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Substitution between Managers and Subordinates: Evidence from British Football

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Author Info

  • Bridgewater, Sue

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Kahn, Lawrence M.

    ()
    (Cornell University)

  • Goodall, Amanda H.

    ()
    (Cass Business School)

Abstract

We use data on British football managers and teams over the 1994-2007 period to study substitution and complementarity between leaders and subordinates. We find for the Premier League (the highest level of competition) that, other things being equal, managers who themselves played at a higher level raise the productivity of less-skilled teams by more than that of highly skilled teams. This is consistent with the hypothesis that one function of a top manager is to communicate to subordinates the skills needed to succeed, since less skilled players have more to learn. We also find that managers with more accumulated professional managing experience raise the productivity of talented players by more than that of less-talented players. This is consistent with the hypothesis that a further function of successful managers in high-performance workplaces is to manage the egos of elite workers. Such a function is likely more important the more accomplished the workers are – as indicated, in our data, by teams with greater payrolls.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4589.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2011, 18(3), 275-286
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4589

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Keywords: leadership; productivity;

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  1. Stefan Szymanski, 2000. "A Market Test for Discrimination in the English Professional Soccer Leagues," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 590-603, June.
  2. Dawson, Peter & Dobson, Stephen & Gerrard, Bill, 2000. "Estimating Coaching Efficiency in Professional Team Sports: Evidence from English Association Football," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(4), pages 399-421, September.
  3. Richard A. Hofler & James E. Payne, 2006. "Efficiency in the National Basketball Association: a stochastic frontier approach with panel data," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 279-285.
  4. Bernd Frick & Robert Simmons, 2007. "The Impact of Managerial Quality on Organizational Performance: Evidence from German Soccer," Working Papers 0708, International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists.
  5. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  6. Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Why Do Leaders Matter? The Role of Expert Knowledge," IZA Discussion Papers 3583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1993. "Managerial quality, team success, and individual player performance in major league baseball," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 531-547, April.
  8. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
  9. Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson & Bill Gerrard, 2000. "Stochastic Frontiers and the Temporal Structure of Managerial Efficiency in English Soccer," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(4), pages 341-362, November.
  10. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  11. Leo Kahane, 2005. "Production Efficiency and Discriminatory Hiring Practices in the National Hockey League: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 47-71, 08.
  12. Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson, 2002. "Managerial efficiency and human capital: an application to English association football," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(8), pages 471-486.
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