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Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success

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  • Fabling, Richard

    (Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand)

  • Grimes , Arthur

    ()
    (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research & University of Waikato.)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand in its series Occasional Papers with number 06/1.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:nzmedo:2006_001

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Keywords: Firm Behavior;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  3. Nick Bloom & Stephen Dorgan & John Dowdy & John Van Reenen & Tom Rippin, 2005. "Management practices across firms and nations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. 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.
  5. Chad Syverson, 2003. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 10049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur, 2005. "Insolvency and economic development: Regional variation and adjustment," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 339-359.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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