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Do Private Equity Owned Firms Have Better Management Practices?

  • Nick Bloom
  • Raffaella Sadun
  • John Van Reenen

We use an innovative survey tool to collect management practice data from over 4,000 medium sized manufacturing firms across Asia, Europe and the US. These measures of managerial practice are strongly associated with firm-level performance (e.g. productivity, profitability and stock market value). Private Equity owned firms are significantly better managed than government, family and privately owned firms. Although they are also better managed on average than publicly listed firms with dispersed owners, this difference is not statistically significant. Looking at management practices in detail we find that Private Equity-owned firms have strong people management practices (hiring, firing, pay and promotions) but even stronger operations management practices (lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and monitoring). This suggests that Private Equity ownership is associated with broad based operational improvement in management rather than just stronger performance incentives. Finally, looking at changes in management practices over time, it appears that Private Equity targets poorly managed firms and these firms improve their management practices at a faster rate than other ownership types.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Occasional Papers with number 24.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepops:24
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEPOP

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  1. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and innovation: an inverted U relationship," IFS Working Papers W02/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Steven Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Josh Lerner & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Private Equity and Employment," Working Papers 08-07r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Oct 2011.
  3. Muscarella, Chris J & Vetsuypens, Michael R, 1990. " Efficiency and Organizational Structure: A Study of Reverse LBOs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1389-1413, December.
  4. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
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