Bloomberg Businessweek published “God’s MBAs: Does the Mormon Faith Produce Better Leaders?” a while back.
While an interesting read,* I hate to break it to my Mormon friends and students, but this article doesn’t provide much solid evidence to back up its claim.
There are two reasons.
First, there is the problem that Nasem Taleb calls the invisibility of the drowned worshippers (no aspersion intended). There are 4 possibilities that you need to think about:
|Made CEO||Didn’t Make CEO|
|Didn’t Do Mission||3||4|
Second, there is the problem endogeneity problem. What a reader really wants to know about a topic like this is whether going on a mission increases your chances of being a CEO. The endogeneity problem, in short, is what if there is a third factor that helps you be successful at both? Like charisma. If you don’t include charisma in your analysis, then you might be inclined to think that going on a mission increases your chances of making it to CEO, but if you did include charisma, you might find that there is very little relationship left over from missions to CEO positions.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a relationship, but I am saying that there is really basic econometrics left undone here.
* The online article missed one of the coolest parts of the print article: the marginalia listing Mormon CEO’s. They are listed in this separate article entitled “Mormons In Business”.