Improving Management with Individual and Group-Based Consulting: Results from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia

74 Pages Posted: 16 May 2019

See all articles by Leo Iacovone

Leo Iacovone

World Bank; University of Sussex

William F. Maloney

World Bank - Poverty and Economic Management Unit; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

David J. McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 15, 2019

Abstract

Differences in management quality are an important contributor to productivity differences across countries. A key question is how to best improve poor management in developing countries. This paper tests two different approaches to improving management in Colombian auto parts firms. The first uses intensive and expensive one-on-one consulting, while the second draws on agricultural extension approaches to provide consulting to small groups of firms at approximately one-third of the cost of the individual approach. Both approaches lead to improvements in management practices of a similar magnitude (8-10 percentage points), so that the new group-based approach dominates on a cost-benefit basis. Moreover, the paper finds some evidence that the group-based intervention led to increases in firm size over the next three years, while the impacts on firm outcomes are smaller and statistically insignificant for the individual consulting. The results point to the potential of group-based approaches as a pathway to scaling up management improvements.

Suggested Citation

Iacovone, Leonardo and Maloney, William F. and McKenzie, David John, Improving Management with Individual and Group-Based Consulting: Results from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia (May 15, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8854. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3389017

Leonardo Iacovone (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

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University of Sussex ( email )

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United Kingdom

William F. Maloney

World Bank - Poverty and Economic Management Unit ( email )

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Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-6340 (Phone)
202-522-0054 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

David John McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

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