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Learning to Manage: A Field Experiment in the Indian Startup Ecosystem

44 Pages Posted: 9 May 2017 Last revised: 8 Sep 2017

Aaron Chatterji

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Solene Delecourt

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Sharique Hasan

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Rembrand Koning

Harvard Business School

Date Written: September 7, 2017

Abstract

While management styles and practices have been found to be important determinants of firm performance, there is far less evidence on the extent to which management matters for entrepreneurial ventures and whether founders can learn to be more effective managers. Using a randomized field experiment with 100 high-growth technology firms, we show that founders who received advice from other founders with more “hands-on” management styles were more likely to reorient their own management activity, and subsequently experience lower employee attrition and higher rates of firm survival eight months after the intervention. For founders who already had a more hands-on management style themselves, these interactions also increased their rate of hiring. Our study demonstrates management skill can be learned by young firms via networks and subsequently influence performance.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Field Experiments, Peer Effects, Management

Suggested Citation

Chatterji, Aaron and Delecourt, Solene and Hasan, Sharique and Koning, Rembrand, Learning to Manage: A Field Experiment in the Indian Startup Ecosystem (September 7, 2017). Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Working Paper; Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 17-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964249 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2964249

Aaron Chatterji

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Solene Delecourt

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Sharique Hasan

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Rembrand Koning (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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