Productivity

Productivity describes various measures of the efficiency of production. Often (yet not always), a productivity measure is expressed as the ratio of an aggregate output to a single input or an aggregate input used in a production process, i.e. output per unit of input. Most common example is the (aggregate) labour productivity measure, e.g., such as GDP per worker. There are many different definitions of productivity (including those that are not defined as ratios of output to input) and the choice among them depends on the purpose of the productivity measurement and/or data availability. The key source of difference between various productivity measures is also usually related (directly or indirectly) to how the outputs and the inputs are aggregated into scalars to obtain such a ratio-type measure of productivity. [1]

Productivity is a crucial factor in production performance of firms and nations. Increasing national productivity can raise living standards because more real income improves people's ability to purchase goods and services, enjoy leisure, improve housing and education and contribute to social and environmental programs. Productivity growth can also help businesses to be more profitable.[2]

Partial productivity

Productivity measures that use one class of inputs or factors, but not multiple factors, are called partial productivities.[3] In practice, measurement in production means measures of partial productivity. Interpreted correctly, these components are indicative of productivity development, and approximate the efficiency with which inputs are used in an economy to produce goods and services. However, productivity is only measured partially – or approximately. In a way, the measurements are defective because they do not measure everything, but it is possible to interpret correctly the results of partial productivity and to benefit from them in practical situations. At the company level, typical partial productivity measures are such things as worker hours, materials or energy used per unit of production.[3]

Before widespread use of computer networks, partial productivity was tracked in tabular form and with hand-drawn graphs. Tabulating machines for data processing began being widely used in the 1920s and 1930s and remained in use until mainframe computers became widespread in the late 1960s through the 1970s. By the late 1970s inexpensive computers allowed industrial operations to perform process control and track productivity. Today data collection is largely computerized and almost any variable can be viewed graphically in real time or retrieved for selected time periods.

Labour productivity

Labour productivity levels in europe
Labour productivity levels in 2012 in Europe. OECD
OECD Productivity levels 2007
Comparison of average labour productivity levels between the OECD member states. Productivity is measured as GDP per hour worked. Blue bars = higher than OECD-average productivity. Yellow bars = lower than average.

In macroeconomics, a common partial productivity measure is labour productivity. Labour productivity is a revealing indicator of several economic indicators as it offers a dynamic measure of economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy. It is the measure of labour productivity (and all that this measure takes into account) which helps explain the principal economic foundations that are necessary for both economic growth and social development. In general labour productivity is equal to the ratio between a measure of output volume (gross domestic product or gross value added) and a measure of input use (the total number of hours worked or total employment).

The output measure is typically net output, more specifically the value added by the process under consideration, i.e. the value of outputs minus the value of intermediate inputs. This is done in order to avoid double-counting when an output of one firm is used as an input by another in the same measurement.[4] In macroeconomics the most well-known and used measure of value-added is the Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Increases in it are widely used as a measure of the economic growth of nations and industries. GDP is the income available for paying capital costs, labor compensation, taxes and profits.(OECD 2008,11) Some economists instead use gross value added (GVA); there is normally a strong correlation between GDP and GVA. (Freeman 2008,5)

The measure of input use reflects the time, effort and skills of the workforce. Denominator of the ratio of labour productivity, the input measure is the most important factor that influences the measure of labour productivity. Labour input is measured either by the total number of hours worked of all persons employed or total employment (head count). (Freeman 2008,5) There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with the different input measures that are used in the calculation of labour productivity. It is generally accepted that the total number of hours worked is the most appropriate measure of labour input because a simple headcount of employed persons can hide changes in average hours worked and has difficulties accounting for variations in work such as a part-time contract, leave of absence, overtime, or shifts in normal hours. However, the quality of hours-worked estimates is not always clear. In particular, statistical establishment and household surveys are difficult to use because of their varying quality of hours-worked estimates and their varying degree of international comparability.

GDP per capita is a rough measure of average living standards or economic well-being and is one of the core indicators of economic performance. (OECD 2008, 14) GDP is, for this purpose, only a very rough measure. Maximizing GDP, in principle, also allows maximizing capital usage. For this reason GDP is systematically biased in favour of capital intensive production at the expense of knowledge and labour-intensive production. The use of capital in the GDP-measure is considered to be as valuable as the production’s ability to pay taxes, profits and labor compensation. The bias of the GDP is actually the difference between the GDP and the producer income. (Saari 2011,10,16)

Another labour productivity measure, output per worker, is often seen as a proper measure of labour productivity, as here: “Productivity isn't everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country's ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.“ [5] This measure (output per worker) is, however, more problematic than the GDP or even invalid because this measure allows maximizing all supplied inputs, i.e. materials, services, energy and capital at the expense of producer income.

Multi-factor productivity

U.S. productivity contributions 1987-2014
Trends in U.S. productivity from labor, capital and multi-factor sources over the 1987-2014 period.

When multiple inputs are considered, the measure is called multi-factor productivity or MFP.[4] Multi-factor productivity is typically estimated using growth accounting. If the inputs specifically are labor and capital, and the outputs are value added intermediate outputs, the measure is called total factor productivity or TFP. TFP measures the residual growth that cannot be explained by the rate of change in the services of labour and capital. MFP replaced the term TFP used in the earlier literature, and both terms continue in use (usually interchangeably) (Hulten 2009,7).

TFP is often interpreted as a rough average measure of productivity, more specifically the contribution to economic growth made by factors such as technical and organisational innovation. (OECD 2008,11). The most famous description is that of Solow’s (1957): ”I am using the phrase ’technical change’ as a shorthand expression for any kind of shift in the production function. Thus slowdowns, speed ups, improvements in the education of the labor force and all sorts of things will appear as ’technical change’ ”. The original MFP model (Solow 1957) involves several assumptions: that there is a stable functional relation between inputs and output at the economy-wide level of aggregation, that this function has neoclassical smoothness and curvature properties, that inputs are paid the value of their marginal product, that the function exhibits constant returns to scale, and that technical change has the Hicks’n neutral form (Hulten, 2009,5). In practice, TFP is "a measure of our ignorance", as Abramovitz (1956) put it, precisely because it is a residual. This ignorance covers many components, some wanted (like the effects of technical and organizational innovation), others unwanted (measurement error, omitted variables, aggregation bias, model misspecification) (Hulten 2000,11). Hence the relationship between TFP and productivity remains unclear.[6]

Accounting procedure

MFP growth
Accounting procedure of MFP (Saari 2012)

The MFP measure can be compactly introduced with an accounting procedure in the following calculation. We can use the fixed price values of the real process in the production model to show the accounting procedure. Fixed price values of the real process depict commensurate volumes of the outputs and inputs. When we subtract from the output the intermediate inputs we obtain the value-added. Value-added is used as an output in MFP measure. The principle is to compare the growth of the value-added to the growth of labour and capital input. The formula of the MFP growth is as follows (Schreyer 2005,7):

  • change of MFP = change of output (1.119)
  • minus change of labour input x cost share of labour (1.150 x 0.475 = 0.546)
  • minus change of capital input x cost share of capital (1.030 x 0.525 = 0.541)

As an accounting result the MFP growth is 1.119-0.546-0.541=0.032 or 3.2%.

The residual problem of Multi Factor Productivity was solved by many authors who developed production income formation models where productivity was an integrated factor. For this purpose was needed Total Productivity concept.

Total productivity

When all outputs and inputs are included in the productivity measure it is called total productivity. A valid measurement of total productivity necessitates considering all production inputs. If we omit an input in productivity (or income accounting) this means that the omitted input can be used unlimitedly in production without any impact on accounting results. Because total productivity includes all production inputs it is used as an integrated variable when we want to explain income formation of production process.

Davis has considered[7] the phenomenon of productivity, measurement of productivity, distribution of productivity gains, and how to measure such gains. He refers to an article[8] suggesting that the measurement of productivity shall be developed so that it ”will indicate increases or decreases in the productivity of the company and also the distribution of the ’fruits of production’ among all parties at interest”. According to Davis, the price system is a mechanism through which productivity gains are distributed, and besides the business enterprise, receiving parties may consist of its customers, staff and the suppliers of production inputs.

In the main article is presented the role of total productivity as a variable when explaining how income formation of production is always a balance between income generation and income distribution. The income change created by production function is always distributed to the stakeholders as economic values within the review period.

Benefits of productivity growth

ABS-5206.0-AustralianNationalAccounts-NationalIncomeExpenditureProduct-KeyNationalAccountsAggregates-GdpPerHourWorked-Index-A2304192L
Labour productivity growth in Australia since 1978, measured by GDP per hour worked (indexed)

Productivity growth is a crucial source of growth in living standards. Productivity growth means more value is added in production and this means more income is available to be distributed.

At a firm or industry level, the benefits of productivity growth can be distributed in a number of different ways:

  • to the workforce through better wages and conditions;
  • to shareholders and superannuation funds through increased profits and dividend distributions;
  • to customers through lower prices;
  • to the environment through more stringent environmental protection; and
  • to governments through increases in tax payments (which can be used to fund social and environmental programs).

Productivity growth is important to the firm because it means that it can meet its (perhaps growing) obligations to workers, shareholders, and governments (taxes and regulation), and still remain competitive or even improve its competitiveness in the market place. Adding more inputs will not increase the income earned per unit of input (unless there are increasing returns to scale). In fact, it is likely to mean lower average wages and lower rates of profit. But, when there is productivity growth, even the existing commitment of resources generates more output and income. Income generated per unit of input increases. Additional resources are also attracted into production and can be profitably employed.

Drivers of productivity growth

In the most immediate sense, productivity is determined by the available technology or know-how for converting resources into outputs, and the way in which resources are organized to produce goods and services. Historically, productivity has improved through evolution as processes with poor productivity performance are abandoned and newer forms are exploited. Process improvements may include organizational structures (e.g. core functions and supplier relationships), management systems, work arrangements, manufacturing techniques, and changing market structure. A famous example is the assembly line and the process of mass production that appeared in the decade following commercial introduction of the automobile.[9]

Mass production dramatically reduced the labor in producing parts for and assembling the automobile, but after its widespread adoption productivity gains in automobile production were much lower. A similar pattern was observed with electrification, which saw the highest productivity gains in the early decades after introduction. Many other industries show similar patterns. The pattern was again followed by the computer, information and communications industries in the late 1990s when much of the national productivity gains occurred in these industries.[10]

There is a general understanding of the main determinants or drivers of productivity growth. Certain factors are critical for determining productivity growth. The Office for National Statistics (UK) identifies five drivers that interact to underlie long-term productivity performance: investment, innovation, skills, enterprise and competition. (ONS 3, 20)

  • Investment is in physical capital — machinery, equipment and buildings. The more capital workers have at their disposal, generally the better they are able to do their jobs, producing more and better quality output.
  • Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. New ideas can take the form of new technologies, new products or new corporate structures and ways of working. Speeding up the diffusion of innovations can boost productivity.
  • Skills are defined as the quantity and quality of labour of different types available in an economy. Skills complement physical capital, and are needed to take advantage of investment in new technologies and organisational structures.
  • Enterprise is defined as the seizing of new business opportunities by both start-ups and existing firms. New enterprises compete with existing firms by new ideas and technologies increasing competition. Entrepreneurs are able to combine factors of production and new technologies forcing existing firms to adapt or exit the market.
  • Competition improves productivity by creating incentives to innovate and ensures that resources are allocated to the most efficient firms. It also forces existing firms to organise work more effectively through imitations of organisational structures and technology.

Individual and team productivity

Technology has enabled massive personal productivity gains—computers, spreadsheets, email, and other advances have made it possible for a knowledge worker to seemingly produce more in a day than was previously possible in a year.[11] Environmental factors such as sleep and leisure play a significant role in work productivity and received wage.[12] Drivers of productivity growth for creative and knowledge workers include improved or intensified exchange with peers or co-workers, as more productive peers have a stimulating effect on one's own productivity.[13][14] Productivity is influenced by effective supervision and job satisfaction. An effective or knowledgeable supervisor (for example a supervisor who uses the Management by objectives method) has an easier time motivating their employees to produce more in quantity and quality. An employee who has an effective supervisor, motivating them to be more productive is likely to experience a new level of job satisfaction thereby becoming a driver of productivity itself.[15]. There is also considerable evidence to support improved productivity through operant conditioning reinforcement[16], successful gamification engagement,[17] research-based recommendations on principles and implementation guidelines for using monetary rewards effectively,[18] and recognition, based in social cognitive theory, which builds upon self-efficacy.[19]

Detrimental impact of bullying, incivility, toxicity and psychopathy

Workplace bullying results in a loss of productivity, as measured by self-rated job performance.[20] Over time, targets of bullying will spend more time protecting themselves against harassment by bullies and less time fulfilling their duties.[21] Workplace incivility has also been associated with diminished productivity in terms of quality and quantity of work.[22]

A toxic workplace is a workplace that is marked by significant drama and infighting, where personal battles often harm productivity.[23] While employees are distracted by this, they cannot devote time and attention to the achievement of business goals.[24] When toxic employees leave the workplace, it can improve the culture overall because the remaining staff become more engaged and productive.[25] The presence of a workplace psychopath may have a serious detrimental impact on productivity in an organisation.[26]

In companies in where the traditional hierarchy has been removed in favor of an egalitarian, team-based setup, the employees are often happier, and individual productivity is improved (as they themselves are better placed to increase the efficiency of the workfloor). Companies that have these hierarchy removed and have their employees work more in teams are called Liberated companies or "Freedom inc.'s".[27][28][29][30][31] See also: The Toyota Way

Business productivity

Productivity is one of the main concerns of business management and engineering. Many companies have formal programs for continuously improving productivity, such as a production assurance program. Whether they have a formal program or not, companies are constantly looking for ways to improve quality, reduce downtime and inputs of labor, materials, energy and purchased services. Often simple changes to operating methods or processes increase productivity, but the biggest gains are normally from adopting new technologies, which may require capital expenditures for new equipment, computers or software. Modern productivity science owes much to formal investigations that are associated with scientific management.[32] Although from an individual management perspective, employees may be doing their jobs well and with high levels of individual productivity, from an organizational perspective their productivity may in fact be zero or effectively negative if they are dedicated to redundant or value destroying activities.[11]In office buildings and service-centred companies, productivity is largly influenced and affected by operational byproducts - meetings.[33] The past few years have seen a positive uptick in the number of software solutions focused on improving office productivity[34]. In truth, proper planning and procedures are more likely to help than anything else.[35]

Productivity paradox

Overall productivity growth was relatively slow from the 1970s through the early 1990s.[36] Although several possible causes for the slowdown have been proposed there is no consensus. The matter is subject to a continuing debate that has grown beyond questioning whether just computers can significantly increase productivity to whether the potential to increase productivity is becoming exhausted.[37]

National productivity

In order to measure productivity of a nation or an industry, it is necessary to operationalize the same concept of productivity as in a production unit or a company, yet, the object of modelling is substantially wider and the information more aggregate. The calculations of productivity of a nation or an industry are based on the time series of the SNA, System of National Accounts. National accounting is a system based on the recommendations of the UN (SNA 93) to measure total production and total income of a nation and how they are used. (Saari 2006, 9)

International or national productivity growth stems from a complex interaction of factors. Some of the most important immediate factors include technological change, organizational change, industry restructuring and resource reallocation, as well as economies of scale and scope. A nation's average productivity level can also be affected by the movement of resources from low-productivity to high-productivity industries and activities. Over time, other factors such as research and development and innovative effort, the development of human capital through education, and incentives from stronger competition promote the search for productivity improvements and the ability to achieve them. Ultimately, many policy, institutional and cultural factors determine a nation's success in improving productivity.

At the national level, productivity growth raises living standards because more real income improves people's ability to purchase goods and services (whether they are necessities or luxuries), enjoy leisure, improve housing and education and contribute to social and environmental programs. Some have suggested that the UK's 'productivity puzzle' is an urgent issue for policy makers and businesses to address in order to sustain growth. Over long periods of time, small differences in rates of productivity growth compound, like interest in a bank account, and can make an enormous difference to a society's prosperity. Nothing contributes more to reduction of poverty, to increases in leisure, and to the country's ability to finance education, public health, environment and the arts’.[38]

Productivity is considered basic statistical information for many international comparisons and country performance assessments and there is strong interest in comparing them internationally. The OECD[39] publishes an annual Compendium of Productivity Indicators[40] that includes both labor and multi-factor measures of productivity. Several statistical offices publish productivity accounting handbooks and manuals with detailed accounting instructions and definitions. For example, the following:

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Sickles, R., & Zelenyuk, V. (2019). Measurement of Productivity and Efficiency: Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781139565981
  2. ^ Courbois & Temple 1975, Gollop 1979, Kurosawa 1975, Pineda 1990, Saari 2006, Hitt and Brynjolfsson 1996, Sickles and Zelenyuk (2019)
  3. ^ a b Sumanth, David J. (1997-10-27). Total Productivity Management (TPmgt): A Systemic and Quantitative Approach to Compete in Quality, Price and Time. CRC Press. p. 5. ISBN 9781574440577. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Multifactor Productivity - Overview". Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  5. ^ Paul Krugman (1994). The Age of Diminishing Expectations. MIT Press.
  6. ^ Sickles, R., & Zelenyuk, V. (2019). Measurement of Productivity and Efficiency: Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781139565981
  7. ^ Davis, 1955
  8. ^ 1947, Journal of Accountancy, Feb. p. 94
  9. ^ Field, Alexander J. (2006). "Technical change and US economic growth: The interwar period and the 1990s". The Global Economy in the 1990s. pp. 89–117. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511616464.006. ISBN 978-0-511-61646-4.
  10. ^ Ayres, Robert U.; Warr, Benjamin (2006). "Economic growth, technological progress and energy use in the U.S. over the last century: Identifying common trends and structural change in macroeconomic time series". INSEAD Business in Society Centre.
  11. ^ a b Fuller, Ryan (19 April 2016). "The Paradox of Workplace Productivity".
  12. ^ Gibson, Matthew; Shrader, Jeffrey (14 July 2014). "Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep". EScholarship. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  13. ^ Borowiecki, Karol J. (2013). "Geographic clustering and productivity: An instrumental variable approach for classical composers". Journal of Urban Economics. 73 (1): 94–110. doi:10.1016/j.jue.2012.07.004.
  14. ^ Borowiecki, Karol J. (2015). "Agglomeration Economies in Classical Music". Papers in Regional Science. 94 (3): 443–68. doi:10.1111/pirs.12078.
  15. ^ Thompson, K. R.; et al. (1981). "The Effects of MBO on Performance and Satisfaction in a Public Sector Organization". Journal of Management. 7 (1): 53–68. doi:10.1177/014920638100700105.
  16. ^ Skinner, B.F. (1974). About Behaviorism. ISBN 0-394-49201-3.
  17. ^ Robson, Karen; Plangger, Kirk; Kietzmann, Jan H.; McCarthy, Ian; Pitt, Leyland (January 2016). "Game on: Engaging customers and employees through gamification". Business Horizons. 59 (1): 29–36. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2015.08.002.
  18. ^ Aguinis, Herman; Joo, Harry; Gottfredson, Ryan K. (March 2013). "What monetary rewards can and cannot do: How to show employees the money". Business Horizons. 56 (2): 241–249. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2012.11.007.
  19. ^ Luthans, Fred; Stajkovic, Alexander D. (2015). "Provide Recognition for Performance Improvement". Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior. pp. 239–253. doi:10.1002/9781119206422.ch13. ISBN 978-1-119-20642-2.
  20. ^ Helge H, Sheehan MJ, Cooper CL, Einarsen S "Organisational Effects of Workplace Bullying" in Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace: Developments in Theory, Research, and Practice (2010)
  21. ^ Fisher-Blando, J. L. (2008). Workplace bullying: Aggressive behavior and its effect on job satisfaction and productivity (PDF) (PhD). University of Phoenix.
  22. ^ "9 signs your work place needs civility, 6 steps to achieve it - TechJournal". Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  23. ^ Benoit, Suzanne (2011) "Toxic Employees: great companies resolve this problem, you can too!" Falmouth, Maine: BCSPublishing
  24. ^ Bitting, Robert. "Using Effective Leadership Strategies in the Workplace". http://www.robertbitting.com/files/articles/Toxic-Employees-in-the-Work-Place.pdf Archived 2011-08-13 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  25. ^ Mayhew, Ruth "Is employee turnover always bad?" accessed at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/employee-turnover-always-bad-11089.html
  26. ^ Boddy, C. R. (2010) ‘Corporate Psychopaths and Productivity', Management Services Spring, 26–30.
  27. ^ "Innovation Management : Are start-ups Freedom Inc. companies? – Innovation Excellence". innovationexcellence.com.
  28. ^ "L'entreprise liberée". Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
  29. ^ "What is Holacracy". holacracy.org.
  30. ^ "Liberated company with an innovative managerial culture - Groupe Poult". www.groupe-poult.com.
  31. ^ "SEMCO" (PDF). semco.com.br.
  32. ^ Nelson, Daniel (1980). Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0299081607.
  33. ^ "Stop the Meeting Madness". Harvard Business Review. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  34. ^ "Business And Productivity Apps Market Worth $58 Billion By 2016 [REPORT]". Dazeinfo. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  35. ^ "Meeting Room Productivity / Blog / YArooms". www.yarooms.com. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  36. ^ Brynjolfsson, Erik (1993). "The productivity paradox of information technology". Communications of the ACM. 36 (12): 66–77. doi:10.1145/163298.163309. ISSN 0001-0782.
  37. ^ Zelenyuk, Valentin (30 October 2018). "Testing Significance of Contributions in Growth Accounting, with Application to Testing ICT Impact on Labor Productivity of Developed Countries". International Journal of Business and Economics. 13 (2): 115–126 – via ideas.repec.org.
  38. ^ Alan Blinder and William Baumol 1993, Economics: Principles and Policy, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego, p. 778.
  39. ^ "Labour productivity levels in the total economy".
  40. ^ Compendium of Productivity Indicators, OECD

References

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Further reading

External links

Agricultural productivity

Agricultural productivity is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural inputs. While individual products are usually measured by weight, their varying densities make measuring overall agricultural output difficult. Therefore, output is usually measured as the market value of final output, which excludes intermediate products such as corn feed used in the meat industry. This output value may be compared to many different types of inputs such as labour and land (yield). These are called partial measures of productivity.Agricultural productivity may also be measured by what is termed total factor productivity (TFP). This method of calculating agricultural productivity compares an index of agricultural inputs to an index of outputs. This measure of agricultural productivity was established to remedy the shortcomings of the partial measures of productivity; notably that it is often hard to identify the factors cause them to change. Changes in TFP are usually attributed to technological improvements.

Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom)

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was a United Kingdom government department formed on 19 October 1970. It was replaced with the creation of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on 28 June 2007.

Ecological pyramid

An ecological pyramid (also trophic pyramid, eltonian pyramid, energy pyramid, or sometimes food pyramid) is a graphical representation designed to show the biomass or bio productivity at each trophic level in a given ecosystem.

Biomass pyramids show how much biomass (the amount of living or organic matter present in an organism) is present in the organisms at each trophic level, while productivity pyramids show the procreation or turnover in biomass. There is also pyramid of numbers which represent the number of organisms in each trophic level. They may be upright (e.g. Grassland ecosystem), inverted (parasitic ecosystem) or dumbbell shaped (forest ecosystem).

Energy pyramids begin with producers on the bottom (such as plants) and proceed through the various trophic levels (such as herbivores that eat plants, then carnivores that eat flesh, then omnivores that eat both plants and flesh, and so on). The highest level is the top of the food chain.

Biomass can be measured by a bomb calorimeter.

Economic growth

Economic growth is the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or real GDP.Growth is usually calculated in real terms - i.e., inflation-adjusted terms – to eliminate the distorting effect of inflation on the price of goods produced. Measurement of economic growth uses national income accounting. Since economic growth is measured as the annual percent change of gross domestic product (GDP), it has all the advantages and drawbacks of that measure. The economic growth rates of nations are commonly compared using the ratio of the GDP to population or per-capita income.The "rate of economic growth" refers to the geometric annual rate of growth in GDP between the first and the last year over a period of time. This growth rate is the trend in the average level of GDP over the period, which ignores the fluctuations in the GDP around this trend.

An increase in economic growth caused by more efficient use of inputs (increased productivity of labor, physical capital, energy or materials) is referred to as intensive growth. GDP growth caused only by increases in the amount of inputs available for use (increased population, new territory) is called extensive growth.Development of new goods and services also creates economic growth.

Hawthorne effect

The Hawthorne effect (also referred to as the observer effect) is a type of reactivity in which individuals modify an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed. This can undermine the integrity of a research, particularly the relationships between variables. The original research at the Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois, on lighting changes and work structure changes such as working hours and break times was originally interpreted by Elton Mayo and others to mean that paying attention to overall worker needs would improve productivity. Later interpretations such as that done by Landsberger suggested that the novelty of being research subjects and the increased attention from such could lead to temporary increases in workers' productivity. This interpretation was dubbed "the Hawthorne effect". It is also similar to a phenomenon that is referred to as novelty/disruption effect.

Humboldt Current

The Humboldt Current, also called the Peru Current, is a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north along the western coast of South America. It is an eastern boundary current flowing in the direction of the equator, and extends 500–1,000 km (310–620 mi) offshore. The Humboldt Current is named after the Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. In 1846, von Humboldt reported measurements of the cold-water current in his book Cosmos.The current extends from southern Chile (~45th parallel south) to northern Peru (~4th parallel south) where cold, upwelled, waters intersect warm tropical waters to form the Equatorial Front. Sea surface temperatures off the coast of Peru, around 5th parallel south, reach temperatures as low as 16 °C (61 °F). This is highly uncharacteristic of tropical waters, as most other regions have temperatures measuring above 25 °C (77 °F). Upwelling brings nutrients to the surface, which support phytoplankton and ultimately increase biological productivity.The Humboldt Current is a highly productive ecosystem. It is the most productive eastern boundary current system. It accounts for roughly 18-20% of the total worldwide marine fish catch. The species are mostly pelagic: sardines, anchovies and jack mackerel. The system's high productivity supports other important fishery resources as well as marine mammals (eared seals and cetaceans) and seabirds. Periodically, the upwelling that drives the system's productivity is disrupted by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event, often with large social and economical impacts.

The Humboldt has a considerable cooling influence on the climate of Chile, Peru and Ecuador. It is also largely responsible for the aridity of Atacama Desert in northern Chile and coastal areas of Peru and also of the aridity of southern Ecuador. Marine air is cooled by the current and thus is not conducive to generating precipitation (although clouds and fog are produced).

IBM Lotus Symphony

IBM Lotus Symphony was a proprietary software suite of applications for creating, editing, and sharing text, spreadsheet, presentations, and other documents and browsing the World Wide Web. It was first distributed as commercial proprietary software, then as freeware, before IBM contributed the suite to the Apache Software Foundation in 2014 for inclusion in the free and open-source Apache OpenOffice software suite.First released in 2007, the suite has a name similar to the 1980s DOS Lotus Symphony suite, but the two software suites are otherwise unrelated. The previous Lotus application suite, Lotus SmartSuite, is also unrelated.

IBM discontinued development of Lotus Symphony in January 2012 with the final release of version 3.0.1, moving future development effort to Apache OpenOffice, and donating the source code to the Apache Software Foundation.

Kaizen

Kaizen (改善) is the Sino-Japanese word for "improvement". In business, kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain. It has been applied in healthcare, psychotherapy, life-coaching, government, and banking.

By improving standardized programmes and processes, kaizen aims to eliminate waste (see lean manufacturing). Kaizen was first practiced in Japanese businesses after World War II, influenced in part by American business and quality-management teachers, and most notably as part of The Toyota Way. It has since spread throughout the world and has been applied to environments outside business and productivity.

Primary production

In ecology, primary production is the synthesis of organic compounds from atmospheric or aqueous carbon dioxide. It principally occurs through the process of photosynthesis, which uses light as its source of energy, but it also occurs through chemosynthesis, which uses the oxidation or reduction of inorganic chemical compounds as its source of energy. Almost all life on Earth relies directly or indirectly on primary production. The organisms responsible for primary production are known as primary producers or autotrophs, and form the base of the food chain. In terrestrial ecoregions, these are mainly plants, while in aquatic ecoregions algae predominate in this role. Ecologists distinguish primary production as either net or gross, the former accounting for losses to processes such as cellular respiration, the latter not.

Production (economics)

Production is a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs (plans, know-how) in order to make something for consumption (the output). It is the act of creating an output, a good or service which has value and contributes to the utility of individuals. The area of economics that focuses on production is referred to as production theory, which in many respects is similar to the consumption (or consumer) theory in economics.Economic well-being is created in a production process, meaning all economic activities that aim directly or indirectly to satisfy human wants and needs. The degree to which the needs are satisfied is often accepted as a measure of economic well-being. In production there are two features which explain increasing economic well-being. They are improving quality-price-ratio of goods and services and increasing incomes from growing and more efficient market production.

The most important forms of production are:

market production

public production

household productionIn order to understand the origin of economic well-being, we must understand these three production processes. All of them produce commodities which have value and contribute to well-being of individuals.

The satisfaction of needs originates from the use of the commodities which are produced. The need satisfaction increases when the quality-price-ratio of the commodities improves and more satisfaction is achieved at less cost. Improving the quality-price-ratio of commodities is to a producer an essential way to improve the competitiveness of products but this kind of gains distributed to customers cannot be measured with production data. Improving the competitiveness of products means often to the producer lower product prices and therefore losses in incomes which are to compensated with the growth of sales volume.

Economic well-being also increases due to the growth of incomes that are gained from the growing and more efficient market production. Market production is the only production form which creates and distributes incomes to stakeholders. Public production and household production are financed by the incomes generated in market production. Thus market production has a double role in creating well-being, i.e. the role of producing goods and services and the role of creating income. Because of this double role market production is the “primus motor” of economic well-being and therefore here under review.

Productivity (ecology)

In ecology, productivity refers to the rate of generation of biomass in an ecosystem. It is usually expressed in units of mass per unit surface (or volume) per unit time, for instance grams per square metre per day (g m−2 d−1). The mass unit may relate to dry matter or to the mass of carbon generated. Productivity of autotrophs such as plants is called primary productivity, while that of heterotrophs such as animals is called secondary productivity.

Productivity (linguistics)

In linguistics, productivity is the degree to which native speakers use a particular grammatical process, especially in word formation. It compares grammatical processes that are in frequent use to less frequently used ones that tend towards lexicalization. Generally the test of productivity concerns identifying which grammatical forms would be used in the coining of new words: these will tend to only be converted to other forms using productive processes.

Productivity software

Productivity software (also called personal productivity software or office productivity software) is application software used for producing information (such as documents, presentations, worksheets, databases, charts, graphs, digital paintings, electronic music and digital video). Its names arose from the fact that it increases productivity, especially of individual office workers, from typists to knowledge workers, although its scope is now wider than that. Office suites, which brought word processing, spreadsheet, and relational database programs to the desktop in the 1980s, are the core example of productivity software. They revolutionized the office with the magnitude of the productivity increase they brought as compared with the pre-1980s office environments of typewriters, paper filing, and handwritten lists and ledgers. In the United States, some 78% of "middle-skill" occupations (those that call for more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor's degree) now require the use of productivity software. In the 2010s, productivity software has become even more consumerized than it already was, as computing becomes ever more integrated into daily personal life.

Profit (accounting)

Profit, in accounting, is an income distributed to the owner in a profitable market production process (business). Profit is a measure of profitability which is the owner’s major interest in income formation process of market production. There are several profit measures in common use.

Income formation in market production is always a balance between income generation and income distribution. The income generated is always distributed to the stakeholders of production as economic value within the review period. The profit is the share of income formation the owner is able to keep to himself/herself in the income distribution process. Profit is one of the major sources of economic well-being because it means incomes and opportunities to develop production. The words income, profit and earnings are substitutes in this context.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DEBEIS), or informally Business Secretary, is a cabinet position in the United Kingdom government. The office is responsible for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (formerly the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and previous to that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform). The secretary of state was, until July 2016, also President of the Board of Trade when that position was transferred to the newly created post of Secretary of State for International Trade.

Secretary of State for Employment

The Secretary of State for Employment was a position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In 1995 it was merged with Secretary of State for Education to make the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. In 2001 the employment functions were hived off and transferred to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Soil fertility

Soil fertility refers to the ability of soil to sustain agricultural plant growth, i.e. to provide plant habitat and result in sustained and consistent yields of high quality. A fertile soil has the following properties:

The ability to supply essential plant nutrients and water in adequate amounts and proportions for plant growth and reproduction; and

The absence of toxic substances which may inhibit plant growth.The following properties contribute to soil fertility in most situations:

Sufficient soil depth for adequate root growth and water retention;

Good internal drainage, allowing sufficient aeration for optimal root growth (although some plants, such as rice, tolerate waterlogging);

Topsoil with sufficient soil organic matter for healthy soil structure and soil moisture retention;

Soil pH in the range 5.5 to 7.0 (suitable for most plants but some prefer or tolerate more acid or alkaline conditions);

Adequate concentrations of essential plant nutrients in plant-available forms;

Presence of a range of microorganisms that support plant growth.In lands used for agriculture and other human activities, maintenance of soil fertility typically requires the use of soil conservation practices. This is because soil erosion and other forms of soil degradation generally result in a decline in quality with respect to one or more of the aspects indicated above.

Suffix

In linguistics, a suffix (sometimes termed postfix) is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs.

Particularly in the study of Semitic languages, suffixes are called afformatives, as they can alter the form of the words.

In Indo-European studies, a distinction is made between suffixes and endings (see Proto-Indo-European root). Suffixes can carry grammatical information or lexical information.

An inflectional suffix is sometimes called a desinence or a grammatical suffix or ending. Inflection changes the grammatical properties of a word within its syntactic category

Derivational suffixes can be divided into two categories: class-changing derivation and class-maintaining derivation.

Workforce productivity

Workforce productivity is the amount of goods and services that a group of workers produce in a given amount of time. It is one of several types of productivity that economists measure. Workforce productivity, often referred to as labor productivity, is a measure for an organization or company, a process, an industry, or a country.

Workforce productivity is to be distinguished from employee productivity which is a measure employed at individual level based on the assumption that the overall productivity can be broken down to increasingly smaller units until, ultimately, to the individual employee, in order be used for example for the purpose of allocating a benefit or sanction based on individual performance (see also: Vitality curve).

In 2002, the OECD defined it as "the ratio of a volume measure of output to a volume measure of input". Volume measures of output are normally gross domestic product (GDP) or gross value added (GVA), expressed at constant prices i.e. adjusted for inflation. The three most commonly used measures of input are:

hours worked, typically from the OECD Annual National Accounts database

workforce jobs; and

number of people in employment.

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