Stormy productivity weather ahead?
Purpose ‐ To explore the factors underpinning economic productivity (at a national level) and related concepts such as competitiveness and identify key lessons for governments and organisations. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Analyses published data and identifies internal and external, contemporaneous influences which might help explain those data. Draws general conclusions from the analysis. Findings ‐ It is possible to identify factors acting on a nation that explain the economic performance of that nation. Some of these factors are internal, such as government policy and action; some are external and "interfere" with current government policy and action. These external factors can act as a catalyst to improved performance. Practical implications ‐ Governments must be aware of their role in establishing a "climate" which offers the potential to create high productivity organisations. This is a delicate balance between providing an appropriate productivity infrastructure and over-regulation. Organisations attempting to improve productivity must be aware of the "productivity infrastructure" and ensure that their approach maximises ways in which it can be exploited. Originality/value ‐ Shows the importance of national economic factors in creating a potential for high productivity. Demonstrates the partnership that must exist between government and organisations to ensure competitiveness.