Raffaella Sadun

14 Results

 

Does Management Matter in Schools?

There are major disparities in the quality of education within and across countries. School managerial practices may be one important reason for such differences, but research in this area has traditionally been held back by a lack of robust and comparable instruments to systematically measure management practices. In this paper the authors develop a novel and internationally comparable index of management quality for schools, and apply this methodology to measure management practices across 1,800 private and public schools across eight developed and developing economies. Three key findings emerged. First, the adoption of basic managerial practices varies significantly across and within countries. The United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada and the US obtain the highest average scores, followed by Germany, Italy and Brazil, while India has the lowest scores. Second, higher management scores are positively correlated with better pupil outcomes. Third, they show that that—similar to the private sector—different types of school governance are associated with systematically different levels of management adoption. Read More

Banning Big-box Stores Can Hurt Local Retailers

Research by Raffaella Sadun shows how regulations meant to protect independent retailers from big-box stores may actually backfire. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Family CEOs Spend Less Time at Work

CEOs who are related to the owners of family-owned firms work significantly fewer hours than nonfamily CEOs, according to a new study by Raffaella Sadun and colleagues. This is in light of the fact that longer working hours are associated with higher productivity, growth, and profitability. Closed for comment; 16 Comments posted.

Managing the Family Firm: Evidence from CEOs at Work

According to prior research, firm performance is weaker among companies with CEOs who have a family connection to the firm owners compared with nonfamily CEOs, that is professionals. Given the ubiquity of family firms and the implications for aggregate income and growth, what explains this variation? This paper provides evidence on the causes, features, and correlates of CEO attention allocation by looking at a simple yet critical difference between family and professional CEOs: the time they spend working for their firms. The Indian manufacturing sector makes an excellent case study because family ownership is widespread and the productivity dispersion across firms is substantial. Examining the time allocation of 356 CEOs of listed firms in this sector, the authors make several findings. First, there is substantial variation in the number of hours CEOs devote to work activities. Longer working hours are associated with higher firm productivity, growth, profitability, and CEO pay. Second, family CEOs record 8 percent fewer working hours relative to professional CEOs. The difference in hours worked is more pronounced in low-competition environments and does not seem to be explained by measurement error. Third, estimates with respect to the cost of effort, due to weather shocks and popular sport events, suggest that family CEOs place a higher relative weight on leisure, which could be due to either a wealth effect or job security. Overall, the evidence highlights the importance of how corporate leaders allocate their managerial attention. Read More

Measuring the Efficacy of the World’s Managers

Over the past seven years, Harvard Business School's Raffaella Sadun and a team of researchers have interviewed managers at some 10,000 organizations in 20 countries. The goal: to determine how and why management practices differ vastly in style and quality not only across nations, but also across various organizations and industries. Closed for comment; 19 Comments posted.

The Organization of Firms Across Countries

Economists have been paying increasing attention to the role that culture plays in a firm's overall performance. This paper focuses on how trust—a key cultural factor—affects firms' decision-making process, size, and productivity. Research was conducted by Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University, Rafaella Sadun of the Harvard Business School, and John Van Reenen of the London School of Economics. Read More

Sharpening Your Skills: Organizational Design

In this collection from our archives, Harvard Business School faculty discuss specific challenges that can be solved with the right organizational design. Read More

What CEOs Do, and How They Can Do it Better

A CEO's schedule is especially important to a firm's financial success, which raises a few questions: What do they do all day? Can they be more efficient time managers? HBS professor Raffaella Sadun and colleagues set out to find some answers. Closed for comment; 67 Comments posted.

Attention Medical Shoppers: What Health Care Can Learn from Walmart and Amazon

At a Harvard Business School panel discussion on health care management, experts looked to the retail industry as a possible model for delivering medical services more effectively. Participants included Harvard's Robert Huckman, Raffaella Sadun, David Cutler, and Atul Gawande. Open for comment; 7 Comments posted.

What Do CEOs Do?

If time is money, as the old adage goes, then a CEO's schedule is especially important to a firm's financial success. This raises a fair question: What do CEOs do all day? To that end, researchers followed the activities of 94 CEOs in Italy over the course of a pre-specified week, enlisting the CEOs' personal assistants to track their bosses' activities with time-use diaries. Research was conducted by Raffaella Sadun of Harvard Business School, Luigi Guiso of the European University Institute, and Oriana Bandiera and Andrea Prat of the London School of Economics. Read More

How IT Shapes Top-Down and Bottom-Up Decision Making

What determines whether decisions happen on the bottom, middle, or top rung of the corporate ladder? New research from professor Raffaella Sadun finds that the answer often lies in the technology that a company deploys. Open for comment; 15 Comments posted.

The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization

At what point in the corporate food chain are big decisions made? It depends on technology, according to new research, which finds that information-based software will help to push decisions further down the corporate ladder, whereas communication technologies will push decisions up to the top. Research was conducted by Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University; Assistant Professor Raffaella Sadun of Harvard Business School; and Luis Garicano and John Van Reenen of the London School of Economics. Read More

Matching Firms, Managers, and Incentives

Do different kinds of firm ownership drive the adoption of different managerial practices? HBS professor Raffaella Sadun and coauthors focus on the difference between the two most common ownership modes, family firms and firms that are widely held, namely that have no dominant owner. They find that the greater weight attached by family firms to benefits from control induces a conflict of interest between family-firm owners and high-ability, risk-tolerant managers. Read More

Does Product Market Competition Lead Firms To Decentralize?

There is a widespread sense that over the last two decades firms have been decentralizing decisions to employees further down the managerial hierarchy. Economists have developed a range of theories to account for delegation, but there is less empirical evidence, especially across countries. This has limited the ability to understand the phenomenon of decentralization. Nicholas Bloom, HBS professor Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen assembled a new data set on about 4,000 firms across 12 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia, and then measured the delegation of authority from central headquarters to local plant managers. Read More