عنوان انگلیسی مقاله:

Developing the organization’s productivity strategy in various sectors of industry

ترجمه عنوان مقاله: توسعه ی استراتژی افزایش بهره وری سازمان در بخش های مختلف صنعت

رشته: مدیریت صنعتی

سال انتشار: 2011

تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی: 17 صفحه

منبع: Emerald

نوع فایل: pdf

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چکیده انگلیسی مقاله

Purpose: The paper aims to present an approach to improve the organisation’s productivity which is applicable in every industrial sector. The nucleus of the approach is to develop an optimal productivity strategy in an organization by the application of a uniform static model of productivity (Q4-model), covering quantity and quality aspects and applicable to various sectors of industry, and a dynamic control cycle.
Design/methodology/approach: The study discusses the steps of the approach and presents three case studies from different industrial sectors where the approach has been applied.
Findings: The approach has proven to be uniformly applicable in all three cases from these different sectors, namely consultancy, health care and manufacturing. Across these applications highly different productivity-related challenges, productivity strategies, and specific interventions are described in the perspective of the Q4-model.
Research limitations/implications: The approach is not made for measuring the quantity and quality input and output factors of productivity.
Practical implications: The approach succeeds in developing a productivity strategy which combines quantity and quality input and output factors and supports the transformation of a strategy analysis into a practical intervention.
Originality/value: The approach is unique in its uniform applicability to every industrial sector and is helpful to entrepreneurs, managers and innovators.
Keywords: Productivity, Quality, Knowledge work, Service industry, Manufacturing, Q4-model of productivity, Productivity rate, Manufacturing systems Paper type Research paper

مقدمه انگلیسی مقاله

Europe today faces major socio-economic challenges, such as the financial crisis, the worldwide competitiveness, the climate change and the ageing population. Economic growth is considered to be crucial in order to overcome these challenges and to compete successfully with the emerging economies of China and India. A key variable in relation to economic growth is productivity. On the (trans-) national level, productivity is usually measured in terms of the volume of labour used in relation to the output produced in terms of the gross domestic product (EANPC, 2005). The national productivity is partly derivable from the productivity levels achieved in individual organisations or enterprises within the nation.
At the level of an enterprise, a high level of productivity is one of the crucial variables to perform well, to compete successfully and to survive. At this level, productivity is basically described as the ratio between outputs and inputs, where the inputs comprise all factors utilized to produce the output demand. The input factors include labour (man hours or fulltime equivalents) as well as capital and resources. The outputs of the enterprise may be defined in terms of physical volumes (e.g. tons produced) or financial indicators (revenues or profits or added value) (Eilon, 1985). This way of thinking of productivity finds its origin in the traditional manufacturing industry (e.g. Sink, 1983), where the inputs and the outputs are often tangible and quantifiable. In these cases, the monitoring and managing of productivity is relatively straightforward and is often associated with increasing efficiency. It is contentious however, whether this traditional concept of productivity also holds for the large variety of private and public organizations in our modern society.
Specifically, it can be questioned how this concept relates to the performance or competitive strength of contemporary organizations. Many of these organizations are characterized by a certain amount of knowledge work, rather than routine manual work only, and the deliverance of services, rather than discrete numbers or volumes of tangible products. It can be argued that in such organisations not only quantities of inputs and outputs, but also aspects of quality are of relevance from the perspective of organizational performance (Gro¨nroos and Ojasalo, 2004). At the input side for instance, the creativity, the motivation and the commitment of workers might be an equally or even more important determinant of productivity than the number of workers. Similarly at the output side, the appreciation of services by customers might add more value for a company compared to the exact volumes of services. Therefore, a meaningful concept of productivity for organizations that (at least) partly rely on knowledge work, should incorporate quantity as well as quality aspects, both at the input and the output side. This idea has been presented as a specific requirement of the service industry (Vuorinen et al., 1998). It is suggested that this way of thinking can be of relevance in all sectors of industry, which is explored in this paper.
The incorporation of quality aspects complicates the management of productivity in an organization. One of the difficulties concerns the measurement of productivity and, even more, its mathematical calculation. These problems and the practical methods and approaches to deal with this complexity have been recently described and illustrated by a case study in municipal administration ( Ja¨a¨skela¨inen and Lo¨nnqvist, 2009). Another difficulty concerns the development of the most effective productivity strategy. With the increasing relevance of quality aspects, the number of options to influence the productivity of an organisation rapidly increases.

نتیجه انگلیسی مقاله

Knowledge work has become a crucial resource, not only in service sectors but also in manufacturing sectors. The European work force already consists for 47 per cent of white collar workers and this number will further increase in coming years (Parent-Thirion et al., 2007). Thus, knowledge workers are rapidly becoming the largest group in the work force in developed countries (Drucker, 1999; Davenport 2008 in Ja¨a¨skela¨inen and Lo¨nnqvist, 2010). Against this background, the urgency for a generally applicable productivity model must be seen. The model described in this paper was tested for its applicability in three organisations from different sectors of industry. In these cases, the productivity-related challenges, the productivity strategy and the final intervention were discussed in the perspective of this model (Q4) and the concomitant control cycle.
For the consultancy company the strategy challenge was to enhance competitiveness by investing in new office interiors and new workstations enabling the company to minimize personnel turnover. The productivity strategy led to the intervention of new housing and new workstations, which were inspirational to the employees. The intervention has significant overlap with Microsoft’s slogan of “The New World of Work” which integrates new ICTs and mobile working with the ability and wishes of the new generation of employees who highly value creativity and control (Microsoft, 2005). There was more satisfaction among staff with expected improved outputs, and lower costs for the reduction of work stations and personnel turnover.
The strategy challenge for the health care case was to improve the quality against a stabilization of the costs by streamlining the flow of patients across three different institutes. The productivity strategy was to improve the primary process by streamlining the workflow of patients, which would enable the staff to help more people and enhance the quality of service, while at the same time optimising the use of equipment and facilities and the use of knowledge of medical specialists. The intervention to operationalise this strategy was the establishing of a multi-disciplinary expertise centre to integrate diagnosis and treatment. The primary process became less expensive due to an efficient new division of work between specialists and nurses and a more effective deployment of specialisms, which resulted in better quality and quantity outputs for the organizations, the patients and the employees.
The strategic challenge for the manufacturing case was to meet increasing market demand. The productivity strategy was to increase production volumes without extra resources. The intervention consisted of combining a new production system with ergonomically optimising work stations in order to come to a more efficient process, and to make more efficient use of the limited space available. As a result the productivity volume almost doubled, while the personnel became less fatigued and preferred the new production system above the traditional one.
What can be learnt from these illustrations is that the Q4 model allows one to formulate productivity challenges, strategies and interventions in a uniform and practical way for entrepreneurial purposes. The uniformity of the model can also be confirmed, since the highly different productivity challenges across the three types of organisations all fit within the Q4 approach. The consultancy firm combined more outputs of quality and quantity (service volume, customer satisfaction, service quality) with variable input quantity (investing in housing and equipment but less costs for personnel turnover) and more input quality (improved concentration, communication, satisfaction and inspiration). The health care case kept the inputs of quality stable (same specialists) and of quantity down (less administrative burdens, nurses replacing specialists by the intake) and increased the output quantity (more patients were reached and processed) and output quality (better service quality and shorter waiting and throughput times for patients). Finally it can be observed that the manufacturing company had variable input quantity (less space used; new equipment) and higher input quality (better working conditions for employees) leading to stable output quality and increased output quantity (more production at an equal workforce).

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