LCPC-578: Canadian Productivity Challenge Report a Broken Link

This course will teach the essential principles and theories that we need to know to better understand Canada’s productivity performance. It will discuss why it is important to know more about Canadian productivity and its impacts on people, businesses, industries, and the country. The course will identify the factors that could lead to an increase in productivity performance, what tools and techniques can be used, how decisions made by other countries will affect the Canadian economy, what the experts are saying about actions Canada should undertake to reach a better productivity growth, and what can be done to improve Canadian productivity.

Required Readings

Lesson 1

The Bank of Canada is dedicated to productivity, and this Backgrounder defines the concept, describes measures of productivity, explains how productivity affects living standards, and discusses the reasons for Canada’s disappointing productivity record.

This reading presents a historical analysis of the Canadian economy by describing the evolution of the economy from pre-World War I to recent years. The article addresses changes in Canada’s economy by industry sectors, and indicates that Canada is following the same pattern of development taken by other wealthy nations.

Read from “Productivity Drivers” (p. 4) up to “Productivity Improvement: Best Practices” (p. 9).

Read “The Importance of Productivity Growth” (pp. 4–6); “Canada’s Productivity Record” (pp. 7–11); “Possible Causes of Canada’s Poor Productivity Performance” (p. 20, Table 4); and “Emerging Challenges” and “Policy Recommendations” (pp. 22–27).

Lesson 2

The purpose of this reading is to gain a better understanding of globalization and the World Trade Organization (WTO): what they are, what they mean to the world, and, in particular, who the WTO really helps.

In this article, Lynch summarizes some priorities that the Government of Canada has incorporated in its budget in order to maintain its competitive position in the international market, particularly toward dynamic emerging economies.

Lesson 3

In this 2012 article, Jack Zenger discusses seven elements for increasing productivity, but states that productivity improvement is not limited to these elements.

Read pages 9–15 (“Productivity Improvement: Best Practices”). This section of the report focuses on top-of-the-field practices and tools for productivity improvement that are common to most business improvement strategies.

This article provides a high level description of key principles, tools, and techniques related to Lean and Six Sigma.

“Chapter 10: Concept and Philosophy” provides an introduction to Total Quality Management (TQM), and describes contributions and influences made by the seven TQM "gurus" in USA and Japan.

Lesson 4

Grant Bishop analyzes some of the impacts that lack of competition at the firms level is having in Canadian productivity and why competition must be considered as critical as the productivity shortfall, which normally captures most of the attention of policy makers.

  • Chapter 1.1: Reaching Beyond the New Normal: Findings from the Global Competitiveness Index 2015-2016 (pp. 3-33).
  • Appendix: Methodology and Computation of the Global Competitiveness Index 2015-2016 (pp. 35-41).

This report on global competitiveness from the World Economic Forum explains important elements that influence competitiveness. It also explains the relationship between productivity and competitiveness.

Read “In Summary” (pp. 4–5) and “Inadequate Workforce Productivity” (pp. 10–11). In this reading, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce presents 10 barriers that affect Canadian competitiveness as well as possible solutions for tackling them. These solutions, if implemented, will bring more opportunities, prosperity, and increased competitiveness for Canadian businesses.

Supplementary Readings

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 4