Management capability is compellingly linked to organisational performance and differences in industry and country productivity outcomes, based on the latest World Management Survey results reported in a recent article in The Economist.

The research is based on interviews with over 14,000 managers and demonstrates that management factors explain about 30% of the productivity gap (TFP) between the US (with the highest productivity rating) and other countries.

When Australia’s results are separated out, 45% of the productivity gap between Australia and the US is management-related.

Average Country Management Score: US management practices score highest on average 

Relative management practices also vary by country

The UK government has responded to its rating (slightly above Australia’s) by creating an interesting new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship designed to boost management training and capability. Well, new for management, but based on a very traditional method of learning, the apprenticeship model.

A brief HBR blog provides an overview of what’s actually measured in the survey.

The three key managerial areas studied are:

  • targets
  • incentives
  • monitoring.

Good, clear delegation of task and authority continue to be areas that executives seek and need leadership coaching with.

In particular, holding people to account without micro-managing, and knowing when there are problems and what are the best tactics for stepping in, remain challenges.

What’s good to know is that when the World Management Team has conduced randomised control trials that education and training make a big difference in closing the productivity gap.