Business management

We are familiar with randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in healthcare, education, criminology, and social policy, but what about business management?

Many management interventions are generic,[1] covering the whole of an organisation. I came across a really interesting RCT of such an intervention recently where whole factories were randomised.[2] The factories were textile organisations in India, and the intervention was to have, or not have, management consultant support. I have always had a rather nihilistic impression of the consultancy industry, but it looks as though I might have been wrong, as the intervention sites performed slightly better than the control sites in terms of an increase in productivity in the first year (17%), and the opening of more production plants (0.259 on average) within three years.

–Richard Lilford, Director of CLAHRC WM

References:

[1] Lilford RJ, Chilton PJ, Hemming K, Girling AJ, Taylor CA, Barach P. Evaluating policy and service interventions: framework to guide selection and interpretation of study end points. BMJ. 2010;341:c4413.

[2] Bloom N, Eifert B, Mahajan A, McKenzie D, Roberts J. Does Management Matter? Evidence from India. Q J Econ. 2013; 128(1):1-51.

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