Productivity is a measurement of output resulting from the use of productive resources or inputs. It refers to the amount of output per unit of input over a period of time. An increase in productivity may mean producing the same amount with fewer inputs, producing more output with the same inputs, or a combination of the two. Companies look for ways to maintain and increase the level of productivity in order to remain competitive while maintaining profits. One way of accomplishing this is through investing in capital goods such as machines, tools, and new ideas used in the production process. Technological improvements in capital goods are a leading cause of increase in productivity.
After completing the following activities, you will develop a better understanding of the economics associated with productivity. In the first activity you will explore the concepts that are connected to productivity. In the second activity you will investigate the Herr's Potato Chips, a company that is constantly working at incorporating new techniques to satisfy the customer. Finally, in the third activity you will use the Internet to search for inventors and inventions. Your task is to find an invention that you would like to learn more about and learn how that invention improves its environment. After you complete all three parts to this lesson you will find a series of questions that will explore what you have learned from Capital Chips about productivity.
In this lesson you will hunt the web again--searching for inventors and inventions. Your mission is to find an invention you would like to learn more about and learn how that invention improves its environment.
- Click on one of the following web sites
Forgotten Inventors (Click on the word "Forgotten Inventors")
20th Century Inventions
- Use the Internet to select one technological innovation/invention and answer the questions on the following handout for the one you've selected.
|PDF Interactive Handout|
|PDF Print Handout|
- Draw a picture of the innovation you selected and label it [name of invention, date
invented, and inventor (if known)] on a plain piece of 8.5 X 11 paper.
- List the benefits of the invention on a separate piece of 8.5 X 11 piece of paper.
- Create a classroom timeline of the drawings of the innovations and their benefits to the producer, consumer, and worker (if all apply).
The hunt is over.
Select an invention or innovation from the below web sites.
You are going to write a final essay about a specific innovation.
You must include the following information in your papers:
- How this innovation may have resulted in increased productivity.
- Examples of where an increase in productivity would be realized because of this innovation.
- Summary of the benefits of this innovation including an explanation of the impact of the innovation on the producer, consumer, and worker. This may be incorporated in the response to the following question.
Assuming you are a business owner, explain why you would invest in this new innovation for your business. Make sure you describe the type of business you are in. Explain all of the benefits that you would expect to gain from this innovation. Explain the impact of this innovation on the consumers of your product or service; also explain its impact on you and your workers.