IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v77y2011i3p265-284.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why do leaders matter? A study of expert knowledge in a superstar setting

Author

Listed:
  • Goodall, Amanda H.
  • Kahn, Lawrence M.
  • Oswald, Andrew J.

Abstract

This paper provides evidence of the importance of what might be termed 'expert leaders'. Although it is widely assumed that leaders affect the performance of their organizations, the complexity of this social-science research area has meant that comparatively little empirical progress has been made. We deliberately choose a narrow focus. We examine a high-skill setting in which there are accurate data on performance. We argue that an influential role is played by a leader's expert knowledge. A strong predictor of a leader's success in year T is that person's level of technical attainment, in the underlying activity, in approximately year T-20. Our data are on US professional basketball. The paper documents a correlation between brilliance as a player and the (much later) winning percentage and playoff success of that person as a team coach. The results suggest that leaders' effects on performance are substantial and are visible in the data within the first 12 months of a coach being hired.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2011. "Why do leaders matter? A study of expert knowledge in a superstar setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 265-284, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:77:y:2011:i:3:p:265-284
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-2681(10)00218-0
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emrah Arbak & Marie Claire Villeval, 2006. "Endogenous Leadership Selection and Influence," Post-Print halshs-00175479, HAL.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:102:y:2008:i:03:p:351-368_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hildreth, Andrew K G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence from Company and Establishment Panels," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 318-337, April.
    4. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:503-520 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chifeng Dai & Tracy R. Lewis & Giuseppe Lopomo, 2006. "Delegating management to experts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 503-520, September.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin & Sanderson, Allen, 2001. "Labour Markets in Professional Sports," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages 47-68, February.
    7. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    8. Bernd Frick & Robert Simmons, 2008. "The impact of managerial quality on organizational performance: evidence from German soccer," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 593-600.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing with Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208.
    10. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    11. Stephen Hall & Stefan Szymanski & Andrew S. Zimbalist, 2002. "Testing Causality Between Team Performance and Payroll," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 149-168, May.
    12. Hermalin, Benjamin E, 1998. "Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1188-1206, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Kahn, Lawrence M & Sherer, Peter D, 1988. "Racial Differences in Professional Basketball Players' Compensation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 40-61, January.
    15. Sumon Majumdar & Sharun Mukand, 2007. "The Leader as Catalyst: On Leadership and the Mechanics of Institutional Change," Working Papers 1128, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    16. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
    17. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2008. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    18. Dewan, Torun & Myatt, David P., 2008. "The Qualities of Leadership: Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(03), pages 351-368, August.
    19. Morten Bennedsen & Kasper Meisner Nielsen & Francisco Perez-Gonzalez & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2007. "Inside the Family Firm: The Role of Families in Succession Decisions and Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 647-691.
    20. Majumdar, Sumon & Mukand, Sharun, 2007. "The Leader as Catalyst: On Leadership and the Mechanics of Institutional Change," Queen's Economics Department Working Papers 273604, Queen's University - Department of Economics.
    21. Hermalin, Benjamin E., 2007. "Leading for the long term," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-19, January.
    22. 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.
    23. Barton Hughes Hamilton, 1997. "Racial discrimination and professional basketball salaries in the 1990s," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 287-296.
    24. Francisco Pérez-González, 2006. "Inherited Control and Firm Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1559-1588, December.
    25. Julio Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 2000. "Visionaries, Managers, and Strategic Direction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 693-716, Winter.
    26. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-251.
    27. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    28. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "The Sports Business as a Labor Market Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
    29. 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.
    30. Steven N. Kaplan & Mark M. Klebanov & Morten Sorensen, 2008. "Which CEO Characteristics and Abilities Matter?," NBER Working Papers 14195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Peeters & Steven Salaga & Matthew Juravich, 2015. "Matching and Winning? The Impact of Upper and Middle Managers on Team Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-115/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Goodall, Amanda H., 2012. "A Theory of Expert Leadership," IZA Discussion Papers 6566, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Vera Rocha & Mirjam van Praag, 2016. "How do Entrepreneurial Bosses influence their Employees' Future Entrepreneurship Choices?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-110/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Benjamin M. Artz & Amanda H. Goodall & Andrew J. Oswald, 2017. "Boss Competence and Worker Well-Being," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(2), pages 419-450, March.
    5. Amanda Goodall, 2013. "Should Doctors Run Hospitals?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 37-40, 04.
    6. Hideo Owan & Shingo Takahashi & Tsuyoshi Tsuru & Katsuhito Uehara, 2014. "Finding good managers: an econometric case study of a large Japanese auto dealership," Working Papers EMS_2014_08, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    7. Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Physician-leaders and hospital performance: Is there an association?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 535-539, August.
    8. Kim, Jaesoo, 2012. "Endogenous leadership in incentive contracts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 256-266.
    9. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw & Christopher T. Stanton, 2015. "The Value of Bosses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 823-861.
    10. Goodall, Amanda H. & Pogrebna, Ganna, 2012. "Expert Leaders in a Fast-Moving Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 6715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:4:p:546-564 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. KURODA Sachiko & YAMAMOTO Isamu, 2016. "Good Boss, Bad Boss, Workers' Mental Health and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 16101, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Thomas (T.L.P.R.) Peeters & Stefan Szymanski & Marko Terviö, 2017. "The inefficient advantage of experience in the market for football managers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-116/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. repec:ces:ifodic:v:11:y:2013:i:1:p:19078515 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:77:y:2011:i:3:p:265-284. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.