Building our productivity

This research project seeks to increase knowledge about productivity levels within New Zealand firms.

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Compared with other OECD countries, New Zealand has a relatively poor economic performance, often attributed to low levels of labour productivity. If New Zealand is to significantly increase productivity, then it must be generated through firm level efforts. However, improving firm level productivity requires an understanding of the collectively held resources and capabilities which underpin value generation within organisations. Currently, this understanding remains a significant gap in our knowledge.

Comparisons of average productivity levels as used by the OECD mask a wide dispersion in performance amongst firms. In all sectors, firm productivity ranges from high to low. This project seeks to increase our understanding of the drivers of productivity performance, and improve knowledge of how high levels of collective productivity are achieved in firms. The project will be of measurable economic benefit to New Zealand, as it will identify sustainable ways to improve productivity.

Why look at firm level productivity?

Findings of the Building 'Our' Productivity project

Contexts: The biotechnology and food and beverage sectors

This project is using a case study approach to study firms in two sectors – food & beverage and biotechnology. Read more

Why look at firm level productivity?

Traditionally, productivity is viewed either as an economic measure of a nation's output relative to inputs, such as in the OECD's productivity standings, or as the result of individual employee efforts within a firm.

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Research questions and objectives

The fundamental research question underlying this project is: What is our collective productivity and how does it differ between firms within and between sectors?

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The project is using a primarily qualitative methodology, and, guided by the advisory board, will sample organisations of interest to build firm level case studies.

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