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Management Practices Across Firms and Nations

  • Nick Bloom
  • Stephen Dorgan
  • John Dowdy
  • Tom Rippin
  • John Van Reenen

We use an innovative survey tool to collect management practice data from 731 medium sized manufacturing firms in Europe and the US. We find these are strongly associated with better firm performance in terms of productivity, return on capital employed (profitability), Tobin’s Q and sales growth. We also find a surprisingly large dispersion of management practices across firms with a long ‘tail’ of poorly managed firms. This presents a dilemma - why do so many firms continue to exist while apparently deploying inferior management practices? Our analysis suggests that this is due, in part, to a combination of: (i) competition, with tougher product market competition fostering better management practices; (ii) firm age, with younger market entrants utilising better management techniques; and (iii) regulation, with stronger labour market regulation apparently inhibiting the deployment of best practice management.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Special Papers with number 17.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepsps:17
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEPSP

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  1. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
  2. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  3. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Enjoying the Quiet Life? Corporate Governance and Managerial Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1043-1075, October.
  6. Caroli, Eve & Van Reenen, John, 1999. "Skill biased organizational change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9917, CEPREMAP.
  7. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect Of Managers On Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208, November.
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