Leadership

Just how important is a good boss?

An employee uses a hydraulic dye clicker press at the Justin Paul manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee uses a hydraulic dye clicker press at the Justin Paul manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, New York.

So how much difference does a good boss or a bad one make? Turns out, the answer is a lot.

When managers practiced "advanced management", companies were more productive, a recent study found. These advanced practices include employee monitoring, financial incentives, goal setting, modern inventory control and work-flow techniques.

For the study, Stefan Bender, Nicholas Bloom, David Card, John Van Reenen, and Stefanie Wolter looked at data from mid-sized German manufacturing companies.

In the sample, better-managed firms recruited more talented workers and adopted pay practices to retain these more skilled workers. Also, the highly skilled workers in companies with high management scores were less likely to be fired between 2004 and 2009.