Learning Dynamics and Managerial Quality

Research Note
Published on 4 August 2017


Adhvaryu, Nyshadham and Tamayo (2017) study 5 distinct factors of managerial quality that are likely to impact learning by doing within the firm: vocation-specific experience, managerial autonomy, cognitive skills, personality, and demographic relatability to workers. The authors find that experience predictably impacts all aspects of learning and retention, but so do managerial autonomy and cognitive skills. Personality traits impact learning but not forgetting; while relatability to workers surprisingly shows no impact on productivity. They also find that firms can increase productivity at lower cost by adopting better screening mechanisms in the hiring of new supervisors and training existing supervisors in deficient qualities.


Achyuta Adhvaryu

University of Michigan

Anant Nyshadham

University of Michigan

Jorge Tamayo

Harvard University