High time to be more productive

Friday, 30 November 2012  Features

In a timely initiative, the Australian School of Business (ASB) at UNSW has invited a dozen prominent business leaders to meet face-to-face with leading ASB researchers working in areas essential to lifting Australia's productivity performance.

"Participants in ASB's inaugural Productivity Roundtable will explore practical solutions to the productivity challenge," said Professor Chris Styles, Deputy Dean and Director AGSM, who will moderate the discussions. "In the process, they will help set an agenda for future academic research that can inform the policy responses of government and industry."

"Australia's productivity has been in decline since the late 1990s, but this has been masked by the export price bonanza in minerals. The next phase of our prosperity will depend on driving productivity growth and sustaining it.

"To do this, workplace culture, leadership and management practices, tax reform, over-regulation, infrastructure inadequacies and skills shortages are just some of the issues that need to be examined with a view to identifying practical solutions.

"As an educator of the next generation of managers, entrepreneurs and leaders, ASB is integral to this conversation and well-placed to convene it," said Professor Styles.

The over-arching themes of the first Roundtable are the measurement of productivity - accessing the expertise of ASB's Head of Economics, Professor Kevin Fox - and the management of better productivity outcomes, with the latter informed by research into the effective leadership of high-performing workplaces by senior accounting lecturer, Dr Christina Boedker.

"It's just the starting point for an ongoing dialogue where industry heavy-weights and distinguished researchers will be able to offer their thoughts in a free and frank atmosphere.

"The breadth of disciplines on offer at the Australian School of Business allows for a holistic view - a complex understanding - of the drivers and enablers of increased productivity. It is this non-partisan perspective that the School brings to the table", says Professor Styles.

Initial industry participants, drawn from the School's Business Advisory Council, include Nick Greiner AC, Guy Templeton and Michael Crouch AO. Participating Alumni Leaders include Bob Herbert AM, Ervin Vidor AM, Peter Switzer and Julian Mitton.