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Does managerial personality matter? Evidence from firms in Vietnam

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  • Sharma, Smriti
  • Tarp, Finn

Abstract

Using novel data from micro, small and medium firms in Vietnam, we estimate the relationship between behavioural and personality traits of owners/managers – risk attitudes, locus of control, and innovativeness – and firm-level decisions. We extend the analysis beyond standard metrics of firm performance such as revenue and growth to study intermediate investments, including product innovation, worker training, and adoption of workplace safety measures that are potentially conducive to observed firm performance. Our results show that innovativeness and locus of control are positively correlated with revenue while risk aversion predicts lower revenue. Risk aversion is positively correlated with the adoption of safety measures. Innovativeness, as expected, is associated with an increased probability of product innovations. An internal locus of control predicts higher probability of investments, innovations and worker training. Heterogeneity analyses indicate that innovativeness and risk aversion matter more for firm outcomes in provinces characterized by better business climate. Our results are robust to a variety of checks. We contribute to a nascent and rapidly growing literature on the importance of managerial capital by shedding light on the role of managerial personality characteristics for decision-making in firms in a dynamic transition economy.

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  • Sharma, Smriti & Tarp, Finn, 2018. "Does managerial personality matter? Evidence from firms in Vietnam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 432-445.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:432-445
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.02.003
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    3. Massimo Filippini & Suchita Srinivasan, 2020. "Voluntary adoption of environmental standards and limited attention: Evidence from the food and beverage industry in Vietnam," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 20/338, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    4. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha & Sharma, Smriti & Singhal, Saurabh, 2020. "Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 13515, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Massimo Filippini & Suchita Srinivasan, 2019. "Investments in Worker Health and Labor Productivity: Evidence from Vietnam," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 19/326, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    6. Alves, Guillermo & Blanchard, Pablo & Burdin, Gabriel & Chávez, Mariana & Dean, Andres, 2019. "The Economic Preferences of Cooperative Managers," IZA Discussion Papers 12330, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Nemlioglu, Ilayda & Mallick, Sushanta K., 2020. "Do innovation-intensive firms mitigate their valuation uncertainty during bad times?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 913-940.
    8. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha & Sharma, Smriti & Singhal, Saurabh, 2020. "Effects of Peers and Rank on Cognition, Preferences, and Personality," GLO Discussion Paper Series 591, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Olubukola Oluranti Babalola & Yvonne du Plessis & Sunday Samson Babalola, 2021. "Insight into the Organizational Culture and Challenges Faced by Women STEM Leaders in Africa," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, March.
    10. Hervé, Justine & Mani, Subha & Behrman, Jere R. & Nandi, Arindam & Sankhil Lamkang, Anjana & Laxminarayan, Ramanan, 2021. "Gender Gaps in Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills: Roles of SES and Gender Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 14132, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Calza, Elisa & Goedhuys, Micheline, 2018. "Domestic quality certification and growth of Vietnamese MSMEs," MERIT Working Papers 2018-026, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    12. Kabir, Rezaul & Thai, Hanh Minh, 2021. "Key factors determining corporate social responsibility practices of Vietnamese firms and the joint effects of foreign ownership," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    13. Nhan Buu Phany & Shino Takayamaz, 2020. "Analyses of Corruption and Productivity with Empirical Study in Vietnam," Discussion Papers Series 628, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    14. Finn Tarp, 2018. "Vietnam: The dragon that rose from the ashes," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-126, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Finn Tarp, 2018. "Vietnam: The dragon that rose from the ashes," WIDER Working Paper Series 126, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Utteeyo Dasgupta & Subha Mani & Smriti Sharma & Saurabh Singhal, 2020. "Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality," Working Papers 308280016, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; SMEs; Firm performance; Personality; Risk attitudes; Vietnam;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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