Do Managers Matter? A Natural Experiment from 42 R&D Labs in India
53 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2018 Last revised: 22 May 2019
Date Written: May 20, 2019
We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the staggered entry of new managers into India's 42 public R&D labs between 1994 and 2006 to study how alignment between the CEO and middle-level managers affect research productivity. We show that the introduction of new lab managers aligned with the national R&D reforms raised patenting and multinational licensing revenues by 58% and 75%, respectively, and scientist research productivity, including: a 16%, 10%, 11%, and 22% increase in h-indices, number of coauthors, publications, and citations per scientist, respectively. Using natural language processing (NLP) techniques on the set of research abstracts produced among these scientists, we also find that overall mood and sentiment increased by 8.5% following the first managerial change.
Keywords: incentives, innovation, management, productivity, research and development
JEL Classification: L22, L23, O32, O33
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