Request Special Data Access

We are happy to share as much data as possible with researchers, but please read the instructions carefully before requesting your special tabulation.

This is the page to request special tabulations of the WMS data that are unavailable in public form, including (but not limited to) data with identifiers. If your research does not need identifiers, please refer to the public datasets to see if one of the datasets available there would suffice.

The WMS team meets once a month to discuss data requests, and we will get back to you shortly after our meeting. If your request is incomplete or unclear, we will have to ask for extra information and it will delay the decision on your request by at least a month.

A note from the team – please read before applying

The WMS team is made up of five academics, and the WMS is not an enterprise, a firm, or a legal organization. Although we are under no legal obligation to share the we have collected over the years, we are delighted to be able to do so to further research in a very interesting topic. The WMS does not have ongoing core funding or any admin staff, and we maintain the website ourselves.

We do our best to assist in all the requests that we can, however, data confidentiality and the protection of the respondents’ data is of utmost priority and we take our responsibility towards the respondent managers and our universities’ ethics committees very seriously. We have tried to streamline the process as much as possible, but some forms still need to filled out and signed before we can share the data. We also have some restrictions, as below.

Please note that the only data we have in our “core dataset” is data that we have either collected in our own projects or in projects where teams have partnered with us to build a comparable dataset. 


The anonymized datasets are available for immediate download in the public datasets section of the website. Click on the box to the right to access this data.

There are several ongoing projects using the WMS data, and you can check what these are by clicking on the box to the right. We strongly suggest you do this before applying, to avoid duplicating work.

Requesting identifiers

If you need more detailed data than what is available but do not need identifiers, please make this very clear in your application. Data requests without identifiers are relatively easier to approve, so only request identifiers if they are crucial to your project.

If the identifiers are crucial for your research question, please specify this very clearly and give a good reason for needing this data. For example, if you want to match the WMS data with Orbis (or another firm-level dataset) because the data in Orbis is crucial to your research question, explain this in your request. Requesting identifiers to merge the WMS data with country or region-level data is not acceptable as a reason to request identifiers. You may request country or region variables instead.

Requesting financial data

The WMS does not collect financial data for any companies. The sampling frame of the WMS is primarily constructed from lists sourced from Orbis Bureau van Dyjk and Compustat. Details of the sampling frames can be found in the latest survey papers. If you need financial data and have access to a database that has this data, such as BvD, we suggest that you request the data with identifiers to carry out the merge yourself.

Requesting countries

Please refrain for stating “all countries” without a clear reason as to why you need all countries for your research question. Also note that the data for the African countries in our sample is not yet available for request. We will place a note on the front page when it becomes available.

Requesting panel data

There are several waves of the WMS and different countries were surveyed in different waves. We suggest that you check the latest survey paper for more details, here. The data is provided in a collapsed format with a variable indicating the number of firms within each observation, unless the panel data is requested specifically. If you are requesting the panel data, please make sure that you include the reason why the panel data is crucial for your research question.

Requesting variable: do not simply request “all data”

Please refrain from requesting “all variables”. The dataset is large, and there are many variables that may not be useful for your research. Look through the papers that have been published with the data as well as the survey instrument and specify which variables are required for your research project specifically. It is only acceptable to say “all management variables” as we take that to mean the 18 management questions (for manufacturing, for example) and the average indices of management. If you require other variables, it must be clear how they relate to your question. For example, simply stating “all org questions” is not enough.


The World Management Survey data is collected under strict confidentiality rules, and some data will not be released. 

* We will not release data that falls within at least the last 3 years of being collected. At this point, we are still not able to make the data for African countries surveyed available with identifiers.

* We will not release data that in any way identify the managers who answered the survey (this data does not exist in our core database). This includes manager-specific variables such as gender or position.

* Project approvals are for the specific project named here and no other uses of the data. If you would like to use the data for a different project than the one you applied for, please contact Daniela Scur at with your new project proposal.

If you understand these requirements, please click here to go to the request page. You will be required to fill out a form and attach the non-disclosure agreement. We cannot send you any data, even if the project is approved, without a signed NDA. (Yes, paper is outdated, we are sorry this has to be a requirement.)

I have read the instructions and want to apply
To see a list of on-going projects from other researchers who have requested the data, please click here
Click here
If the research you are looking to do does not need firm identifiers, please
Click here