IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Top Team Demographics, Innovation And Business Performance: Findings From English Firms And Cities, 2008-9

  • Max Nathan

    ()

High levels of net migration to the UK have contributed to growing cultural diversity, and researchers are turning their attention to the long-term effects of diversity on productivity. Yet little is known about these issues. This paper asks: what are the links between the composition of firms' top teams and business performance? What role do ethnic diversity and co-ethnic networks play? And do cities amplify or dampen these channels? I explore using a rich dataset of over 6,000 English firms. Owners, partners and directors set firms' strategic direction. Top team demography might generate production externalities through diversity (a wider range of ideas/ experiences, helping problem solving) and/or 'sameness' (via specialist knowledge or better access to international markets). These channels may be balanced by internal downsides (lower trust) and external barriers (discrimination), so that overall effects on business performance are unclear. In addition, urban locations (particularly big cities) may amplify any demographics-performance effects. I create a repeat cross-section of firms from the RDA National Business Survey. I construct measures of diversity and sameness across ethnicity and gender 'bases', alongside information on revenues, product and process innovation. I then regress these measures of business performance on top team demographics, plus firm level controls, area, year and detailed industry fixed effects. My results suggest a non-linear link between diversity and business performance, which is net positive for process innovation and net negative for turnover. Further tests on diverse and minority/female-headed firms find positive links for diverse top teams, negative for minority and female-only top teams. This implies that while diversity has internal and external benefits, penalties from being 'too diverse' probably result from external constraints. Further tests for intervening effects of capital cities, metropolitan hierarchies and urban form find some evidence of amplifying and dampening effects ? which are generally stronger in London and larger cities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa13/ERSA2013_paper_00069.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa13p69.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa13p69
Contact details of provider: Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Web page: http://www.ersa.org

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  2. David C. Maré & Richard Fabling, 2011. "Productivity and Local Workforce Composition," Working Papers 11_10, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  3. Renee B. Adams & Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2010. "The Role of Boards of Directors in Corporate Governance: A Conceptual Framework and Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 58-107, March.
  4. Masahisa Fujita & Marcus Berliant, 2004. "Knowledge Creation as a Square Dance on the Hilbert Cube," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 204, Econometric Society.
  5. Henry Wai-chung Yeung, 2009. "Regional Development and the Competitive Dynamics of Global Production Networks: An East Asian Perspective," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 325-351.
  6. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life Cycle of Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1454-1477, December.
  7. Scott E. Page, 2007. "Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
    [The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and So
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  8. Claude Francoeur & Réal Labelle & Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, 2008. "Gender Diversity in Corporate Governance and Top Management," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 83-95, August.
  9. Rodrik, Dani, 2004. "Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century," Working Paper Series rwp04-047, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  10. FUJITA, Masahisa & WEBER, Shlomo, 2003. "Strategic immigration policies and welfare in heterogeneous countries," CORE Discussion Papers 2003095, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Javorcik, Beata S. & Ozden, Caglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2006. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4046, The World Bank.
  12. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
  13. C. Fritz Foley & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Ethnic Innovation and U.S. Multinational Firm Activity," NBER Working Papers 17336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Spatial versus Social Mismatch: The Strength of Weak Ties," IZA Discussion Papers 5507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Pablo D'Este & Frederick Guy & Simona Iammarino, 2013. "Shaping the formation of university--industry research collaborations: what type of proximity does really matter?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 537-558, July.
  16. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2012. "The Nexus between Labor Diversity and Firm's Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 6972, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John, 2008. "How do spatial and social proximity influence knowledge flows? Evidence from patent data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 258-269, September.
  19. Rachel Griffith & Elena Huergo & Jacques Mairesse & Bettina Peters, 2006. "Innovation and Productivity across Four European Countries," NBER Working Papers 12722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. David Mare & Richard Fabling & Steven Stillman, 2011. "Immigration and Innovation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1110, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  21. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  22. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  23. Marcus BERLIANT & FUJITA Masahisa, 2010. "The Dynamics of Knowledge Diversity and Economic Growth," Discussion papers 10024, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  24. Ann Harrison & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2009. "Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 15261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
  26. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  27. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2012. "Ethnic networks and employment outcomes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 938-949.
  28. Ceren Ozgen, 2011. "The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Innovation: Evidence from Dutch Firm-Level Data," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011013, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  29. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  30. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 16736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. S. Trevis Certo & Richard H. Lester & Catherine M. Dalton & Dan R. Dalton, 2006. "Top Management Teams, Strategy and Financial Performance: A Meta-Analytic Examination," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 813-839, 06.
  32. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  33. Neil Lee & Max Nathan, 2013. "Cultural diversity, innovation and entrepreneurship: firm-level evidence from London," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 52363, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  34. Elizabeth Asiedu & James A. Freeman & Akwasi Nti-Addae, 2012. "Access to Credit by Small Businesses: How Relevant Are Race, Ethnicity, and Gender?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 532-37, May.
  35. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Innovation: A Guide to the Literature," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20031012, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  36. Ozgen, Ceren & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2011. "The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Innovation: Evidence from Dutch Firm-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa13p69. 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: (Gunther Maier)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.