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Across the world, good management makes a big difference

10 January 2019

The quality of the leadership and management of a country’s businesses is an important factor behind its national productivity.

That is the conclusion of research presented today by Alan Howard to the annual conference of our Division of Occupational Psychology.

Together with Max Choi, who is a Chartered Psychologist, Alan Howard studied data from a study that involved more than 117,000 leaders and managers from 32 countries across a wide range of sectors. 

The researchers employed two tests of judgement to obtain average scores for leadership and management skills for each country in the study. They were a senior leadership level test (results were obtained for 24 countries) and a management-level test (results were obtained for 27 countries).  They also used a range of measures of the 32 countries’ investment in human capital.

They found that leadership skills and management skills directly influence a country’s productivity, even when all the measures of investment in human capital have been taken into account.

Alan Howard said:

“Even if your country has high levels of enrolment in tertiary education, a low unemployment rate and a long life expectancy, its productivity is still substantially influenced by leadership and management ability.

“These are skills that can be developed with the right investment, and our findings suggest that it is worth investing in the selection and development of leaders in order to improve organisational and national productivity.”

You can follow the conference on Twitter via the hashtag #dopconf.


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