IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cge/wacage/265.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Business Practices in Small Firms in Developing Countries

Author

Listed:
  • McKenzie, David

    (World Bank)

  • Woodruff, Christopher

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Management has a large effect on the productivity of large firms. But does management matter in micro and small firms, where the majority of the labor force in developing countries works? We develop 26 questions that measure business practices in marketing, stock-keeping, record-keeping, and financial planning. These questions have been administered in surveys in Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. We show that variation in business practices explains as much of the variation in outcomes – sales, profits and labor productivity and TFP – in microenterprises as in larger enterprises. Panel data from three countries indicate that better business practices predict higher survival rates and faster sales growth. The association of business practices with firm outcomes is robust to including numerous measures of the owner’s human capital. We find that owners with higher human capital, children of entrepreneurs, and firms with employees employ better business practices.

Suggested Citation

  • McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2016. "Business Practices in Small Firms in Developing Countries," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 265, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:265
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/265-2016_woodruff.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Christopher Woodruff, 2017. "Identifying Gazelles: Expert Panels vs. Surveys as a Means to Identify Firms with Rapid Growth Potential," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 670-686.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun, 2012. "The Organization of Firms Across Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1663-1705.
    3. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    4. David McKenzie, 2017. "Identifying and Spurring High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Experimental Evidence from a Business Plan Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2278-2307, August.
    5. Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2013. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 1-51.
    6. 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.
    7. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    8. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2014. "Business training and female enterprise start-up, growth, and dynamics: Experimental evidence from Sri Lanka," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 199-210.
    9. Claudia Martínez A. & Esteban Puentes & Jaime Ruiz-Tagle, 2013. "Micro-Entrepreneurship Training and Asset Transfers: Short Term Impacts on the Poor," Working Papers wp380, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    10. Gabriela Calderon & Jesse M. Cunha & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2020. "Business Literacy and Development: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 507-540.
    11. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    12. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    13. Easton, George S & Jarrell, Sherry L, 1998. "The Effects of Total Quality Management on Corporate Performance: An Empirical Investigation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71(2), pages 253-307, April.
    14. Gabriela Calderon & Leonardo Iacovone & Laura Juarez, 2017. "Opportunity versus Necessity: Understanding the Heterogeneity of Female Micro-Entrepreneurs," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(Supplemen), pages 86-96.
    15. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2014. "What Are We Learning from Business Training and Entrepreneurship Evaluations around the Developing World?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 29(1), pages 48-82.
    16. Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 1911. "The Principles of Scientific Management," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number taylor1911.
    17. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Benjamin A. Olken, 2014. "The Missing "Missing Middle"," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
    18. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. González-Uribe, Juanita & Reyes, Santiago, 2021. "Identifying and boosting “Gazelles”: Evidence from business accelerators," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 260-287.
    2. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 19, pages 1697-1767, Elsevier.
    3. Andy Feng & Anna Valero, 2020. "Skill-Biased Management: Evidence from Manufacturing Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(628), pages 1057-1080.
    4. Jieun Chang & Youngho Kang, 2019. "Instrumental Variable Estimates of the Effect of Management Practices on Firm Performance in Korean Firms," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 106-125, March.
    5. Jing Cai & Adam Szeidl, 2018. "Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1229-1282.
    6. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Namrata Kala & Anant Nyshadham, 2019. "Management and Shocks to Worker Productivity," NBER Working Papers 25865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Victor Manuel Bennett & Megan Lawrence & Raffaella Sadun, 2016. "Are Founder CEOs Good Managers?," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses: Current Knowledge and Challenges, pages 153-185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Giambra, Samuele & McKenzie, David, 2021. "Self-employment and migration," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    9. Guido Friebel & Matthias Heinz & Miriam Krueger & Nikolay Zubanov, 2017. "Team Incentives and Performance: Evidence from a Retail Chain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2168-2203, August.
    10. Oriana Bandiera & Renata Lemos & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2018. "Managing the Family Firm: Evidence from CEOs at Work," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(5), pages 1605-1653.
    11. Hazhir Rahmandad & Nelson Repenning, 2016. "Capability erosion dynamics," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 649-672, April.
    12. Axel Demenet, 2016. "Does Managerial Capital also Matter Among Micro and Small Firms in Developing Countries?," Working Papers DT/2016/12, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    13. Bloom, Nick & Manova, Kalina & Teng Sun, Stephen & Van Reenen, John & Yu, Zhihong, 2018. "Managing trade: evidence from China and the US," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88703, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Axel Demenet & Quynh Hoang, 2018. "How important are management practices for the productivity of small and medium enterprises?," WIDER Working Paper Series 69, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Michael White & Alex Bryson, 2018. "HPWS in the Public Sector: Are There Mutual Gains?," DoQSS Working Papers 18-10, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    16. Macchiavello, Rocco & Menzel, Andreas & Rabbani, Atonu & Woodruff, Christopher, 2015. "Challenges of Change: An Experiment Training Women to Manage in the Bangladeshi Garment Sector," Economic Research Papers 269725, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    17. Mano, Yukichi & Akoten, John & Yoshino, Yutaka & Sonobe, Tetsushi, 2014. "Teaching KAIZEN to small business owners: An experiment in a metalworking cluster in Nairobi," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 25-42.
    18. David McKenzie, 2017. "Identifying and Spurring High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Experimental Evidence from a Business Plan Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2278-2307, August.
    19. Olivier Sterck & Antonia Delius, 2020. "Cash Transfers and Micro-Enterprise Performance: Theory and Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Kenya," CSAE Working Paper Series 2020-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    20. Maloney, William F. & Sarrias, Mauricio, 2017. "Convergence to the managerial frontier," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 284-306.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    business practices; small enterprises; productivity; management JEL Classification: O12; L26; M20; O17; M53.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:cge:wacage:265. 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://edirc.repec.org/data/dewaruk.html .

    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: Jane Snape (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dewaruk.html .

    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.