Gender diversity in management in Japan is finally emerging: Comparison with China and South Korea
Hiromi Ishizuka, 10 July 2014
Japan has one of the highest labour market gender gaps among the advanced economies. This column examines the current status of gender diversity in management in Japan, China, and South Korea. Despite some pronounced differences, economic gender gaps are large in all of the three countries. But overall, gender diversity in management in Japan is slowly beginning to emerge.
Japan was ranked 104th out of 136 countries on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap sub-index on economic participation and opportunity in 2013. This means that Japan has the second largest labour market gender gap among the advanced economies, next only to South Korea. Meanwhile, Japan’s population peaked in 2008 and has been on the decline since.
Topics: Gender, Labour markets
Tags: Gender diversity, Japan, Management
Are large headquarters unproductive?
Masayuki Morikawa, 19 June 2014
Headquarters play important strategic roles in modern companies, but downsizing of headquarters is often advocated as a cost-cutting measure. This column presents evidence from Japanese firm-level data that the size of headquarters is positively associated with firms’ overall productivity. Moreover, the benefits of ICT are greater for companies with relatively large headquarters. Downsizing headquarters to cut costs may thus be harmful for long-term company performance.
The role of headquarters
Headquarters – the core service sector inside companies – conduct a wide range of highly strategic activities, including:
Topics: Productivity and Innovation
Tags: centralisation, headquarters, ICT, Japan, Management, productivity, technology
Do we need highly cited departmental chairs?
Amanda Goodall, John McDowell, Larry Singell, 31 January 2014
Much of human knowledge is produced in the world’s university departments, yet little is known about how these hundreds of thousands of departments are best organised and led. This column explores the association between the personal research output of a department head and the department’s subsequent performance. Results suggest that if a department wants to improve its reputation in the world, then the chair should be a highly cited researcher.
The advancement of scientific knowledge is the primary responsibility of approximately 300,000 academic departments housed in more than 20,000 universities worldwide, yet little is known about the factors that determine the productivity of those departments. chairs – or ‘Heads of Department’ – play a central role in the academic departments that make up universities.
Tags: academia, higher education, Management, Universities
Productivity in Italy: The great unlearning
Fadi Hassan, Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 30 November 2013
The long-lasting stagnation in Italy has often been explained by the country’s lost of competitiveness, but focus on total factor productivity has been scarce. This column discusses the effect of capital and labour misallocation on the productivity slowdown. Such misallocation could not result from labour rigidity, but could be due to limited ICT investment and penetration. Rigid non-meritocratic management practices can greatly affect ICT exploitation, and subsequently – overall productivity growth.
Italy is often regarded as the sleeping beauty of Europe -- a country rich in talent and history, but suffering from a long-lasting stagnation. Italian per-capita income as percentage of the EU15 average has steadily declined since 1994, reaching 84% of EU15 average in 2012. However, this pattern is a novelty compared to previous decades.
Topics: Europe's nations and regions, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: ICT investment, Italy, Management, productivity
Imran Rasul, Daniel Rogger, 19 November 2013
Around the world, civil service reform is viewed as necessary to deliver public services effectively and to foster development. However, evidence is thin on how the management of bureaucrats affects the provision of public services. This column presents new evidence from Nigeria linking completion rates of government projects to bureaucractic management practices. Greater autonomy is associated with higher completion rates, whereas performance monitoring and incentive schemes seem to backfire. The most effective private-sector management practices may not be suited to public sector bureaucracies.
Since its inception in the 1850s, the British Civil Service has become a cornerstone of the executive branch of the UK government, translating the policy programme of the government into practice.
Topics: Development, Institutions and economics, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, bureaucracy, civil service, incentives, Management, monitoring, Nigeria
Herding cats? Management and university performance
John McCormack, Carol Propper, Sarah Smith, 7 November 2013
The conventional wisdom is that managing academics is futile. This column challenges this view by comparing management performance in UK universities with measures of research and teaching quality. Universities with better management have better performance. This holds for all types of universities, and the results are not driven by differences in resources. Recruitment, retention, and promotion are the most important aspects of management in universities, but management at the level of academic departments – not human resources departments – is what matters.
The common view holds that managing academics is like herding cats – difficult and ultimately pointless. But this view of management contrasts with growing evidence that good management practices are like a good technology – they increase productivity (Bloom and Van Reenen 2010).
Topics: Education, Labour markets
Tags: academia, higher education, human resources, Management, Universities
High-involvement management: What does it mean for worker wellbeing?
Alex Bryson, 21 October 2011
A growing body of evidence indicates that certain modern management practices increase firm profitability. What remains largely unknown is their effect on workers’ wellbeing. This column uses data from Finland and suggests high-involvement management – that is, engaging workers more fully in their jobs – is associated with higher job satisfaction, non-tiredness, and a lower probability of accident.
Solving the world’s problems – everything ranging from productivity growth and employment creation to ageing and climate change – will require firms to get better at what they do. Modern management techniques are increasingly looking like they will help deliver on the necessity.
Topics: Labour markets
Tags: Finland, Management, wellbeing
How do CEOs spend their time?
Andrea Prat, Oriana Bandiera, Luigi Guiso, Raffaella Sadun, 28 May 2011
What do CEOs get up to all day? Most accounts are based on surprisingly small samples. A new study of how CEOs allocate their time yields some surprising results.
Corporate leadership attracts enormous attention, both from scholars and from the public. Yet, despite this strong interest, very little is known on what activities leaders engage in. Most texts that purport to define and explain the role of corporate leaders are based on a small amount of evidence, often just a single case.
Topics: Frontiers of economic research, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: CEOs, Management
Time and work at the Bank of England
Anne Murphy, 22 May 2011
Working 9 to 5, Monday to Friday is the typical grind in Anglo-Saxon economies. In some professions, longer hours and low pay for junior workers is justified by the end reward of much better pay and a better work-life balance as they gain seniority. This column examines the workings of the Bank of England in 1783 to show the beginnings of this working culture.
In 1783 the Bank of England appointed a Committee of Inspection to examine working practices within its departments and identify any failings in procedures. The committee spent a year interviewing the clerks and observing them at work.
Topics: Labour markets, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: Bank of England, economic history, Management, productivity
“The Office” goes to India: Why bad management is keeping India poor
Nicholas Bloom, Aprajit Mahajan, David McKenzie, John Roberts, 13 April 2011
“The Office”, a popular British television programme, has been shown in more than 50 countries. Its international appeal likely stems from its universal theme: managerial incompetence. This column looks at the case of India and shows how the poor management of its companies is holding the country back.
Anyone who has seen the TV show “The Office” knows about the impact of bad management on office productivity. David Brent (Michael Scott in the US version) is the notoriously incompetent manager who can do nothing right. Everything he touches goes wrong. Bad managers are also presumably a global problem: “The Office” has been exported to over 50 countries.
Topics: Development, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: development, India, Management