A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Evolution of obstacles restraining productivity improvement

Publication Details
Authors: Rantala Tero, Pekkola Sanna, Rantanen Hannu, Hannula Mika
Publisher: Inderscience
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management
Journal acronym: IJPQM
Volume number: 25
Issue number: 1
Start page: 64
End page: 89
Number of pages: 26
ISSN: 1746-6474
eISSN: 1746-6482
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


One of the most important elements in the overall competitiveness of
companies is continuous improvement in productivity. Improvements in
productivity have been recognised as having a significant influence on many
social and economic phenomena such as economic growth, increased well-being and
inflation control. Although continuous improvement in productivity is a
well-known issue for companies, there are some factors that restrain such
development work. These factors can be called obstacles restraining
productivity improvement. The main aim of this study is to explore the changes
in the obstacles restraining productivity improvement of Finnish small and
medium-sized enterprises from 1997 to 2014. The study also aims to discover the
most important obstacles restraining productivity improvement. In addition to discovering the evolution of
obstacles restraining productivity improvement, the study increases the
understanding of the differences amongst obstacles between manufacturing and
service SMEs. The study results indicate that over the last two decades, there have
been three significant categorical changes relating to the obstacles
restraining productivity improvement: (1) from internal to external obstacles, (2)
from lack of resources to lack of knowledge and (3) from lack of employees’
knowledge and education to lack of supervisors’ knowledge and education about

Last updated on 2019-13-03 at 12:00