Robots and Humans: Who Makes a Better Manager?

Robots and humans have different strengths and weaknesses. If you need heavy lifting, lightning speed, and pinpoint accuracy without errors, you want a robot for the job. If the task requires nimble decision making, creativity, considering thoughts, feelings, and emotions, responsiveness, and the ability to adapt to circumstances, humans take the cake.

You would think people make better managers given the different skill sets of robots and humans. However, it seems that a majority of workers trust a robot more than their manager.

Do workers trust robots more than human managers?

A recent study from tech giant Oracle and research firm Future Workplace found that 64% of workers would trust a robot over a human manager.

  • 89% of workers in India trust robots over human management.
  • 88% of workers in China put more trust in robots than human managers.
  • 57% of U.S. workers would trust a robot more than a manager.

The study included  responses from 8,370 employees, managers, and human resources leaders across 10 different countries.

Half of the respondents report currently using some form of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

65% of workers say they feel good about robotic coworkers. Almost one-fourth of the respondents reported “loving” and “gratifying” relationships with AI at work.


Although 64% of respondents favored robots over a manager, that doesn’t mean that workers think that robots, automation, and AI are all-around better than humans at managing workers.

Why are workers more trusting of robots than human workers?

  • 26% believe that technology provides unbiased information
  • 34% think robotic managers do a good job maintaining work schedules
  • 29% like the problem solving ability of machines
  • 26% think robots can manage a budget

However, workers do think that human managers do some things better than robots.

  • 45% think managers understand feelings better than machines
  • 33% believe managers coach employees well
  • 29% think that managers help create work culture

Have we moved from fear to trust?

In recent years, headlines and new stories about robots, AI, and automation tend to be fairly negative. There’s concern over artificially intelligent systems advancing beyond human control, worry over unemployment do to automation, and fear of killer robots.

At first glance, this study shows that people trust robots over humans, at least when it comes to management. This doesn’t necessarily demonstrate a newfound love and trust of robots and artificial intelligence, though. It just as easily shows negative feelings towards managers.

Oracle’s head of human capital management applications for Asia-Pacific says,

“I always tell people if they want to survive the AI risk, they should embrace EI (emotional intelligence).”

There are human skills that can’t currently be programmed into AI and machines. It’s important to nurture these skills as we train workers for a future that’s increasingly automated.

Automation is important now, and it will continue to be important in the future. Make sure that your factory machinery is in top shape for whatever the future brings. Call 479-422-0390 or contact us online for Indramat service, support, or repair.