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The Land that Lean Manufacturing Forgot? Management Practices in Transition Countries

  • Nicholas Bloom
  • Helena Schweiger
  • John Van Reenen

We have conducted the first survey on management practices in transition countries. We found that Central Asian transition countries, such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, have on average very poor management practices. Their average scores are below emerging countries such as Brazil, China and India. In contrast, the central European transition countries such as Poland and Lithuania operate with management practices that are only moderately worse than those of western European countries such as Germany. Since we find these practices are strongly linked to firm performance, this suggests poor management practices may be impeding the development of Central Asian transition countries. We find that competition, multinational ownership, private ownership and human capital are all strongly correlated with better management. This implies that the continued opening of markets to domestic and foreign competition, privatisation of state-owned firms and increased levels of workforce education should promote better management, and ultimately faster economic growth.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17231.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as “The land that Lean manufacturi ng forgot? Management practices in transition countries”, with Helena Schweiger and John Van Reenen, September 2012 Economics of Transition
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17231
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  1. Estrin, Saul & Hanousek, Jan & Kocenda, Evzen & Svejnar, Jan, 2009. "Effects of privatization and ownership in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4811, The World Bank.
  2. Yuko Kinoshita & Nauro F. Campos, 2003. "Why Does Fdi Go Where it Goes? New Evidence From the Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 03/228, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Nicholas Bloom & David McKenzie, 2010. "Does Management Matter? Evidence From India," Discussion Papers 10-014, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Wolfgang Steffen & Johannes Stephan, 2008. "The Role of Human Capital and Managerial Skills in Explaining Productivity Gaps Between East and West," Eastern European Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 46(6), pages 5-24, November.
  5. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Americans Do IT Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 167-201, February.
  6. J. David Brown & John Earle & Almos Telegdy, 2005. "The Productivity Effects of Privatization: Longitudinal Estimates from Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine," CERT Discussion Papers 0508, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  7. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," NBER Working Papers 12216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," NBER Working Papers 17850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Philippe Aghion & Heike Harmgart & Natalia Weisshaar, 2011. "Fostering Growth in CEE Countries: A Country-tailored Approach to Growth Policy," Chapters, in: Challenges for European Innovation Policy, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  12. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Why do Management Practices Differ Across Firms and Countries?," CEP Occasional Papers 26, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Ksenia Yudaeva & Konstantin Kozlov & Natalia Melentieva & Natalia Ponomareva, 2003. "Does foreign ownership matter?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(3), pages 383-409, 09.
  14. Valentin Zelenyuk & Vitaliy Zheka, 2006. "Corporate Governance and Firm’s Efficiency: The Case of a Transitional Country, Ukraine," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 143-157, 04.
  15. Ksenia Yudaeva & Kozlov Konstantin & Natalia Melentieva & Natalia Ponomareva, 2000. "Does Foreign Ownership Matter? Russian Experience," Working Papers w0005, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
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