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POID Working Paper

World Management Survey at 18: lessons and the way forward


Understanding how differences in management "best practices" affect organizational outcomes has been a focus of both theoretical and empirical work in the fields of management, sociology, economics and public policy. The World Management Survey (WMS) project was born almost two decades ago with the main goal of developing a new systematic measure of management practices being used in organisations. The WMS has contributed to a body of knowledge around how managerial structures, not just managerial talent, relates to organizational performance. Over 18 years of research, a set of consistent patterns have emerged and spurred new questions. We will present a brief overview of what we have learned in terms of measuring and understanding management practices and condense the implications of these findings for policy. We end with an outline of what we see as the path forward for both research and policy implications of this research programme.


Nicholas Bloom, Renata Lemos, Raffaella Sadun, Daniela Scur and John Van Reenen

28 February 2021     Paper Number POIDWP002

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This POID Working Paper is published under the Programme on Innovation and Diffusion, and CEP Growth programme.

This publication comes under the following CEP theme: Management practices and productivity