Institutional and Human Resources Productivity and Effectiveness

Manila Bulletin, April 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

Institutional and Human Resources Productivity and Effectiveness


Byline: Andrew Gonzalez,FSC, Ph.D.

PRODUCTIVITY and effectiveness, both in human resources and in institutions, go hand in hand. Actually, one is a prelude to the other. Unless its human resources are productive and effective, the institution itself cannot be productive or effective. Hence, our schools will be as productive and effective units only if their human resources ? teachers, middle-level managers, support staff including custodial staff ? are themselves productive and effective.

In production management, measuring productivity is easily gauged in terms of the number of items manufactured by the process, assuming that the products meet the pre-set standards of quality control.

With human resources, however, the products are not physical objects but qualitative changes in human beings in terms of knowledge, attitudes, and skills, which are more difficult to measure. I am thinking of course not only of students in the school but likewise the teachers who impart instruction to the students.

In educational testing and measurements, we have derived different measures and devised instruments for such measures. Thus we have IQ tests and achievement tests. In the case of teachers, we have proficiency tests, when it comes to knowledge of concepts and principles. Attitudes can be measured albeit imperfectly by different kinds of scales. And skills are easily measured by performance tasks.

There are different models of evaluation, the most complete being a kind of systems model whereby one looks at inputs, processes, and outcomes and makes the necessary adjustments based on initial outcomes which constitute "feedback" for adjustments in the process through changes in the inputs.

One can likewise measure effectiveness through indicators or over-all quantitative scores which gives the evaluator an idea of how effective the program has been. Thus, in college, I would suppose that one measure of institutional productivity would be the number of graduates and how long it took to complete their instructional and training program. One can look at their outputs (project papers and bachelor's theses) to determine the over-all quality; then one can administer board examinations by a professional group to measure proficiency.

However, not all board examinees who top the exams are effective in the world of work. One gets measures of effectiveness when the graduates join the of world of work and see how effective they are in this world by performance evaluations at their work stations, by managerial effectiveness of how well they can get others to work, by their success in generating new ideas and in implementing these ideas to contribute to the overall success of an enterprise.

We have to see how effective someone is since even if he has the necessary qualities for productivity in terms of knowledge, attitudes, and skills, the world of work calls for multiple factors to get things done, and not at all book knowledge is necessarily translatable into actual productivity in human relations and in the products or outputs of a system that one manages, whether the outputs are skills development or objects to be made or sales to be effected or learnings of students who are taught.

Thus in the school setting in which most of us are placed, teaching does not necessarily result in enhanced learning on the part of the students. Effectiveness does not always follow necessarily from competent inputs or the basic ingredients for success.

In a school setting, one is dealing with human resources of three groups: the students themselves, who are the most important component since they are the main reason why a school exists; the teachers, the second most important components, the ones who make possible the over all attainments of the objectives of learning through their teaching; then the administrative staff, including the officials of the school and the non-teaching staff at different levels, who provide the support services to give the students and teachers the optimal conditions for their interaction. …

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