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  • ‚óŹ

    Exploratory

Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

8

of using some of its own labor or equipment, or it could substitute more equip-

ment that

to replace labor.

a

change

may

be

The inter-connectedness of these six elements emphasizes

initiated

in

any

one,

but

that

its

effects

must

then

be

traced around the entire network to ensure that all adaptive adjustments have been made which are necessary to reintegrate the system. This also means that an observed change in one of the links need not have been engendered in that link, hut rather have resulted as an adjustment to a change induced else-

where in this system.

n O u t p u t M o n - h o u r s

Fixed

investment

X

output/capacity

Fig. 2 The network of productivity relationships among direct input factors [9].

For example, mechanizing some manual operations would first affect the

ratio of actively-utilized fixed investment to man-hours.

This would tend

reduce man-hours per vestment might alter

unit of output, while the attendant increase in fixed

its

ratio

to

capacity.

And

if

the

innovation

reduced

to in-

scrap rates, output.

it would also decrease the materials input volume per unit of

Because management’s primary motivation in altering productivity relation- ships is usually to improve its cost competitiveness, it is necessary to evaluate

past or

prospective

changes in

effects

on the cost

structure.

the productivity network by tracing resulting This involves, first, tracing the interaction

of

changes sulting

in each changes

unit input requirement

in

its

unit

cost.

For

with its example,

factor price to calculate a 10 per cent increase in

re- output

per man-hour would yield only a 5 per cent reduction in unit wage cost, if it

were

accompanied

by

a

5

per

cent

increase

in

hourly

wage

rates.

In

turn,

the

effects of of course,

resulting changes in various unit costs on total unit costs on their respective proportions of total costs, as shown in

depend, Fig. 3.

.

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