Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1986

Degree Name

Master of Science in Management - (M.S.)


Organizational and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Sanford Bordman


Productivity growth in the United States has taken a downward trend since the nation entered the decade of the 60s. This issue is contemporary because its consequences are apparent in every American industry. Government, business and individuals are equally affected because prices continue to escalate. Hence, the cost of living appears to be unmanageable. Several factors have contributed to the slump in United States productivity growth. The most important of these factors are low capital investment, strained management and labor relationships, insufficient research and development spending, low employee motivation, the attitude of organized labor unions, lack of national commitment, high government spending and the general managerial philsophies.

There are six parts to this thesis: the first deals with definitions and concepts, historical review, and the nature of the United States economy, the second presents productivity trends by sector, the third entails comparative productivity trends of the U.S. and Japan. The fourth section presents the effects of other major factors on productivity including management - labor relations, the energy crisis, and a detailed analysis of U.S. managerial processes. The fifth section deals with present and future produtivity trends, and the final section gives conclusions and recommendations.

This thesis presents a descriptive analysis of the causes of the United States productivity slump. Historical information is used to make significant comparisons where necessary. The objective of this thesis in its various parts, is to present facts surrounding the United States productivity decline in the wake of controversy over the issue.

Included in

Business Commons



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