Middle Managers, Personnel Turnover and Performance: A Long-Term Field Experiment in a Retail Chain

55 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2018 Last revised: 5 Sep 2018

See all articles by Guido Friebel

Guido Friebel

Goethe University Frankfurt; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Matthias Heinz

University of Cologne; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Nick Zubanov

University of Konstanz

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

In a field experiment, a large retail chain's CEO asked managers of treated stores "to do what they can" to reduce personnel turnover. Turnover decreases by a quarter for nine months; a reminder treatment triggers a similar decrease for a shorter period. Treated managers report shifting their time toward HR; their employees report more managerial attention and support. Store sales are unaffected, indicating that the possible performance increases related to managers spending more time on HR are neutralized by the effects of managers spending less time on customers and goods. The discernible efficiency gains occur at the firm, rather than at the store level.

Keywords: communication, hierarchy, HR, insider econometrics, Managers, organizations, personnel turnover, randomized controlled trial (RCT)

JEL Classification: L2, M1, M12, M5

Suggested Citation

Friebel, Guido and Heinz, Matthias and Zubanov, Nick, Middle Managers, Personnel Turnover and Performance: A Long-Term Field Experiment in a Retail Chain (August 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13125, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3235609

Guido Friebel (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Matthias Heinz

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Nick Zubanov

University of Konstanz ( email )

Fach D-144
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

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