Articles on Productivity

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RBA Governor Glenn Stevens has cited an increase in labour productivity - but all isn’t as it appears. AAP/Dan Peled

Labour productivity has risen – but it’s not exactly a good news story

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens has ticked off on a major item on the “to do” list for Australian policy-makers: raise the rate of growth in labour productivity. In his keynote speech…
Australians should step away from a “story-telling approach” when it comes the economy. AAP/Garry Schafer

Look at the data to understand the risks for the Australian economy

What are the risks in the economic outlook for Australia? Typically, prognosticators take a scenario-based (aka “story-telling”) approach to answering this sort of question. And usually these scenarios…
The combination of social, mobile, cloud and data analytics is offering small firms new potential. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

Small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers…
The new Royal Adelaide Hospital, due for completion in 2016, is being built using BIM. RoboSparrow/Flickr

Explainer: what is BIM and is it the future of construction?

It is often argued that Australia’s construction sector productivity is lower than most other developed countries, such as the US. While there are many factors involved, Australia’s overall productivity…
It’s time we put the ‘p’ back into productivity. Vincent Talleu/AAP

In the Airbnb world we need a new productivity measure

The latest report on Australia’s productivity performance wasn’t good news. The annual update by the Productivity Commission confirmed Australia continues to lag most other developed economies, and has…
Australia’s next crisis: productivity. But wait, it’s a slippery topic. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Why we should approach claims of a productivity crisis with caution

This week the Productivity Commission released its second Productivity Update. The Productivity Report reviews Australia’s “productivity performance” over the last year. It disaggregates the statistics…
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey hosting the recent G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Sydney, a lead-up event to November’s Brisbane Summit. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Double or nothing: Australia’s G20 energy challenge

When Australia hosts the G20 Leaders’ Summit in November, a top agenda item for its “Brisbane Action Plan” will be “practical actions to improve productivity and competitiveness”. So here’s a good place…
Australia is pushing for hard growth targets at this weekend’s G20 Finance Ministers meeting, but taxation is the elephant in the room. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Cut company taxes, boost innovation: OECD

Australia should cut company taxes and increase innovation to avoid falling behind in the productivity race, according to…
Australia’s poor leadership record must be addressed if we want to improve productivity. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Why Australian workplaces need much better leaders

Over the last decade, Australia has experienced a productivity slump. Our long-term productivity growth ranks well below the OECD average, and significantly below that enjoyed by leading economies. However…

Flat lenses could boost solar power

Micro-machining technology could be used to produce flat lenses which would boost the productivity of solar panels. The Fresnel…
Workers with skills and motivation perform at a higher level, regardless of workplace reform. Salle-Ann/Flickr

Workplace deregulation won’t boost productivity

Arguments for reform of workplace relations never go away. The central claim made by numerous commentators is that reform aimed at “freeing up” the labour market and workplaces is the key to improving…
Emerging economies like India are pushing ahead on innovation measures, while advanced economies see productivity declines. World Bank/Flickr

Demystifying the global productivity puzzle

The Conference Board’s latest productivity measure shows efficiency remains a problem for the global economy - and interestingly that innovation, despite occurring, may not be helping. The business research…
Graeme Samuel retired from the ACCC in 2011, but says the watchdog is the only real oversight the government has over businesses like Australia Post, which he says should be privatised. AAP/Andrew Taylor

Don’t expect fast reform: Graeme Samuel

Australia’s reform agenda has stalled, according to former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief Graeme Samuel, and we won’t see any serious reform attempts for some time. The election of…
Six-legged hexapod robots can navigate rugged terrain and access places human workers cannot. CSIRO

Beyond R2-D2: Australian manufacturing’s robotics wish-list

In 1977, George Lucas’ Star Wars introduced us to R2-D2, an intelligent bot that embodied modern assistive robotics: he could anticipate needs and perform a number of tasks with minimal instruction. Almost…

Employees work harder in times of recession

Worker output has been found to increase during times of economic downturn, while employers and firms manage to do “more…
Prime minister Kevin Rudd, shaking hands with an employee of the Altona Toyota factory in 2008, sees economic productivity as an important issue. AAP

Election 2013 Issues: the way we work

Welcome to the **The Conversation Election 2013 State of the Nation* essays. These articles provide in-depth analyses of key policy challenges affecting Australia as the nation heads to the polls. Today…

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