Research

Accidental managers harm productivity

23 Oct 2017 By PM Editorial

Unqualified managers are a principal cause of poor productivity in the UK

The profusion of ‘accidental’ managers could be a key cause of the UK’s low productivity, according to new research from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

In the latest edition of the CEP’s World Management Survey, the UK scored just 3.03 out of five for management best practice, trailing the US, Germany, Japan and Canada. According to statistics from the CMI, unqualified managers are a principal cause of this productivity lag. The findings show approximately four out of five bosses are ‘accidental’ managers – equating to 2.4 million UK managers. More than 70 per cent of employers also reported that they did not train first-time managers.

The CMI’s findings suggest that delivering appropriate training to managers is key to solving the UK’s productivity problem, as organisations with effective management and leadership development programmes are 32 per cent more productive than those with accidental managers.

CEP associate and lead researcher Dr Nick Bloom says companies could benefit from more information and advice on training managers: “Reducing barriers to the market for advice should be high on the policy agenda. The creation of better benchmarks, advice shops and management demonstration projects, especially for smaller firms, could be beneficial.”

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