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Management practices across firms and nations

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  • Nick Bloom
  • Stephen Dorgan
  • John Dowdy
  • John Van Reenen
  • Tom Rippin

Abstract

We use an innovative survey tool to collect management practice data from 731 medium sized manufacturing firms in Europe and the US. We find these are strongly associated with better firm performance in terms of productivity, return on capital employed (profitability), Tobin’s Q and sales growth. We also find a surprisingly large dispersion of management practices across firms with a long ‘tail’ of poorly managed firms. This presents a dilemma - why do so many firms continue to exist while apparently deploying inferior management practices? Our analysis suggests that this is due, in part, to a combination of: (i) competition, with tougher product market competition fostering better management practices; (ii) firm age, with younger market entrants utilising better management techniques; and (iii) regulation, with stronger labour market regulation apparently inhibiting the deployment of best practice management.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/4669/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 4669.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:4669

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  1. Bertrand, Marianne & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2003. "Enjoying the Quiet Life? Corporate Governance and Managerial Preferences," Scholarly Articles 3429713, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect Of Managers On Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208, November.
  5. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  6. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
  7. Van Reenen, John & Caroli, Eve, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10093, Paris Dauphine University.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
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