chapter  1
13 Pages

Britain’s economic weakness

A number of explanations have been offered for Britain's poor and erratic economic performance, but the constant and dominant refrain has been to cast blame on the poor productivity of the nation's employed labour force. This chapter considers these alleged failings and suggests that productivity alone does not provide a reliable measure of economic effectiveness; broader aspects of performance need to be examined in terms of the quality of work, the effectiveness of management activities and managerial priorities in realising the potential of their assets through investment in capital and people. Employer emphasis on worker productivity has been channelled through remuneration practice which aims to link elements of pay directly to output by the use of incentive bonuses and value-added pay schemes. A point related to their failure to invest, which reinforces employer culpability for poor economic performance, has been their continual reluctance to train and develop employees. Training provision forms an essential part of employer commitment to their stakeholders.