Definition And Components Of Productivity Essay

The indispensable factors of cognition work are listed in Table 1. They are divided into four groups. The inputs are divided into organizational and personal inputs, harmonizing to whether the administration can impact them or non. Personal input factors are such, which affect the worker but needfully are non discernible to other people.

Input signals

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End products


– Homo capital

– Innovative possible

– Organisational criterions, patterns and modus operandis

– Information systems

– Quality of information

– Networks

– Time allotment

– Working environment

– Purpose


– Motivation

– Occupation satisfaction

– Personal web

– Personal business in personal life

– Physical tantrum

– Administration of work

– Division of undertakings

– Administration of determination devising

– Clarity of occupation descriptions

– Teamwork

– Cognition sharing

– Delaies and waiting

– Ability to impact ain work

– Inventions

– Quality

– Use of inventions

– Time-efficiency

– Fulfillment of client ‘s outlooks

All the drivers of cognition work productiveness presented in the tabular array will be examined in item in the undermentioned four chapters.

Organizational input factors

Already the footings knowledge-intensive administration and cognition workers highlight the fact that human capital of employees is the most of import input. Their ability to change over old cognition and experiences into new solutions forms the base for administrations ‘ operation. It is, in fact, what pure knowledge-intensive administrations are selling. Essential are non merely the cognition militias of the workers, but besides what they are able to make with them. ( Drucker 1999, p. 84 )

Characteristic to knowledge work is besides the component of acquisition. For illustration a individual working in merchandise development has to be able to detect his research topic and to larn from it, every bit good as to be able to use the things he learns into new merchandises.

To a certain point, besides a cognition worker ‘s productiveness can be increased by instruction, but above wholly, as Polanyi ( 1966 ) states it, most of the exploitable human capital is silent in nature and is formed through experience instead than learned from books ( harmonizing to Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995, pp. 59-61 ) . Because human memory is limited, it is relevant that workers can portion their information and cognition with each other – learn themselves but besides teach others ( Drucker 1999, pp. 84 ) .

Learning and the ability to make new things are besides highlighted when the administration ‘s aim is to introduce. Organisation ‘s innovativeness can be defined as an ability to keep existing success factors at the same clip, when new solutions are made in order to guarantee competitory advantage besides in future ( Poyhonen 2004, Stahle et Al. 2004, p. 13 ) . The advanced potency is fundamentally in the employees, but it can be brought approximately by different managerial actions. It requires at least an deduction from the direction that advanced behavior is what is expected from the employee. Innovativeness appears as worker ‘s ability to make new solutions and non merely trusting on bing practises and theoretical accounts.

On the other manus, sharing of information is of import when we think about information used in work procedure. This includes non merely information that is gathered from the client but 6

besides information, which already exists in the administration but is non specifically “ owned ” by certain employee. Just as in manual work, waiting and seeking for resources hinders productiveness of a cognition worker – their resources are merely immaterial in nature and it might be more hard to pay attending to the clip used in looking for information. It frequently is a portion of the work to look for equal new information. However, it is non productive that employees should pass clip looking for information that already exists but is excessively hard to happen.

Although information systems are presents used by virtually all companies, and are hence seen more as a tool alternatively of a resource, their importance in information sharing is undeniable. Particularly of import is the worker ‘s ability to work them in their work and that information systems support the manner an administration replies to its client ‘s demands. ( Stahle et al. 2004, p. 78 ) Information systems are, nevertheless, rather useless if the quality of information they include is low – information is, for illustration, incorrect or uncomplete. Knowledge workers make determinations based on the information available, and if it is unsatisfactory, result of the procedure can be hapless in quality or even wholly unserviceable for the client.

Information should non be shared merely between the workers within administration, but besides with all involvement groups. Organizational webs are a portion of rational capital. An administration can implement some webs ( clients, subcontractors, distributers, research spouses etc. ; Edvinsson and Malone 1997, p. 11 ) and supply its employees with sufficient agencies to achieve information needed in their work. Insufficient webs can ensue in a shortage of information, which will obviously take to inability to reply to clients ‘ demands and loss of competitory advantage.

Although cognition work is distinctively described as something, where the workers themselves decide, how they manage their undertakings ( Pepitone 2002 refers to the sum of discretion required ) , in every organisation there are certain criterions, modus operandis and patterns that have come about in the class of clip. They are based on mental theoretical accounts that the members portion, and frequently reflect the values, norms, beliefs and myths of the administration ( Juuti 2003 and Schein 1987 harmonizing to Stahle et Al. 2004. p. 82 ) .

These criterions can either support working or impede it. Anyhow, they do be and should non be neglected when analyzing productiveness. Castells ( 2000 ) has argued, that standardization of work procedures intensifies besides knowledge work particularly when there is interaction between different histrions of the procedure ( see besides McKenzie and new wave Winkelen 2004, p. 40 ) . On the other manus both Jackson ( 1999 ) and Blom et Al. ( 2001 ) have emphasised the ability of a knowledge-intensive administration to use new patterns to concentrate on leting employees to find their ain attacks.

Time used in production is a instead complex input factor. Traditionally, productiveness is seen increased if the end product has been produced in shorter clip period. This frequently happens besides in cognition work: when the workers learn how to make things and have more experience to which they can associate new jobs they can execute similar undertakings faster than earlier. However, there is a bound for how much clip used can be decreased before the quality of work is eroded. In cognition work, “ quality is the kernel of the end product ” ( Drucker 1999, p. 84 ) . Besides, if a worker has excessively much clip or excessively small work to make, his productiveness can endure. The cardinal issue is to happen the right balance.

Working environment and its consequence on productiveness has been researched instead extensively. It is besides the country, where subjective productiveness measuring has been largely used. Lighting, air conditioning, cleansing, warming, noise commanding every bit good as office layouts are known to impact productiveness ( see for illustration Seppanen 2004 or Oseland and Bartlett 1999 ) . Working environment at its worst prevents employees from making their occupation and its best can lend to innovative atmosphere ( Davenport et al. 2002 ; Stahle et Al. 2004, pp. 78-82 ) Working environment includes non merely physical installations but besides the psychological ambiance and the organizational civilization. They can really be even more of import in cognition work, as

for illustration credence of new thoughts ( Kanter 1987, p. 181 ) , common linguistic communication ( DeSimone and Hatsopoulos 1995: Von Krogh 1998 ) , values and ends ( West 1990 ) every bit good as blessing of different people and taking failures as portion of advanced work are known to back up advanced ambiance in administrations ( in Stahle et Al. 2004, pp. 82-95 ) .

But above all, even if the workers of knowledge-intensive administration have all the other inputs described – human capital, cognition and experiences, information systems, perfect working environment etc. – non much can be done with it, if they do non cognize what they are prosecuting for. The clear purpose of working is the indispensable for wining. As Drucker ( 1999, p. 84 ) puts it, the productiveness appraisal in cognition work should ever be based on the inquiries “ What is the worker ‘s existent undertaking? ” alternatively of “ How should the work be done? ” . Therefore, in order to be able to carry through their undertaking, cognition workers should be clearly cognizant what it is that the administration wants them to make, and this should ever be the first input to any procedure.

Personal input factors

As stated before, the productiveness of cognition workers can be extremely influenced by their personal feelings. Of the personal inputs, employee ‘s motive is the most of import. Harmonizing to Amabile ( 1998, pp. 78-79 ) the people ‘s internal motive determines, into what they invest their competencies – non direction ‘s wants or the money given to them. Even though direction can seek to actuate people, it is largely themselves, who determine the degree of motive and dedication towards working. Management can merely supply fortunes, in which motive can boom ( Nicholson 2003 ) .

Motivation can besides hold a great influence on occupation satisfaction. If a people are motivated, they are likely to besides acquire internal satisfaction from working because they find it merriment, interesting, exciting and demanding. If alternatively the motive is exogenic, chiefly brought about by payment in money or by fulfillment of external marks, cognition worker may make the work, but the quality may endure. ( Stahle et al. 2004, p. 69 )

Network creative activity can be supported by the administration, but to a big portion they are frequently formed in informal state of affairss. These personal webs are relationships that are non needfully connected to organisation but to the cognition worker himself. The more and better web the worker has the more the web supports his cognition sharing with involvement groups and improves his productiveness. Howell ( 2005, p. 113 ) has even concluded, that the important difference between more and less advanced workers is in the manner they use informal merchandising channels – i.e. the more they use hallway conversations, one-on one entreaties to higher-ups or equals or private meetings in add-on to formal merchandising channels.

What is frequently ignored in productiveness analyses is the affect employees ‘ personal life has on their ability to work. However, wellness jobs or other negative personal issues affect particularly knowledge workers, whose public presentation is extremely dependent on their ability to concentrate. Even if a individual is non absent from work, he might be unable to execute or his productiveness might be weakened ( Meerding et al. 2005 ) .

Procedure factors

Most cognition workers, nevertheless independent their undertakings are, operate as a portion of a larger entity. In order to better co-operation between these different histrions, administration of work has to be emphasised. Although it is stated above that the cognition workers need merely to cognize what is the result they are taking at and the remainder should be based on ain opinion, at least in big administrations the undertakings are so extended that they require

squad work. Often undertakings are divided into smaller subprojects that connect to each other merely in certain junctions. Through careful administration it can be ensured that the separate procedures communicate and work together. Essential is besides the division of undertakings, which refers to apportioning different undertaking so that everything gets done and that everyone knows, who is responsible for which portion ( i.e. lucidity of occupation description ) .

Besides knowledge about how different procedures relate to each other is of import. These are factors familiar from direction of manual work ( Drucker 1999, pp. 80-82 ) , but wining in them can frequently be easy measured by inquiring from employees. If there is unclarity about division of undertakings, some of them might be neglected or done twice.

Leting workers to concentrate on capitalizing their nucleus competencies can besides increase productiveness. Teamwork is frequently features to knowledge work and is based on cognition sharing. ( e.g. Drucker 1999 ) Every squad should dwell of such people, who together possess all the qualities needed ( Sipila 1999, pp. 26-27 ) and who can utilize their competencies to complement each other.

The workers ‘ consciousness of the different stages requires besides that attending should be paid to administration of decision-making. If knowledge workers are given a certain undertaking but non the power to do determinations about issues refering it or at least clear penetration of who is responsible for it, they can non move on it.

The cognition workers ability to impact the administration of work is emphasised both in the literature ( Jackson 1999, Blom et Al. 2001 ) and in the interviews taken during this research. Even though in big administrations it might be hard to enforce such large duties to employees, it seems that the more they can themselves set up their work the smoother and more productive it is. When an foreigner can non see how the work is done, he is improbable to be able to direct it most expeditiously.

Delaies and waiting refer to state of affairss where a worker can non prosecute his work because he has to wait for others to move. These sorts of state of affairss are tantamount to arrests in industrial work – the public presentation is delayed due to grounds beyond the worker ‘s control. Waiting lowers productiveness and steps that indicate waiting times can be used to observe constrictions and they can be acted on. Unnecessary waiting can be caused by failures in programming or be a mark of productiveness jobs in phases before the mensural 1. Besides clients can do holds by their actions.

End product factors

Even though end product factors can largely be observed by an foreigner and therefore it would be possible to happen nonsubjective steps, cognition workers can frequently outdo analyse their ain work procedure. If one wants to take into history besides the intangible facets of cognition work end products, really the lone other possibility would be to inquire clients – besides a subjective step. There are several factors, which can implicate jobs in productiveness.

Since most cognition work purposes at making new solutions to client ‘s demand, the ability to make inventions is indispensable. Besides the administrations potency of using the inventions made, whether they are new merchandises or new ways of put to deathing certain stages of work, can denote its productiveness. It is an illustration of how knowledge-intensive administrations should measure the results of their operations every bit good as guarantee that the profitable thoughts are farther developed into hard currency flow. ( See e.g. McKenzie and new wave Winkelen 2004, pp. 28-31. )

As Drucker ( 1999 ) has stated, quality defines the pertinence of the end product of cognition worker. Particularly, when the clip allocated for the undertaking is limited, workers are frequently the best Judgess of the quality they perform. Knowledge work can frequently be a tradeoff between quality 9

and measure – even the lower-quality result can be used, but the individual who made it might cognize that it could be better. The satisfaction with ain work ‘s quality can besides reflect to the interior satisfaction, and therefore it is suited to see it as a driver of productiveness.

Closely related to quality is the ability to carry through client ‘s outlooks. If they are non fulfilled, clients will finally happen a better provider who listens more carefully to them ( see e.g. Kaplan and Norton 1996, pp. 63-91 ) . Normally the client is an foreigner, but sometimes it can be besides another histrion ( unit, procedure, undertaking ) inside the administration. The workers frequently know rather good what is expected from them and whether they have been able to reply to these outlooks. Control of this factor besides enables direction to see whether the workers have noticed the defects perceived in other state of affairss ( e.g. client feedback ) .

Frequently used in measuring is the time-efficiency of cognition work. Research and development undertakings, pure cognition work, are good known for the fact that they frequently overrun the clip allocated to them ( Reichelt and Lyneis 1999 ) . This can be interpreted as a mark of a lessening in productiveness. When the jobs occur in the phases that observable to clients, they are easy identified. However, there might be phases during the work procedure where merely workers themselves notice holds. Therefore, it is justifiable to utilize besides subjective steps.

Although we can specify the inputs and the end products of knowledge-work, it is frequently instead hard to mensurate them in measures. Therefore we need to near them through other, indirect steps. Even if some of the end product factors could be constructed utilizing nonsubjective informations, conveying this information together with input and procedure factors offers a possibility to seek for connexions between cause and consequence.