MEASURING AND EXPLAINING MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ACROSS FIRMS AND COUNTRIES
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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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MEASURING AND EXPLAINING MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ACROSS FIRMS AND COUNTRIES

October 2007

Nick BloomStanford & NBER

John Van ReenenLSE & NBER


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MOTIVATION AND COUNTRIES

  • 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?


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SUMMARY OF THE PAPER (1 of 3) AND COUNTRIES

  • (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


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SUMMARY OF THE PAPER (2 of 3) AND COUNTRIES

  • (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


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FIRM LEVEL AVERAGE MANAGEMENT SCORES AND COUNTRIES

France

n=137

Germany

n=157

UK

n=154

US

n=290


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SUMMARY OF THE PAPER (3 of 3) AND COUNTRIES

  • (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


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OUTLINE AND COUNTRIES

  • Why should management practices vary?

  • “Measuring” management practices

  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure

  • Describing management across firms & countries

  • Explaining management across firms & countries


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Why Should Management Practices Vary? AND COUNTRIES

  • 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


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  • Why should management practices vary? AND COUNTRIES

  • “Measuring” management practices

  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure

  • Describing management across firms & countries

  • Explaining management across firms & countries


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SOME RELATED LITERATURE - EXAMPLES AND COUNTRIES

  • 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)


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STEPS TO TRY TO MEASURE MANAGEMENT AND COUNTRIES

  • 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)


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MONITORING - i.e. “ AND COUNTRIESHOW IS PERFORMANCE TRACKED?”

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


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ADDITIONAL CONTROLS FOR BIAS & NOISE AND COUNTRIES

  • 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


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MANAGEMENT SURVEY SAMPLE AND COUNTRIES

  • 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


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ADDITIONAL MATCHED DATA WE COLLECTED AND COUNTRIES

  • 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


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  • Why should management practices vary? AND COUNTRIES

  • “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


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INTERVAL VALIDATION OF THE SCORING AND COUNTRIES

  • 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


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EXTERNAL VALIDATION OF THE SCORING AND COUNTRIES

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


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EXTERNAL VALIDATION: PRODUCTIVITY & PROFIT AND COUNTRIES

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


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EXTERNAL VALIDATION – ROBUSTNESS AND COUNTRIES

  • 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


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CONTINGENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND COUNTRIES

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.


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CONCERNS WITH OUR MANAGEMENT MEASURE? AND COUNTRIES

  • 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)


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CONCERNS WITH OUR MANAGEMENT MEASURE? AND COUNTRIES

  • (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


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CONCERNS WITH OUR MANAGEMENT RESULTS? AND COUNTRIES

(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


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OUTLINE AND COUNTRIES

  • “Measuring” management practices

  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure

  • Describing management across firms & countries

  • Explaining management across firms & countries: - competition - family managed firms


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FIRM LEVEL AVERAGE MANAGEMENT SCORES AND COUNTRIES

France

n=137

Germany

n=157

UK

n=154

US

n=290


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COUNTRY LEVEL MANAGEMENT SCORES* AND COUNTRIES

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]


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US FIRMS ARE ALSO BETTER IN EUROPE AND COUNTRIES

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


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OUTLINE AND COUNTRIES

  • “Measuring” management practices

  • Evaluating the reliability of this measure

  • Describing management across firms & countries

  • Explaining management across firms & countries: - competition - family managed firms


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Factors we did AND COUNTRIESnot 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


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Competition & Models of Management Practices AND COUNTRIES

  • “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).


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COMPETITION AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (TABLE 4) AND COUNTRIES

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


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FAMILY FIRMS & MANAGEMENT – AN OLD TOPIC AND COUNTRIES

  • 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)


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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.


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WHY DOES FAMILY INVOLVEMENT VARY ACROSS COUNTRIES? (100 YEARS ON),

  • 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.


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FAMILY FIRMS AND MODELS OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (100 YEARS ON),

  • 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)


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FAMILY OWNERSHIP AND FAMILY MANAGEMENT (TABLE 5) (100 YEARS ON),

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


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MANY COMPETITORS AND NO (PG) FAMILY CEO (100 YEARS ON),

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


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ACCOUNTING FOR THE CROSS-COUNTRY SCORES (100 YEARS ON),

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


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TO SUMMARIZE (100 YEARS ON),

  • 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:


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BACK-UP (100 YEARS ON),


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MY FAVOURITE QUOTES: (100 YEARS ON),

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….”


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MY FAVOURITE QUOTES: (100 YEARS ON),

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…”


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MY FAVOURITE QUOTES: (100 YEARS ON),

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…]


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INCENTIVES - i.e. “ (100 YEARS ON), HOW DOES THE PROMOTION SYSTEM WORK?”

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


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TARGETS - i.e. “ (100 YEARS ON), HOW TOUGH ARE TARGETS?”

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


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I.V. MANAGEMENT IN PRODUCTION FUNCTION (100 YEARS ON),

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


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AGE AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (KERNEL (100 YEARS ON), 1)

Management score

10 years

75 years

Firm age (in logs)

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


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FAMILY OWNERSHIP PROBIT (100 YEARS ON),

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


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SOME LIMITED EVIDENCE FOR EFFORT EFFECTS? (100 YEARS ON),

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

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