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What is productivity?

What is productivity?

Productivity refers to the rate of output per worker or per machine in a factory (Bateman & McAdam, 2006). It describes a variety of measures of efficiency of production. In a simpler language, productivity refers to the amount of work produced either per worker or per hour worked.

There are different kinds of productivity e.g. labour productivity, multi-factor productivity, and capital productivity. In a time of intense competition, organisations need to be highly productive in everything they do. In fact, productivity is a crucial factor not only for organisations but also for a nation as a whole.

Importance of productivity

Productivity is an important tool whereby a company can gain competitive advantages over its competitors. Good productivity growth can also help companies be more profitable. From a country’s perspective, increasing productivity is crucial as it can raise living standards. Productive workers can bring value to their employers and therefore to the economies of their home nations.

15 most productive countries in the world

The following is a list of the 15 most productive countries in the world, according to Market Expert (2016) as cited in Martin (2016):

  1. Luxembourg
  2. Norway
  3. Australia
  4. Switzerland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Germany
  7. Denmark
  8. United States
  9. Ireland
  10. Sweden
  11. Austria
  12. France
  13. Canada
  14. Finland
  15. Iceland

It should be mentioned that the UK is the 16th most productive country in the world and is ahead of countries such as Japan, Spain, and Italy.

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Last update: 12 October 2018

Reference list:

Bateman, H. & McAdam, (2006) Dictionary of economics, 1st edition, London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd

Martin, W. (2016) The 19 most productive countries in the world, available at: (Accessed 08 October 2018)

Photo credit: Protrade United

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

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