Matching and Winning? The Impact of Upper and Middle Managers on Team Performance

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 15-115/VII

45 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2015 Last revised: 4 Mar 2020

See all articles by Thomas Peeters

Thomas Peeters

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); University of Antwerp - Department of Economics

Steven Salaga

University of Georgia

Matthew Juravich

University of Akron

Date Written: March 3, 2020

Abstract

We investigate the joint impact of managers at different hierarchical levels on firm performance in Major League Baseball. We separately quantify the contribution of upper and middle managers and the impact of their match quality—the degree to which managers cooperate effectively across layers to impact firm success. We establish that match quality is a statistically significant and economically meaningful driver of firm performance. Higher-quality managers tend to be matched together across levels and achieve higher match quality during their joint employment. Match quality does not improve over the length of a joint employment spell, but lower match quality is found in pairs with more divergent educational attainment and prior strategic approaches. Hence, match quality is partly innate, and manager pairings may have difficulty improving their cooperation through learning. When we control for match quality, we find significantly lower estimates of heterogeneity in manager ability compared with commonly used estimators of managerial impact. Still, both middle and upper managers retain a meaningful impact on firm performance.

Keywords: match quality, management, team performance, Major League Baseball

JEL Classification: M12, M54, L83

Suggested Citation

Peeters, Thomas and Salaga, Steven and Juravich, Matthew, Matching and Winning? The Impact of Upper and Middle Managers on Team Performance (March 3, 2020). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 15-115/VII, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2673557 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2673557

Thomas Peeters (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

University of Antwerp - Department of Economics ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, B-2000
Belgium

Steven Salaga

University of Georgia ( email )

330 River Road
361 Ramsey
Athens, GA 30602
United States
7062541173 (Phone)

Matthew Juravich

University of Akron ( email )

259 S. Broadway
Akron, OH 44325
United States

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