Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2594258
 


 



The Contingent Effect of Management Practices


Steven Blader


New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Claudine Madras Gartenberg


New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Andrea Prat


Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics

April 14, 2015

Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 15-48

Abstract:     
This paper investigates how the success of a management practice depends on nature of the long-term relationship between the firm and its employees. A large US transportation company is in the process of fitting its trucks with an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR), which provide drivers with information on their driving performance. In this setting, a natural question is whether the optimal managerial practice consists of: (1) Letting each driver know his or her individual performance only; or (2) Also providing drivers with information about their ranking with respect to other drivers. The company is also in the first phase of a multi-year "lean-management journey". This phase focuses exclusively on changing employee values, mainly toward a greater emphasis on teamwork and empowerment. The main result of our randomized experiment is that (2) leads to better performance than (1) in a particular site if and only if the site has not yet received the values intervention, and worse performance if it has. The result is consistent with the presence of a conflict between competition-based managerial practices and a cooperation-based relational contract. More broadly, it highlights the role of intangible relational factors: the optimal set of managerial practices depends on the long-term relationship the company chooses to have with its workers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 66

Keywords: Relational contracts, management practices, transportation, performance ranking

JEL Classification: M12, M14, M50, M54


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Date posted: April 16, 2015  

Suggested Citation

Blader, Steven and Gartenberg, Claudine Madras and Prat, Andrea, The Contingent Effect of Management Practices (April 14, 2015). Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 15-48. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2594258 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2594258

Contact Information

Steven Blader
New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
Claudine Madras Gartenberg (Contact Author)
New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Andrea Prat
Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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