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MEASURING AND EXPLAINING MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ACROSS FIRMS AND COUNTRIES October 2007 Nick Bloom Stanford & NBER John Van Reenen LSE & NBER

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MEASURING AND EXPLAINING MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ACROSS FIRMS AND COUNTRIES October 2007 Nick Bloom Stanford & NBER John Van Reenen LSE & NBER MOTIVATION Large persistent productivity spread across firms and countries: people typically claim this is due to differences in “management”

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slide1

MEASURING AND EXPLAINING MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ACROSS FIRMS AND COUNTRIES

October 2007

Nick BloomStanford & NBER

John Van ReenenLSE & NBER

slide2

MOTIVATION

  • Large persistent productivity spread across firms and countries:
  • people typically claim this is due to differences in “management”
    • But what is the role of management?
    • And why does it vary so much across firms and countries?
slide3

SUMMARY OF THE PAPER (1 of 3)

  • (1) Measuring Management
    • Develop a survey tool to “measure” management practices
      • New data on 732 firms in US,UK, France & Germany.
    • Management data:
      • Appears consistently measured within firms
      • Correlated with productivity, profits, Tobin’s Q, growth & survival
      • Robust to measurement error and bias
slide4

SUMMARY OF THE PAPER (2 of 3)

  • (2) Explaining Management
    • Observe big spread in management practices (Fig. 2 over)
      • Wide cross firm spread (like profits & productivity)
      • Significant differences across countries
        • US 1st, Germany 2nd, France 3rd and UK 4th
    • Demonstrate that two factors appear significant:
      • Production market competition – positive effect
      • Family managed firms – negative effect
        • Family firm ownership but not management is fine
        • Family ownership and management problematic, particularly under primo geniture CEO succession
slide5

FIRM LEVEL AVERAGE MANAGEMENT SCORES

France

n=137

Germany

n=157

UK

n=154

US

n=290

slide6

SUMMARY OF THE PAPER (3 of 3)

  • (3) Quantifying this Effect
    • Competition and family-management important, explains about 50% of firm-level management tail; and between 1/3 to 2/3 of US-Europe management gap:
        • Europe has lower levels of competition
        • UK & France also many more primo geniture family firms due to Norman legal origin & tradition
slide7

OUTLINE

  • Why should management practices vary?
  • “Measuring” management practices
  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure
  • Describing management across firms & countries
  • Explaining management across firms & countries
slide8

Why Should Management Practices Vary?

  • Two models - not mutually exclusive
    • “Optimal choice of management practices”
      • Another factor of production (like advertising)
      • No “better” or “worse” style of management – depends on firm’s circumstances
    • Exogenous managerial inefficiency (Mundlak, 1961; Lucas 1978)
      • Part of total-factor productivity
      • Strictly “better” or “worse” styles of management
    • Empirically we find some support for both
slide9

Why should management practices vary?

  • “Measuring” management practices
  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure
  • Describing management across firms & countries
  • Explaining management across firms & countries
slide10

SOME RELATED LITERATURE - EXAMPLES

  • Management, organisation & performance
  • HRM / Management practices: Ichinowski, Shaw, and Prenushi (1997), Ichinowski and Shaw (1995), Black and Lynch (2001), and Lazear (2000); Cappelli and Neumark (2001), Bartel, Ichniowski and Shaw (2004),
  • Organisational practices: Bresnahan, Brynjolfsson and Hitt (2002) and Caroli and Van Reenen (2001)
  • Individual managers: Bertrand and Schoar (2003)
  • Family firms
  • Empirical: La Porta, Lopez-De-Silanes and Schleifer (1999), Bertrand et al (2004), Villalonga and Amit (2004), Bennedsen, Nielsen, Perez-Gonzales & Woflenzon (2005),
  • Theory: Burkart, Panunzi and Schleifer (2003), Caselli and Gennaioli (2005)
  • Economic History: Landes (1969), Chandler (1994), Nicholas (1999)
  • Productivity dispersion & dynamics
  • Establishments: Baily, Hulten, and Campbell (1992), Bartelsman and Dhrymes (1998), and Jensen, McGuckin and Stiroh (2001), Foster, Haltiwanger and Syverson (2003)
  • Countries: O’Mahony & Van Ark (2004), Caselli (2005)
  • Competition and firm performance
  • Empirics: Nickell (1996), Syverson (2004), and Aghion, Bloom, Blundell, Griffith, and Howitt (2005)
  • Dynamic theory: Jovanovic (1982) and Hopenhayn (1992)
  • Theory: Schmidt (1997), Raith (2003) and Vives (2004)
slide11

STEPS TO TRY TO MEASURE MANAGEMENT

  • 1) Developing management practice scoring
  • Scorecard for 18 monitoring, targets and incentives practices
  • 45 minute phone interview of (manufacturing plant) managers
  • 2) Obtaining unbiased responses
  • “Double-blind”
    • Interviewers do not know company performance
    • Managers are not informed (in advance) they are scored
  • 3) Getting firms to participate in the interview
  • Introduced as “Lean-manufacturing” interview, no financials
  • Endorsement of Bundesbank ,UK Treasury, Banque de France
  • Run by 10 MBAs (loud, assertive & business experience)
slide12

MONITORING - i.e. “HOW IS PERFORMANCE TRACKED?”

Note: All 18 dimensions and over 50 examples in Bloom & VanReenen (2006).

slide13

ADDITIONAL CONTROLS FOR BIAS & NOISE

  • 8 INTERVIEWEE CONTROLS
  • Gender, seniority, tenure in post, tenure in firm, countries worked in, foreign, worked in US, plant location, reliability score
  • 3 INTERVIEWER CONTROLS
  • Set of analyst dummies, cumulative interviews run, prior firm contacts
  • 5 TIME CONTROLS
  • Day of the week, time of day (interviewer), time of the day (interviewee), duration of interview, days from project start
slide14

MANAGEMENT SURVEY SAMPLE

  • US (290), UK, France and Germany (≈150 each)
  • Medium sized manufacturers (100 - 10,000 employees, median ≈ 600)
    • Medium sized because firm practices more homogeneous
    • Manufacturing as easier to measure productivity
  • Obtained 54% coverage rate from sampling frame
    • Response rates uncorrelated with performance measures
slide15

ADDITIONAL MATCHED DATA WE COLLECTED

  • HR Survey
  • Skills, demographics, hours, organisational characteristics, number of competitors etc.
  • Ownership & Family Survey
  • Shareholders & managerial characteristics, family involvement, family progression rules etc.
  • Performance Data
  • Separately match company accounts - so collect management and performance data from completely different sources
  • Industry and Trade Data
  • OECD
slide16

Why should management practices vary?

  • “Measuring” management practices
  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure
    • Internal/External validation
    • Contingency
    • Measurement error/bias
  • Describing management across firms & countries
  • Explaining management across firms & countries
slide17

INTERVAL VALIDATION OF THE SCORING

  • Re-interviewed 64 firms with different interviewers and managers

Firm average scores (over 18 question)

  • Firm-level average correlation of 0.759

2nd interview

1st interview

slide18

EXTERNAL VALIDATION OF THE SCORING

Performance measure

country c

management

(average z-scores)

ln(capital)

other controls

ln(labor)

ln(materials)

  • Use up to 11 years of accounting data for 1994-2004
  • Note – not a causal estimation, only an association
slide19

EXTERNAL VALIDATION: PRODUCTIVITY & PROFIT

1 Includes country, year, SIC3 industry, skills, hours, firm-age, and public/privateRobust S.E.s in ( ) below. For probit p-values in [ ] below

slide20

EXTERNAL VALIDATION – ROBUSTNESS

  • Productivity correlations robust to type of TFP estimation
    • OLS, Olley-Pakes, GMM & Within-Groups
  • Results also significant in most recent cross-section (2003/04)
  • Results significant in both Anglo-Saxon (US and UK) and
  • European (France and Germany) country subsets
slide21

CONTINGENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Note: “HC management” average z-score of the 3 most human capital focused questions (questions 13, 17 and 18). “FC management” average z-score of the 3 most fixed capital focused questions (1, 2 and 4). “HC-PC management” is the difference of these two measures.

slide22

CONCERNS WITH OUR MANAGEMENT MEASURE?

  • Three potential issues:
  • 1) Measurement error (classical), but
    • Attenuation downwardly biases our results
    • We try to control for this with “Noise” controls (management & interview characteristics)
slide23

CONCERNS WITH OUR MANAGEMENT MEASURE?

  • (2) Firm performance-related measurement bias in management score (i.e. the “happy manager” problem), but
    • Surveying methodology using examples tries to minimize this
    • Competition and management positively linked (later)
    • Management-performance link is as important in France & Germany (where managers less likely to “talk up” Anglo-Saxon practices) as it is in UK & US
    • No link between past productivity growth & management
    • Not all questions significant (and not linked to “subjectivity”)
    • Other subjective questions insignificant – i.e. “feel-good” work-life balance questions, organisational devolvement questions
  • So potential problem – but no evidence that major phenomenon
concerns with our management results
CONCERNS WITH OUR MANAGEMENT RESULTS?

(3) Reverse causality (management correctly measured but better firm performance causes better management),

  • Yes – but main point of performance estimations is external validity of the measure
  • Also note that if interpretation is effect of management on productivity note that the bias is ambiguous
slide25

OUTLINE

  • “Measuring” management practices
  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure
  • Describing management across firms & countries
  • Explaining management across firms & countries: - competition - family managed firms
slide26

FIRM LEVEL AVERAGE MANAGEMENT SCORES

France

n=137

Germany

n=157

UK

n=154

US

n=290

slide27

COUNTRY LEVEL MANAGEMENT SCORES*

US

Germany

France

UK

TypicalUK managers?

Bad manufacturing management - a UK tradition?

“Efficient management is the single most significant factor in the American productivity advantage” [Marshall Plan Anglo-American productivity mission, 1947]

slide28

US FIRMS ARE ALSO BETTER IN EUROPE

Average management score by firm type in UK, France and Germany*

# in sample

Domestic

379

Non-US multinational subsidiary

44

US multinational subsidiary

20

* Controls for any sample selection on size (direct and group) and listing

slide29

OUTLINE

  • “Measuring” management practices
  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure
  • Describing management across firms & countries
  • Explaining management across firms & countries: - competition - family managed firms
slide30

Factors we did not find a significant relationship for

  • Unions: negative but not significant
    • But: (i) sample ≈ 450 firms; and (ii) issues over causation
    • Was negative and significant for two individual practices:
      • Fixing/firing bad performers,
      • Rewarding good performers
  • CEO Pay: no link in levels – but issues over causation
  • Ownership/Governance: positive but insignificant for ownership
  • concentration and board indepedence measures:
    • But sample only UK/US quoted firms (≈ 350)
  • Leverage: nothing with debt/equity – but issues over causation
slide31

Competition & Models of Management Practices

  • “Exogenous managerial inefficiency” – positive impact
    • Selection models Hopenhayn (1992) or Syverson (2004)
  • “Optimal choice model” – ambiguous impact
    • In contracting models balance between opposing profit and market-size effects (Raith 2003, Vives 2004).
slide32

COMPETITION AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (TABLE 4)

3 competition proxies from Nickell (1996) & Aghion et al. (2005)

1 Lerner index = (operating profit – capital costs)/sales ≈ rents2 Includes 108 SIC-3 industry, country, firm-size, public and interview noise (analyst, time, date, and manager characteristic) controls, =732 obs3 S.E.s in ( ) below, robust to heteroskedasticity, clustered by country-industry

slide33

FAMILY FIRMS & MANAGEMENT – AN OLD TOPIC

  • Alfred Chandler1 and David Landes2 both claimed UK & French industrial decline relative to US & Germany linked to family firms
    • “The Britain of the late 19th Century basked complacently in the sunset of economic hegemony. Now it was the turn of the 3rd generation…and the weakness of British enterprise reflected their combination of amateurism and complacency”
    • “French enterprise was family-owned and operated, security-orientated rather than risk-taking, technologically conservative and economically inefficient”

1 Alfred Chandler, “Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism”, (1994)2 David Landes, “The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present”, (1969)

slide34

WE DO FIND GREATER UK & FRENCH FAMILY MANAGEMENT IN OUR DATA (100 YEARS ON),

1 Family defined as 2nd generation or beyond (so not the founder). Shareholdings combined across all family members. 2 Based on question: “How was management of the firm passed down: was it to the eldest son or by some other way?”. Non primo geniture alternatives in frequency order: other sons, son in-laws, daughters, brothers, wives, nephews and cousins.

slide35

WHY DOES FAMILY INVOLVEMENT VARY ACROSS COUNTRIES?

  • Historical differences
    • UK & French tradition of Primo Geniture:
    • [Oxford English Dictionary, 2005]“Feudal rule of inheritance introduced into England by the Norman Conquest. Replaced Teutonic gavelkind. Obligatory until the Statute of Wills [1540]. Still common in many places”
    • US and German tradition of equal division (Menchik, 1980)
  • Estate tax headline rates1: on family firms
    • US ≈ 50% France ≈ 25%
    • UK = 0% Germany ≈ 15%

1 Rate on a $25m firm. In practice these taxes are often reduced/avoided by advanced tax planning, although this involves foresight, financial costs and some control loss.

slide36

FAMILY FIRMS AND MODELS OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

  • Likely family impact depends on involvement
    • Ownership but not management probably positive
      • Concentrated ownership so better monitoring
    • Management probably negative
      • Smaller pool to select CEO from
      • Possible “Carnegie” effect on future CEO’s
      • Both effects will be worse with primo geniture (succession of eldest son to CEO position)
slide37

FAMILY OWNERSHIP AND FAMILY MANAGEMENT (TABLE 5)

1 Family defined as 2nd generation or later2 Note includes SIC-3 digit, country, skills, firm size, firm age & public controls

slide38

QUANTIFYING THESE EFFECTS:

  • ACROSS FIRMS
  • ACROSS COUNTRIES
slide39

MANY COMPETITORS AND NO (PG) FAMILY CEO

N=317

2.7% firms in tail1

FEW COMPETITORS AND/OR (PG) FAMILY CEO

N=415

9.0% firms in tail1

1 Tail defined as a score ≤ 2. In the whole sample 6.9% of firms are in the tail.

Sample splits significantly different at 5%, but not if exclude firms with score ≤ 2

slide40

ACCOUNTING FOR THE CROSS-COUNTRY SCORES

1 OLS on 732 observations. S.E.s in ( ) robust to arbitrary heteroskedasticity

slide41

TO SUMMARIZE

  • Original methodology for measuring management
  • Product market competition & family management important
    • Explain 50% of tail of badly managed firms
    • Explain 2/3 of US-France gap & 1/3 of US-UK gap
  • Last summer ran 3500 firm survey on firms in Europe, US and Asia covering management and organisational structure
    • Research design very flexible so any suggestions welcome
    • Quotes:
slide43

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

The British Chat-Up

[Male manager speaking to an Australian female interviewer]

Production Manager: “Your accent is really cute and I love the way you talk. Do you fancy meeting up near the factory?”

Interviewer “Sorry, but I’m washing my hair every night for the next month….”

slide44

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

The difficulties of defining ownership in Europe

Production Manager: “We’re owned by the Mafia”

Interviewer: “I think that’s the “Other” category……..although I guess I could put you down as an “Italian multinational” ?”

Americans on geography

Interviewer: “How many production sites do you have abroad?

Manager in Indiana, US: “Well…we have one in Texas…”

slide45

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

The bizarre

Interviewer: “[long silence]……hello, hello….are you still there….hello”

Production Manager: “…….I’m sorry, I just got distracted by a submarine surfacing in front of my window”

The unbelievable

[Male manager speaking to a female interviewer]

Production Manager: “I would like you to call me “Daddy” when we talk”

[End of interview…]

slide46

INCENTIVES - i.e. “HOW DOES THE PROMOTION SYSTEM WORK?”

Note: All 18 dimensions and over 50 examples in Bloom & VanReenen (2006).

slide47

TARGETS - i.e. “HOW TOUGH ARE TARGETS?”

Note: All 18 dimensions and over 50 examples in Bloom & VanReenen (2006).

slide48

I.V. MANAGEMENT IN PRODUCTION FUNCTION

1 Other variables include log(Labor), log(Capital), log(Materials), country, year, SIC3 industry, skills, hours, firm-age, and public/private. All 709 observationsS.E.s in ( ) below, robust to arbitrary heteroskedasticity

slide49

AGE AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (KERNEL1)

Management score

10 years

75 years

Firm age (in logs)

1 Point-wise confidence intervals (in feint) generated from 1000 bootstraps

slide51

FAMILY OWNERSHIP PROBIT

1 Marginal effects, p-values in [ ] brackets underneath

slide52

SOME LIMITED EVIDENCE FOR EFFORT EFFECTS?

*Includes 108 SIC-3 digit dummies, country dummies, firm size and type

S.E.s robust to arbitrary heteroskedasticity, clustered by country-industry

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