Issues, Strategies and Challenges
Services, Economy and Innovation series
5. The traditional factors inﬂuencing productivity INTRODUCTION Intensive eﬀorts have been made in the economic and management literature to determine the origin of productivity gains. As a result, it has been possible not only to identify, enumerate and classify, in increasing detail, the levers of productivity but also to develop a number of theoretical models. Some of these models have already been examined in Chapter 1, when we investigated the reasons why the productivity question lies at the heart of economic theory. Excluding the eﬀects of sectoral reallocations of factors (labour mobility, migration, and so on), it is generally agreed that six generic factors inﬂuencing productivity can be identiﬁed (see Figure 5.1); they are not, of course, independent of each other (CBO, 1981; Harris, 1999; Gamache, 2005): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. technical factors; human factors; organizational factors; economic factors; political and institutional factors; and social factors. Of these six groups of generic factors, the last three (economic, political and social factors) are macroeconomic and macro-social factors. They are general environmental factors which are particularly ‘inert’ in the short or even medium term. No one ﬁrm or organization can change them, but they exert fundamental inﬂuences at the microeconomic level. In the case of two of them (political and social factors), any attempt at quantiﬁcation faces certain diﬃculties, at least with regard to some of their component parts. The ﬁrst three groups of generic factors (technical, human and organizational factors) can...
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