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Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success

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  • Richard B. Fabling

    ()

  • Arthur Grimes

    ()

Abstract

Which business practices set successful firms apart from others? We address this question using data from an official survey of almost 3,000 New Zealand firms. Questions cover: leadership, planning practices, customer and supplier focus, employee practices, quality and process monitoring, benchmarking, community and social responsibility, innovation, IT use, business structure and the competitive environment. Some of these are internal practices reflecting a firm’s resources and capabilities; some are characteristics of the external environment. We find that capital investment choices, R&D practices, market research and a range of employee practices are positively associated with firm success; industry structure is also a key determinant of success. The association between specific business practices and firm success is mostly independent of firm size, age and industrial sector, other than for export marketing.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11187-006-9000-7
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 383-399

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Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:29:y:2007:i:4:p:383-399

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100338

Related research

Keywords: firm performance; business practices; HR practices; firm success; innovation; D21; L20; L26; O31;

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References

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  1. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chad Syverson, 2003. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 10049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  4. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  5. Nick Bloom & Stephen Dorgan & John Dowdy & Tom Rippin & John Van Reenen, 2005. "Management Practices Across Firms and Nations," CEP Special Papers 17, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
  7. Black, Stanley W & Kelejian, H H, 1970. "A Macro Model of the U. S. Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(5), pages 712-41, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David Mare & Richard Fabling & Steven Stillman, 2011. "Immigration and Innovation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1110, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Fabling, Richard, 2007. "Just How Innovative are New Zealand Firms? Quantifying & Relating Organisational and Marketing Innovation to Traditional Science & Technology Indicators," Occasional Papers 07/4, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  3. Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2004. "Insolvency and Economic Development: Regional Variation and Adjustment," Working Papers 03_18, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  4. Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur & Stevens, Philip, 2008. "A Comparison of Qualitative and Quantitative Firm Performance Measures," Occasional Papers 08/4, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  5. Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur, 2007. "HR Practices and Firm Performance: What Matters and Who Does It?," Occasional Papers 07/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  6. Greene, Francis, 2012. "Should the focus of publicly provided small business assistance be on start-ups or growth businesses?," Occasional Papers 12/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  7. Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2009. "The "suite" smell of success: complementary personnel practices and firm performance," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2009/13, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

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