Public Productivity through Quality and Strategic Management


Halachmi, A.,
Bouckaert, G.

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The book deals with the complexity of several concepts, like the following example. Quality is by no means a simple or single concept: it can mean compliance with pre-determined specifications of processes or outputs; it can mean assessment of outcomes or gatekeeping - in other words - assuring the quality of the inputs; etc. The parallels with measuring productivity are obvious: if you cannot get good handles on outputs, then use inputs (and then politicians wonder why productivity appears to stagnate in services). This problem of the simple becoming complicated was understood by the Japanese at the inception of their ``productivity movement'. Having carefully analyzed how Europe had adopted and adapted American productivity techniques and approaches and being faced with a turbulent system of industrial relations and a poor quality image, the initiators of the Japanese productivity movement came to the conclusion that at least a cease-fire and at best a treaty had to be negotiated between organised labour, management and government. The resulting 1955 productivity principles are being addressed in the book.