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Management practices across firms and nations

Author

Listed:
  • Bloom, Nick
  • Dorgan, Stephen
  • Dowdy, John
  • Van Reenen, John
  • Rippin, Tom

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bloom, Nick & Dorgan, Stephen & Dowdy, John & Van Reenen, John & Rippin, Tom, 2005. "Management practices across firms and nations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:4669
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/4669/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    3. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    4. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    5. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from A Panel of British and French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10093 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Linda Yueh & Linda Yueh & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Why has China grown so fast? The role of international technology transfer," Economics Series Working Papers 592, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Carol Propper & Stephan Seiler & John Van Reenen, 2015. "The Impact of Competition on Management Quality: Evidence from Public Hospitals," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 457-489.
    3. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Ralf Martin & Raffaella Sadun, 2010. "Modern Management: Good for the Environment or Just Hot Air?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 551-572, May.
    4. [multiple or corporate authorship]., 2006. "Inherited Family Firms and Management Practices: The Case for Modernising the UK's Inheritance Tax," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57990, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Minimum Wages and Firm Profitability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 129-151, January.
    6. Etro, Federico, 2011. "Endogenous market structures and contract theory: Delegation, principal-agent contracts, screening, franchising and tying," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 463-479, May.
    7. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2014. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An integrating framework," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 51-62.
    8. Gaynor, Martin & Town, Robert J., 2011. "Competition in Health Care Markets," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier.
    9. Richard B. Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2007. "Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 383-399, December.
    10. Federico Etro, 2010. "Endogenous Market Structures and Contract Theory," Working Papers 181, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
    11. Mohamed Abdel-Wahab & Bernard Vogl, 2011. "Trends of productivity growth in the construction industry across Europe, US and Japan," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 635-644.
    12. Philip McCann & Ortega Ortega-Argilés, 2014. "The Role of the Smart Specialisation Agenda in a Reformed EU Cohesion Policy," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 15-32.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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