Workers' Welfare and Productivity Improvement: a Comparative Analysis

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The aim of this is paper is to provide the relationship between productivity and employee welfare in any business organization. It is a known fact that human resource is one of the most important resource that have to be managed appropriately if productivity have to be achieved and improved upon. Infact, organizations do not need to search for opportunities for productivity improvement anywhere, they exist in every workplace situation all of the time. It's for managers, supervisors, trainers at any level who wish to develop their understanding of productivity and their ability to improve the efficiency and utilization of resources, human resources in particular, in their organizations and who see achieving targets and budgets as merely minimum starting standards.

The paper will take precedence with the definition of the concept of productivity. This concept will be expanded beyond the working environment of the worker to the social and ecological environment of the organization. The two most important patterns (paradigm) of productivity (doing things right and doing the right thing) will further be highlighted. The paper will then proceed to discus the human involvement in the productivity improvement and efficiency. Workers welfare and management ideologies will thereafter take the peak of the discursion, and conclusion would be drawn based on the issues raised in the paper.

Current economic realities (liberalized and dynamic markets, constantly changing customer preferences, new structure of production and work, etc.) are leading to a rethinking of the notion/concept of productivity. Whereas traditionally, productivity is viewed mainly as an efficiency concept (amount of outputs in relation to efforts or resources used), productivity is now viewed increasingly as an efficiency and effectiveness concept, effectiveness being how the enterprise meets the dynamic needs and expectations of customers (buyers/users of products and services) i.e. how the enterprise creates and offers customer value. Productivity is now seen to depend on the value of the products and services (utility, uniqueness, quality, convenience, availability, etc) and the efficiency with which they are produced and delivered to the customers.

According to Davis; Aquilano; Chase (2003), the economy, and other associated trends require a much broader conception of productivity and a fuller appreciation of the changing dynamics of the determinants involved in the process of its improvement. The increased competitiveness, sophistication of markets, manufacturing and the increased concern about social and ecological issues make productivity improvement more important. At the same time, a broader meaning of productivity is emerging. Correspondingly, such broader conception of productivity calls for a wider set of indicators to catch and reflect the new elements and parameters involved.

The broader conception of productivity, however, is incorporating wider definitions of what the outputs and inputs are of the production-distribution process. The social and ecological impacts are now increasingly considered as outputs of the production process in addition to the traditional physical and value measures of outputs (Lazear:2000). Similarly, the social and ecological costs are now also being recognized as inputs in the productivity equation. With increasing concerns on the social impacts of the operations of enterprises, the definitions of what are inputs and outputs are changing.

The structures of the production-distribution systems are also changing. Products and services and hence customer values are increasingly created through enterprise networks, supply-chains and value-chains that even extend beyond national boundaries. In these situations where an enterprise relies on network of suppliers, service...
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