Measuring and Improving Productivity in Services


Measuring and Improving Productivity in Services

Issues, Strategies and Challenges

9781847202697 Edward Elgar Publishing
Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj, Professors of Economics and members of CLERSE-CNRS, University of Lille, France
Publication Date: January 2009 ISBN: 978 1 84720 269 7 Extent: 264 pp
The definition and measurement of productivity in services raises important conceptual, methodological and strategic problems. This book aims to provide a critical review of the main debates on productivity in the domain of services. The first part examines the theoretical consequences of services specificities on the concept of productivity and reviews the attempts to measure it. The second part is devoted to the main determinants of productivity growth and the strategies to increase productivity in service firms and organisations.

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The question of how to measure and improve productivity in services has been a recurrent topic in political debates and in academic studies for several decades. The concept of productivity, which was developed initially for industrial and agricultural economies poses few difficulties when applied to standardized products. The advent of the service economy contributed to call into question, if not the relevance of this concept, at least its definition and measurement methods. This book takes stock of the issues met by productivity in services on theoretical, methodological and operational levels.

The authors examine various definitions of productivity and the main methods of its measurement. A survey of recent conceptual and methodological debates on the notion of productivity is also presented. A more operational and strategic perspective is then adopted in order to identify and analyze the main levers, factors and determinants for improving productivity and, more generally, the actual strategies adopted for this purpose in firms and organisations.

Providing a deep understanding of the specific and underestimated performance processes within service industries, this book will be of great interest to those involved in industrial economics, management science and public administration.
Contents: Introduction Part I: Productivity: Definitions and Methods of Measurement 1. A Key Notion in Economic Analysis: Definitions, Measurements, Issues and Controversies 2. The Service Challenge 3. Public Services: A New Challenge 4. Internal Steering, Planning and Design Departments in Public Organizations: The Ultimate Test Part II: Productivity: Determinants and Strategies 5. The Traditional Factors Influencing Productivity 6. Productivity Factors in Services 7. Productivity Factors in Public Services Conclusion Bibliography Index
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