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Measuring and mapping the productivity maze in smaller businesses

The Business School and Lloyds Bank continued their collaborative research partnership with a second productivity roundtable event. The roundtable provided an opportunity to combine research, knowledge briefings and conversations about improving productivity.

 More than forty participants including a range of commercial staff from Lloyds and their small and medium sized enterprise (SME) clients joined other professionals from across the Leeds City region to discuss productivity measurement with Dr Ollie Jones

The roundtable covered the nature and difficulty in measuring productivity and how that relates to the performance of the UK Economy. As part of the study data was collected from SMEs, analysed by researchers in the Business School and used to benchmark individual business performance with that of the overall group and their sector.

The session critically assessed the distinctions between productivity and efficiency, process performance and the importance of using relatively simple statistical rules to measure the impact of performance changes.  Participants were able to compare and contrast how their performance measurement and management frameworks compared to others and self-assess against key criteria. 

A key benefit of the roundtable was to assess how developing knowledge of productivity and performance of key economic agents, such as commercial bank managers and accountants and small business leaders can stimulate and drive the productivity of SME's in the region. This is typical of an intervention dynamic that supports the co-production of practical and academic knowledge that can be used to inform evidence-based policy development in the Leeds City region. 

The roundtable concluded with an outline of future areas of collaborative work and further interventions, including a research roundtable exploring the use of methodologies for improving productivity and a new Apprenticeship Programme focusing specifically on productivity developed in collaboration with Lloyds Bank and a number of their clients to be launched at Leeds Business School in 2019. 

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About the Author

Dr Oliver Jones

Dr Ollie Jones joined Leeds Business School in 2004 and is a Principal Lecturer in Operations, Enterprise and Supply Chain Management. Ollie graduated in Manufacturing and Business from Cambridge University before working in a large multinational co-operation in a variety of sectors progressing from a graduate to senior management roles. He has been appointed a Teacher Fellow, in recognition of teaching excellence, and continues to works extensively with a different businesses in consultancy, particularly around productivity development, and is currently the research lead for his subject group.

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