Although the methods for achieving the same or better outcomes with fewer resources may vary, improved productivity will not occur unless it is pursued actively. Ineffective searches and wasting time looking for information is a cost of a company.
Many service economy jobs could enjoy substantial productivity growth through better application of information technology. For example, every time you check in at the airport, you wait several minutes as the agent frantically taps away at a hidden computer. Most of this time is wasted due to airline software's horrendous usability. With a better user interface, agents could process passengers much faster, which would immediately increase their productivity and save time for customers.
The answer, according to Nick Bloom, Raffaella Sadun and John Van Reenen, researchers at the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, is that American companies make much more effective use of information technology than European companies." (4)
The importance of incentives to employees on the productivity is well known fact. Even socialism has admitted it. As Gerard Roland says "Prior to the privatization, It was China that went the farthest in trying to give managers better profit incentives. Data on 769 Chinese enterprises between 1980 and 1989 in four provinces (Sichuan, Jiangsu, Jilin, and Shanxi) analyzed by Groves and colleagues (1994) showed that increased autonomy to managers led them to give more incentives to workers by increasing the shares of bonuses in total wages payments and the share of contract workers relative to permanent workers. Increased incentives also had a positive effect on productivity." (5)
Paul J. Meyer says "Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort."