

by establishing a work culture focusing on feedback, recognition, and improvement. We work with behaviour, relations, communication (between relations), decisions, strategies, procedures, systems (the professional/commercial).

The change arises by systematically expressing both positive and inappropriate/negative aspects within the organisation, over a period of timeWhen the positive aspects are expressed through recognition and praise, motivation increases, individuals “grow”, and the good behaviour and performance is strengthened. If negative and inappropriate aspects are not addressed, it becomes impossible to change them.

As it is easier to address the positive, it is here we start. Suggestions for improving procedures etc. are also, from our experience, not so challenging. Addressing and suitably handling the negative reports is crucial to ensure the reports can be used constructively.

The project is initiated by introducing management, managers, HR, the health and safety organisation, and union representatives to the project, the mindset, the system, and most importantly, what their role in the project is.

After this, a kick-off event is arranged for the entire organisation, and the project runs the subsequent 2-3 months – essentially on its own. The external consultant monitors the process and ensures that it is developing appropriately and constructively. Management and managers do not have access to the content within reports but are updated and informed about the employees’ participation in the project. This way, we ensure that everyone is participating actively in the project.

Managers may also need education and training in how to handle conversations with employees, and receiving critical reports from employees.

At the end of the agreed-upon period, the project is evaluated, and it is decided whether it should continue in full, or partially.