- The intent of this study was to survey opinions of
producine managers and industrial engineers concerning
several aspects of productivity. The survey was conducted
by means of a questionnaire. The number of questionnaires
administered was 540. Useful responses were 145 (27%).
In addition to English, there were versions of the
questionnaire in Spanish, French, and Servo-Croatian.
Besides the United States, they were sent to Mexico, Japan,
Korea, France, Yugoslavia, and England.
The answers to the questionnaire indicated that an
equal interest existed between the respondents and their
organizations with respect to their concern on productivity
measurement and improvement programs.
One of the main topics of interest in this research
was the estimation of the importance given to the achievement
of four proposed goals ("Efficiency", "Effectiveness",
"Performance", "Vitality"). The results indicated that the
preferences varied with the type of organization involved.
The non-profit organizations gave equal preference to the
four goals, whereas the profit organizations gave a slight
preference to the achievement of the goal, "Efficiency".
An investigation was also made to determine what
tactics were most suitable to achieve the four previously
mentioned goals. The preferences varied, again, with the
type of organization. The non-profit organizations tended
to use tactics which included more human participation,
whereas the profit organizations preferred tactics which
were more related to technical factors.
An estimation of the effect of the tactics on the
goals was performed. For the profit organizations, the
effect of the tactic "Machines" was noteworthy. The results
indicated that, although there was a high expectation
to increase "Efficiency", there was also a considerable
expectation of decreasing the organizations' vitality.
Another aim of this work was to inquire into the preference
of the respondents for the use of productivity
ratios in three promising areas of application (i.e. evaluation
of capital investment proposals, control of
operations, achievement of social objectives). The most
promising areas were the control of operations and the
evaluation of capital investment proposals.
There existed a difference of opinion concerning the
consideration of mandatory capital investments in productivity
measurements. Almost half of the respondents
suggested to consider those investments in a different
form, while others suggested the contrary.
The respondents showed a slight preference about the
opinion that a wage increase should be granted when an increase
in productivity occurred. An analysis of variance
indicated that differences of opinion existed among three
criteria (i.e. the respondents' criterion, the organizations'
criterion, and the criterion based on a strict
analysis of data) concerning the sharing of productivity
gains. The main differences occurred with respect to the
percentage of productivity earnings that should be retained
in the organization.
In summary, results of the survey indicate the current
thinking of practitioners, representing a broad
spectrum of organizations, toward productivity improvement
and how productivity considerations should influence management