Do Managers Matter? A Natural Experiment from 42 R&D Labs in India

53 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2018 Last revised: 22 May 2019

See all articles by Prithwiraj Choudhury

Prithwiraj Choudhury

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Tarun Khanna

Harvard University - Strategy Unit

Christos Makridis

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: May 20, 2019

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Choudhury, Prithwiraj and Khanna, Tarun and Makridis, Christos, Do Managers Matter? A Natural Experiment from 42 R&D Labs in India (May 20, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3146664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3146664

Prithwiraj Choudhury

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Tarun Khanna

Harvard University - Strategy Unit ( email )

Harvard Business School
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6038 (Phone)
617-495-0355 (Fax)

Christos Makridis (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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