Prevailing opinions about productivity performance and improvement Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h128nj217

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  • 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 decision making.
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