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Centre for Productivity and Workplace Performance

Productivity and Workplace Performance Hub

Director of Productivity and Workplace Performance | Dr Catherine Robinson

The interdisciplinary Centre for Productivity and Workplace Performance, hosted by Kent Business School, is a joint initiative of it two co-creators; Catherine Robinson from Kent Business School and Christian Siegel from the Kent School of Economics.

This group aims to contribute to the current debate around productivity, both in terms of macro and micro economic perspectives, from explaining and addressing regional inequalities to establishing models of co-operation in firms of all sizes to increase their output per-hour per-worker.

Productivity sits at the heart of current economic policy. As a source of economic growth, it enables nations to improve their living standards over time. Productivity growth allows for the creation of sustainable growth without necessarily exploiting more resources, either natural or human. For firms, improvements in productivity translate into more efficient business practices, market-share growth and improvements in earnings for shareholders as well as workers. Productivity growth is the desired outcome of international engagements, investments in innovation and skills development.

At its simplest, productivity is measured as output per worker or per hour worked. Labour productivity is a benchmark used to compare performance over time, across sectors and between firms. A more holistic measure is total factor productivity (TFP) which captures efficiency improvements that are neutral of the mix of capital and labour inputs. Better productivity enables any organisation – from countries and multinational firms to city councils and SME’s – to do more with less.

Productivity isn’t everything but in the long run it’s almost everything ~ Krugman

World-Leading Research

Our researchers are looking at innovative ways to boost productivity and help with the development of a sustainable economy.

The productivity research hub aims to contribute to the productivity debate in terms of theory, and seeks to produce applicable knowledge which can produce improvements through its inclusion in policy debates, policies and company guidelines. Initiated by experienced academics from the School of Economics and Kent Business School, we use a variety of methods and data sources to work on issues surrounding productivity. Our findings are applicable at all levels of the productivity puzzle, from improvements to the national economic output, to changes in the ways SME’s operate. We offer contributions to the evidence base around the following key areas:

  • Competitiveness
  • Environmental/Green Growth
  • Regional productivity
  • Technology and innovation

These key areas are explored to address policy-relevant questions related to productivity such as:

  • What barriers are there to SME productivity growth?
  • What are the key drivers of regional disparities in productivity?
  • To what extent is the productivity puzzle explained by firm dynamics?