IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/uwarer/270022.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Boss Competence and Worker Well-being

Author

Listed:
  • Artz, Benjamin
  • Goodall, Amanda H.
  • Oswald, Andrew J.

Abstract

Nearly all workers have a supervisor or ‘boss’. Yet little is known about how bosses influence the quality of employees’ lives. This study is a cautious attempt to provide new formal evidence. First, it is shown that a boss’s technical competence is the single strongest predictor of a worker’s job satisfaction. Second, it is demonstrated in longitudinal data -- after controlling for fixed effects -- that even if a worker stays in the same job and workplace a rise in the competence of a supervisor is associated with an improvement in the worker’s well-being. Third, a variety of robustness checks, including tentative instrumental-variable results, are reported. These findings, which draw on US and British data, contribute to an emerging literature on the role of expert leaders in organizations. Finally, the paper discusses potential weaknesses of existing evidence and necessary future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Artz, Benjamin & Goodall, Amanda H. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2015. "Boss Competence and Worker Well-being," Economic Research Papers 270022, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwarer:270022
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.270022
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270022/files/twerp_1072_oswald.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270022/files/twerp_1072_oswald.pdf?subformat=pdfa
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.22004/ag.econ.270022?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew J. Oswald & Eugenio Proto & Daniel Sgroi, 2015. "Happiness and Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 789-822.
    2. Sebastian J. Goerg & Sebastian Kube & Ro'i Zultan, 2010. "Treating Equals Unequally: Incentives in Teams, Workers' Motivation, and Production Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 747-772, October.
    3. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    4. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    5. Böckerman, Petri & Bryson, Alex & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2012. "Does high involvement management improve worker wellbeing?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 660-680.
    6. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    7. De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel & Oswald, Andrew J., 2012. "Estimating the influence of life satisfaction and positive affect on later income using sibling fixed-effects," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51523, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 1-30.
    9. Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2012. "The Job Satisfaction-Productivity Nexus: A Study Using Matched Survey and Register Data," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(2), pages 244-262, April.
    10. Levy-Garboua, Louis & Montmarquette, Claude & Simonnet, Veronique, 2007. "Job satisfaction and quits," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 251-268, April.
    11. Brown, Sarah & Gray, Daniel & McHardy, Jolian & Taylor, Karl, 2015. "Employee trust and workplace performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 361-378.
    12. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
    13. Alison L. Booth & Jan C. Van Ours, 2008. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part‐Time Work Puzzle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages 77-99, February.
    14. Green, Colin P. & Heywood, John S., 2010. "Profit sharing and the quality of relations with the boss," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 859-867, October.
    15. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1109, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    16. Artz, Benjamin & Taengnoi, Sarinda, 2016. "Do women prefer female bosses?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 194-202.
    17. Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Physician-leaders and hospital performance: Is there an association?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 535-539, August.
    18. Levy-Garboua, Louis & Montmarquette, Claude & Simonnet, Veronique, 2007. "Job satisfaction and quits," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 251-268, April.
    19. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2083-2110, August.
    20. 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.
    21. Alex Bryson & John Forth & Simon Kirby, 2005. "High‐Involvement Management Practices, Trade Union Representation And Workplace Performance In Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 451-491, July.
    22. John S. Heywood & W. S. Siebert & Xiangdong Wei, 2002. "Worker Sorting and Job Satisfaction: The Case of Union and Government Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 595-609, July.
    23. Peter Cappelli & Nikolai Rogovsky, 1998. "Employee Involvement and Organizational Citizenship: Implications for Labor Law Reform and “Lean Production#x201D;," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 633-653, July.
    24. Peter Boxall & Keith Macky, 2014. "High-involvement work processes, work intensification and employee well-being," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 28(6), pages 963-984, December.
    25. Halac, Marina & Prat, Andrea, 2014. "Managerial Attention and Worker Engagement," CEPR Discussion Papers 10035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    26. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2010. "How's the Job? Well-Being and Social Capital in the Workplace," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 205-227, January.
    27. Graham, Carol & Eggers, Andrew & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2004. "Does happiness pay?: An exploration based on panel data from Russia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 319-342, November.
    28. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    29. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    30. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
    31. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Boss Competence and Worker Well-being
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-12-10 19:19:44
    2. For worker control
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-12-10 19:57:55

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Isham, Amy & Mair, Simon & Jackson, Tim, 2021. "Worker wellbeing and productivity in advanced economies: Re-examining the link," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    2. Benjamin Artz & Amanda H. Goodall & Andrew J. Oswald, 2020. "How Common Are Bad Bosses?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 3-39, January.
    3. Klus, Milan F. & Müller, Julia, 2018. "Identifying leadership skills required in the digital age," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 11/2018, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    4. Petri Böckerman & Alex Bryson & Antti Kauhanen & Mari Kangasniemi, 2016. "Does Job Support Make Workers Happy?," DoQSS Working Papers 16-16, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    5. Vera Rocha & Mirjam van Praag, 2020. "Mind the gap: The role of gender in entrepreneurial career choice and social influence by founders," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 841-866, May.
    6. Geerts, Jaason M. & Goodall, Amanda H. & Agius, Stevie, 2020. "Evidence-based leadership development for physicians: A systematic literature review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 246(C).
    7. 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.
    8. De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel & Ward, George, 2017. "Happiness at work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 83604, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2018. "Good boss, bad boss, workers’ mental health and productivity: Evidence from Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 106-118.
    10. Lucifora, Claudio & Vigani, Daria, 2016. "What If Your Boss Is a Woman? Work Organization, Work-Life Balance and Gender Discrimination at the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 9737, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Bäker, Agnes & Goodall, Amanda H., 2020. "Feline followers and “umbrella carriers”: Department Chairs’ influence on faculty job satisfaction and quit intentions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    12. Wunder, Christoph & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2021. "The early costs of plant closures: Evidence on lead effects on workers’ subjective and objective outcomes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 489-505.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. O'Donnell, Gus & Oswald, Andrew J., 2015. "National well-being policy and a weighted approach to human feelings," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 59-70.
    2. Andrew J. Oswald & Eugenio Proto & Daniel Sgroi, 2015. "Happiness and Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 789-822.
    3. Salvatori, Andrea, 2010. "Labour contract regulations and workers' wellbeing: International longitudinal evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 667-678, August.
    4. Bäker, Agnes & Goodall, Amanda H., 2020. "Feline followers and “umbrella carriers”: Department Chairs’ influence on faculty job satisfaction and quit intentions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    5. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being," Working Papers halshs-01134483, HAL.
    6. Damiano Fiorillo & Nunzia Nappo, 2014. "Job satisfaction in Italy: individual characteristics and social relations," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(8), pages 683-704, August.
    7. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2018. "The magic of the new: How job changes affect job satisfaction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 23-39, March.
    8. Frijters, Paul & Clark, Andrew E. & Krekel, Christian & Layard, Richard, 2020. "A happy choice: wellbeing as the goal of government," Behavioural Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 126-165, July.
    9. Benjamin Artz & Amanda H. Goodall & Andrew J. Oswald, 2020. "How Common Are Bad Bosses?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 3-39, January.
    10. Ludivine Martin, 2020. "How to retain motivated employees in their jobs?," Post-Print halshs-01683816, HAL.
    11. Danzer, Natalia, 2019. "Job satisfaction and self-selection into the public or private sector: Evidence from a natural experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 46-62.
    12. Shivani Taneja, 2019. "Working Hours And Trends In Job Satisfaction Using A Panel Of British Workers," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 9912075, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    13. Maurizio Carpita & Silvia Golia, 2012. "Measuring the quality of work: the case of the Italian social cooperatives," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 46(6), pages 1659-1685, October.
    14. Shivani Taneja, 2019. "Gender Gap In Job Utility Of British Workers," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 9010643, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    15. Andrew E. Clark, 2018. "Four Decades of the Economics of Happiness: Where Next?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(2), pages 245-269, June.
    16. Semih Tumen & Tugba Zeydanli, 2016. "Social interactions in job satisfaction," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 426-455, June.
    17. Whelan, Adele & McGuinness, Seamus, 2017. "Does a satisfied student make a satisfied worker?," Papers WP561, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    18. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Will GDP growth increase happiness in developing countries?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564985, HAL.
    19. Bryson, Alex & Clark, Andrew E. & Freeman, Richard B. & Green, Colin P., 2016. "Share capitalism and worker wellbeing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-158.
    20. Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:ags:uwarer:270022. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/ .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: AgEcon Search (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/ .

    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.