Perspectives on Productivity Improvement
The productivity improvement movement has a long history having had its beginnings with the work simplification practices advocated by F.W. Taylor under the famous ‘scientific management principles’. Since then there has been an
increasing attention on evolving various approaches and strategies to enhance productivity, and more particularly labour productivity, at the enterprise level. The Asian Productivity Organisation, a regional organisation established in 1961, to
support productivity promotion efforts in the Asian countries, has identified two generic approaches to productivity improvement: socio-cultural and technoeconomic. The socio-cultural approach deals with such matters as moral values
of a society and work ethics, while the techno-economic approach deals with more enterprise-specific factors such as industrial relations, human resource development, financial analysis and in-house entrepreneurship (APO 1989; 1998). Moving a step further, management writers have identified more specific approaches to productivity improvement planning at the enterprise level. These include work simplification, mechanisation, automation, facilities improvement,
better planning and scheduling of work, more efficient use of manpower and employee participation and involvement (Armstrong 1990).
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