The Controversial List – The Countries With The Best & Worst Management Practices

Today we are looking at a controversial study which claims to have identify which countries have good managers and which have countries aren’t looking so good. Best and Worst Management Practices

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But before we see whether your country has the best or worst management practices, let’s take a quick look at what David James had to say in the Business Review magazine about Australian management:

[quote] Some Important Definitions . . . Managers: Long suffering martyrs who have had absolutely nothing to do with Australia’s sharp drop in productivity. The sun was in their eyes. They weren’t ready. The other side cheated (by being better). Unions: A bunch of wicked vampires who destroy quality management in Australia, despite inhabiting less than 20 per cent of the workforce. True, managers run 100 per cent of the workforce, but it is still unions’ fault. Obviously.[/quote]

The Best And Worst Management Practices

So back to the controversial management study

The study comes up with ten conclusions on management practices in different countries:

  1. Firms with “better” management practices tend to have better performance on a wide range of dimensions: they are larger, more productive, grow faster, and have higher survival rates.
  2. Management practices vary tremendously across firms and countries. Most of the difference in the average management score of a country is due to the size of the “long tail” of very badly managed firms. For example, relatively few U.S. firms are very badly managed, while Brazil and India have many firms in that category.
  3. Countries and firms specialize in different styles of management. For example, American firms score much higher than Swedish firms in incentives but are worse than Swedish firms in monitoring.
  4. Strong product market competition appears to boost average management practices through a combination of eliminating the tail of badly managed firms and pushing incumbents to improve their practices.
  5. Multinationals are generally well managed in every country. They also transplant their management styles abroad. For example, U.S. multinationals located in the United Kingdom are better at incentives and worse at monitoring than Swedish multinationals in the United Kingdom.
  6. Firms that export (but do not produce) overseas are better-managed than domestic non-exporters, but are worse-managed than multinationals.
  7. Inherited family-owned firms who appoint a family member (especially the eldest son) as chief executive officer are very badly managed on average. Click to tweet this finding.
  8. Government-owned firms are typically managed extremely badly.
  9. Firms with publicly quoted share prices or owned by private-equity firms are typically well managed.
  10. Firms that more intensively use human capital, as measured by more educated workers, tend to have much better management practices.
  11. At the country level, a relatively light touch in labor market regulation is associated with better use of incentives by management.

Before we show you the list and before you get a little hot under the collar, we should point out that the study was conducted by British academics.

The List Of Countries With The Best and Worst Management Practices

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The countries in the report are listed from best (at the top) to worst:

  1. United States
  2. Germany
  3. Sweden
  4. Japan
  5. Canada
  6. France
  7. Italy
  8. Great Britain
  9. Australia
  10. Northern Ireland
  11. Poland
  12. Republic of Ireland
  13. Portugal
  14. Brazil
  15. India
  16. China
  17. Greece

How did your country fare?

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