Economist Raffaella Sadun joined Erik Brynjolfsson to discuss research focused on managerial and organizational drivers of productivity and growth in both the private and public sector.
The Harvard Business School professor shared insights on her recent project that employs a large and unique corpus of job specifications for C-suite positions to document and explain heterogeneity across firms and the skills demanded for high-level executives.
We use a large and unique corpus of job specifications for C-suite positions to document and explain heterogeneity in the skills demanded for high-level executives across firms. A novel algorithm maps the text for each executive search into six separate skill clusters that reflect cognitive, interpersonal, and operational dimensions.
Patterns in the social skills cluster are particularly striking: it features the highest growth in the sample, it is the relatively most common cluster in CEO searches, and is very heterogeneous across firms. We propose a mechanism whereby executive social skills facilitate the exchange of problems between workers and managers; construct proxies for the need for such coordination; and show these correlate with the presence of social skills language. The results suggest that the varied structure of firms induces demand for different executive skills.