Strengthening Our Competitive Position and Economic Progress Through Productivity Policy and Manufacturing Strategy


Cheng, Francis


Strengthening Our Competitive Position and Economic Progress Through Productivity Policy and Manufacturing Strategy




New York Institute of Technology


Industrial productivity--United States






Thesis (M.S.)--New York Institute of Technology


School of Management


Department of Business Administration


In the international marketplace, U.S. industry is already beginning to feel the effects of lagging productivity growth. In the 1960s and 1970s, a number of American industries found it difficult to retain their shares of foreign markets. Moreover, they witnessed the successful invasion of U.S. markets by foreign products. Imports of automoviles, television sets, radio equipment and cameras are only some of the most obvious examples.
It has been charged that export subsidies by foreign governments helped start this invasion and that U.S. industry's export problems are partly due to various types of restrictions and impediments that other countries have imposed on American imports. Although the strength of the U.S. dollar has reduced the competitiveness of U.S. goods abroad, it seems clear that neither a stronger dollar nor domestic subsidies by foreign governments are the entire problem. U.S. industry has found itself increasingly handicapped in the competitive race by its lagging productivity performance and the rising relative costs that accompany that lag.
It is tempting to conclude that unless this country's productivity growth succeeds in maintaining a level at or above its competitors', some U.S. industries are fated to be driven out of foreign markets and to have much of their home market taken over by foreign producers. This conjures up a vision of a growing and chronic balance-of-payments disequilibrium, with the United States finding it increasingly difficult to earn the foreign exchange necessary to pay for essential imports. But although lagging productivity growth will, indeed, exact a heavy cost in terms of relative economic position, it will certainly not, in the long run, take the form of either an inability to sell U.S. goods abroad or a rising balance-of-payments deficit.
Likewise, increasing productivity is critical for the survival and prosperity of companies. First, it would strengthen our competitive position in domestic as well as world markets. Second, improved productivity would counteract increased costs of raw materials, energy, and labor. Third, it would meet the pressure of rising costs of government regulation. Fourth, it would provide funds needed for capital investment for innovation, expansion, and modernization. Fifth, improved productivity would conserve scarce resources, such as energy and raw materials. Finally, the dream of all working people -- higher pay, shorter hours, better fringe benefits, and improved quality of working life -- can only be achieved with sustained improvement in productivity.
In this thesis I will deal only with the productivity policy. and manufacturing strategy. My goal 0f this study is to analyze the productivity slowdown and its causes, public policies for productivity growth, what business management and labor can do, and manufacturing strategy for solving the productivity problem.




Cheng, Francis, Strengthening Our Competitive Position and Economic Progress Through Productivity Policy and Manufacturing Strategy. New York Tech Institutional Repository, accessed March 3, 2024,

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