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Browsing by Subject "productivity"

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  • Laustela, Eetu (2021)
    This thesis explores what characteristics and expectations are associated with work and workers in contemporary North Korea and how those representations differ from other socialist countries and North Korea’s own past. The theoretical background demonstrates how different thinkers have conceptualized modern work as an ideological tool, specifically under socialism. Using workers as the nominal subjects in their legitimization narratives, state socialist regimes have utilized various practices to mix the reality and the ideal, praising workers as heroes while maintaining exploitation. The literary review covers previous research on the policy and propaganda about work across the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea, showing how the image of the ideal worker has developed according to material conditions and political goals of each place and period. As contemporary North Korean work has received less attention in studies, this thesis explores the depictions of work and workers in North Korea in 2012–2020. The analysis is conducted by using qualitative content analysis on North Korean English-language media. The data consists of magazines, newspaper articles and two films. Through analysing this sample of journalistic writings, photos and fictional films and texts, repeating patterns of representations about workers emerge as four major categories of characteristics: technological skill and innovativeness, unity and collectivism, correct morals and ideology, and self-reliance. Together these qualities make up the image of the contemporary ideal worker in North Korea. These findings suggest some shifts in North Korean ideology in the last decade compared to the past. The categories mostly follow familiar themes but from new perspectives and with different emphasis. The collectivist tendency and family metaphors are stronger, and the roles between different workers are minimized. The workers are increasingly shown as highly educated innovators and scientists. Despite the rising narratives on science, the revolutionary spirit is equally maintained as an important feature.
  • Ala-Varvi, Tuomas (2014)
    To achieve the appointed goals set in the national climate and energy strategy it is important to launch biomass into markets more effectively. In addition to biomass from clearing sites energy wood needs to be procured from young stands. First thinnings have been neglected to great extent in Finland mainly because of low profitability. The targets have been achieved only once during last decade. Expanding energy wood procurement to young stands increases the need for resources. Therefore more effective operating machines should be developed. The challenge is in launching these prototypes into testing and commercial markets. Fixteri Ltd. has developed a whole-tree bundler in order to enhance harvesting of small-diameter energy wood from young stands. This method is meant to reduce transportation costs through load compaction. The aim of this research was to study the productivity of cutting and bundling of whole-trees using Fixteri FX15a bundling unit and to clarify the competitiveness of the whole production chain compared to rival methods. The harvesting was studied trough video analyze in order to detect factors limiting the productivity. 35 whole-tree bundles were produced in young Scots pine stand. An average weight and volume of the bundle were 502.5 kg and 463 dm³. It took 3.38 min to produce one bundle. FX15a bundling unit was fitted to Logman 811FC base machine. Accumulating Nisula 280E+ felling head was used. An average performance per effective working hour of 9.74 m3 was recorded when average volume of removal was 37.3 dm3. The operator used multi-tree cutting effectively in average 3.1 whole-trees per work load. The share of multi-tree cutting was 96 percent. The performance of prototype FX15 was significantly lower than the performance of FX15a. The performance of 5.07 and 5.86 m³/h0 were recorded when average volumes of removed trees were 28.4 and 41.1 dm³. It was observed that the productivity of FX15a was higher compared to the harvesting of undelimbed trees when average volume of removed trees was less than 70 dm3. Harvesting and off-road transportation of whole tree bundles was more profitable when average volume of removal was under 95 dm3. Total costs of wood chip supply chain were lower compared to harvesting of undelimbed trees when average volume of removal was less than 85 dm3. Total costs of wood chip supply chain were higher compared to harvesting of undelimbed trees regardless of average volume of removed trees when FX15 bundling unit was used. When includung the possible energy subsidies (max 30 %) for whole-tree bundling and pre-clearance-related additional costs for harvesting of undelimbed trees into account the potential number of harvesting sites increases significantly. Drying the bundles plays an important role since high moisture content in the bundles after road side storing may endanger the competitiveness of the whole supply chain when bundles are burned to produce energy. Although bundling whole-trees seems to be a competitive alternative in harvesting small-diameter energy wood there are still several questions unanswered. The method should be studied in greater depth by varying harvesting conditions and machine operators. Also the potential of on-road transport and bundle features needs further study.
  • Muhonen, Olli (2012)
    Forest energy harvesting has increased significantly in recent years. The extraction of forest energy is usually done with conventional forwarders. The productivity of extraction work is, however, quite poor due to a low material density, which results in a small load size. The objective of the study was to increase the productivity of forest energy extraction via solutions that increase the load size. The first method that was studied involved widening the load space hydraulically. The other solution was based on compressing the load with hydraulically tiltable stakes. The study was conducted as a development study. The field studies were carried out in the summer and autumn of 2011 on harvesting sites managed by Metsähallitus and Metsäliitto in the Jyväskylä region. The study material comprises a total of 139 loads. There was a significant difference in raw density between the logging residues and stump pieces for the widening and compressing load space solutions. For this reason, it does not make sense to compare the two load space solutions to each other. The analyses were based on the reported load scale tonnes. Both load space alternatives increased the load size by 20-30 per cent depending on the assortment. For logging residues, the increase in efficient hour productivity for extraction was 13 per cent and for stump pieces it was 30 per cent. With the compressing load space, the efficient hour productivity for full trees increased by 17 per cent. For logging residues, the increase was 5 per cent and for stump pieces it was 12 per cent. Compression was not a successful method for stump pieces and even for logging residues the benefits were mainly based on the increased load space. Compressing the load is mainly beneficial when extracting full trees. The project was carried out together with Osuuskunta Metsäliitto (now Metsä Group), Metsä-Multia Oy and Ponsse Oyj. The modelling work was done by Metsäteho Oy. This study shows results of Metsähallitus project “Maastokuljetuksen kehittäminen”. The project is part of the EffFibre (Value through Intensive and Efficient Fibre Supply) research and development programme coordinated by Forestcluster Ltd.
  • Rasi, Janne (2011)
    In this research, the productivity change of piglet production on ProAgria Annual Pig Accounting farms (Finnish pig farms exploiting this particular advisory service) is measured from 2003 to 2008, using Fisher productivity index. Moreover, an exact decomposition method is applied in order to obtain a more detailed picture of factors contributing to productivity change. The examined components are changes in technology, technical efficiency, allocative efficiency, scale efficiency and price effect. Indices are formed in two ways: as aggregated indices and geometric means of farmlevel indices. The two indices provide almost identical average annual productivity growth rates, 2.7 % and 2.8 %, respectively, although the growth patterns slightly differ. Scale efficiency is found to be the most important factor contributing to production growth. Aggregated scale efficiency improves by 1.6 % per annum and the mean scale efficiency by 2.1 % per annum. Another component having a remarkable effect on productivity growth is technical efficiency change. Both aggregated and mean index rise by 1.4 % per annum. On the contrary, technological change is slightly negative, on average -0.1 % per year. However, annual changes are noteworthy. Both allocative efficiency change and price effect have little impact on productivity change. Growing average number of sows seems to be a major cause contributing to productivity change, seeing that it is closely connected with improving scale efficiency. Regressive technological change is an alarming result because technological change is the most important element evoking productivity growth in the long term.
  • Piekkola, Joel (2017)
    Foreign direct investment (FDI) saw a large increase in the EU in the years 1990–2015. A significant and contested topic in economic and industrial policy and a continuing interest to researchers has been the productivity effect of this increased foreign presence on host economies. Theories of economic growth and industrial organization predict a role for FDI, or the increased presence of multinational enterprises, as a catalyst of knowledge diffusion and other productivity effects. Findings from empirical literature support the existence of productivity effects from FDI within industry and through vertical linkages across industries. There is also support in the literature for the role of absorptive capacity as necessary for host country firms to benefit from knowledge diffusion. The scope of this study is to measure first the effect of FDI on productivity and secondly the role of absorptive capacity in mediating this effect. Data from Eurostat is extracted to construct a sample of output, factor inputs and FDI for aggregated industry level data for the years 2008–2012. Absorptive capacity is measured in three categories of intangible assets: research and development (RD), information and communications technology (ICT) and organizational competencies (OC). A production function approach with fixed effects is used to estimate the impact of FDI on productivity. The main findings are that an increase in foreign presence has a positive contemporaneous effect on productivity within industry, but a negative effect through vertical forward linkages. The results from the main specification imply that a 10 % increase in FDI is associated with a 0.5 % increase in productivity within industry and a -0.34 % decrease in customer industries. Absorptive capacity or technology gap in terms of intangible assets is closely related to the presence of these productivity effects. The finding of a positive effect of FDI on productivity within sector is consistent with knowledge spillovers or other positive factors such as increased competition. The negative effect in customer sectors may be explained by adjustment and transaction costs from the breaking down of existing domestic supply chains. The results indicate that FDI is associated with productivity gains within industry, but negative effects on productivity dominate through vertical forward linkages in the short term. From an industrial and economic policy standpoint, FDI is not unambiguously beneficial for productivity of domestic industries, but more research is needed to assess long-term effects and the economic implications for the EU as a whole.
  • Kharitonova, Liubov (2013)
    The empirical analysis of the impact of information and communications technology investments is an active field with continuing developments to try to better capture the practice of technology implementation. The research on ICT payoffs is complex. Many empirical studies performed by economists, management scientists and information field researches come to conflicting conclusions on whether ICT investment has positive correlation with productivity and economic growth. The purpose of this study is to provide additional descriptive information by conducting empirical research with measurement of the economic growth model and analysis of the relevant data. This study examines ICT investment impact on economic growth in a cross-section of EU-27 during 11 years starting from 1996 until 2007. The empirical study is based on an explicit model of economic growth, which has recently been applied in a number of studies exploring economic growth impacts of various components of capital. The work applies augmented version of Solow growth model, which includes accumulation of human capital and information technology capital as well as physical capital. The research is enforced by the analysis of the economy development in EU-27 during the last two decades, changes in labour market and organizational restructuring resulting from ICT investment. The study confirms that the use of ICT is only part of a much broader range of changes, such as labour market and organizational changes that help firms to enhance performance. The analysis shows that the recent technological change has been skill biased, enforcing inequality in wages and employment opportunities among people with different educational levels and shift in occupations. The investigation demonstrates the readiness of European companies to perform organizational changes as they see it to be a key source to competitiveness. The empirical analysis shows that information and communication technologies play a significant role in the recent economic growth of countries that invest sufficient amount in research and development activities, but it does not seem yet to have made a substantial contribution in all European Union 27 countries. The result is supported by the view that those 10 countries have build up a mature stock of physical infrastructure and human capital, which enhance and amplify the effects of investments in information and communication technology. The main results of the study are that physical capital is still a key factor of economic growth in the whole EU-27 country set; neither human capital nor ICT seems to have a significant impact on GDP growth during 1996-2007 in the whole EU-27 country set; improvements in measurement of inputs and outputs would definitely improve the result. The study points out areas for future research.
  • Kovanen, Jukka (2017)
    Unit labor costs have been a widely discussed topic in Finland as well as all around the world. Technically unit labor costs are calculated by a simple ratio of labor costs and output. There is a large divergency of opinion about how consistent measurement unit labor costs are for competitiveness of an economy or an industry, for example. There is no unambiguous answer how to measure cost competitiveness of a country or an industry and one should keep in mind what the unit labor costs do not measure. Also, it is two different cases to observe nominal or real unit labor costs. In the former denominator is in units of measurements, like meters or units, and in the latter is deflated by current prices. Also there is a difference in observation of development within the firms versus on the aggregate level. In the thesis the unit labor costs of Finnish industrial production are calculated from the firm specific micro data. Also, the part of the structural change and development within firms by decompositions is estimated based on microdata. Furthermore, markup of the firms is estimated by comparing price development to marginal costs of the firms, to this end there are estimated an industry specific production function, by using some micro econometric methods like fixed effects – regression. According to the results obtained the unit labor costs have increased by about two per cents in annual growth rates between 2007 and 2016. There has been lot of fluctuation in the development, especially in the beginning of the observation period. The unit labor costs increased a lot because of drop of the production caused by recession. During the following two years they decreased a little bit. After that the development has been steadier. The decomposition into the structural and within firms effect tells that the major part of the fluctuation were driven by the changes within the firms, when the structural effect was the driver of the moderate but steady increase and being actually more remarkable explainer of the annual growth rates. The markup within industrial firms decreased a little bit during the observation period. Although, should be pointed out that there is some uncertainty in production function estimates and firm specific prices and consequently markup estimates are suggestive.
  • Aaltonen, Juho Aleksi (2019)
    Growing concern on climate change has provided impetus for developing and implementing sustainable solutions in various industries. For instance, the theme of bioeconomy has increasingly gained interest in the 2000s. Other megatrends such as population growth and urbanization further highlight the importance of finding and implementing sustainable solutions to various industries, or as in this connection, the examination of the residential multi-story construction (MC) industry. More specifically, viewpoints regarding the industry’s productivity, environmental regulations and future trends regarding both MC and residential wooden multi-story construction (WMC) were emphasized. This study was conducted applying qualitative research methods. Semi-structured interviews were held in 2018 for 10 construction company executives, managers or people with an equivalent status mainly in areas related to procurement and production. The selected sampling strategy was purposeful sampling. The main criterion in the selection process was that the companies contacted did not have prior experience in WMC, as they were not seen being overly represented in previous literature especially in the context of WMC. Based on the results, the majority of experts perceived the productivity development in the construction industry similar as previous studies have shown. That is, productivity development has been slow compared to other industries. Some of the expressed solutions considered moving increasingly more toward prefabricated solutions and minimizing on-site construction, and the further development of technologies such as building information models (BIMs). However, the current zoning policies were seen to inhibit some of the potential, as they do not permit incorporating more repetitive production methods. The adoption rate of digital solutions were mentioned as an opportunity for productivity development, and the role of digitalization was seen to enhance productivity. Regarding the theme of environmental regulations, no additional or special metrics were brought up, as the current policies already demand extensive documentation. The emphasis in discussion was more inclined toward operational energy use instead of embodied energy. For example, investigating opportunities for implementing geothermal heat or solar panels were mentioned. Investors were seen to demand increasingly environmental certifications (e.g., BREEAM & LEED) in real-estate investments, however, consumer demand for this was not specifically identified. Regarding future trends in MC, prefabrication was mentioned the most often. In addition, digitalization and robotics were seen to have a larger role in future. The effects of urbanization to the Finnish housing market and to the consumers raised questions. As the results imply that the prefabrication rate will increase in the future, this in turn could possess a potential for WMC especially in off-site modular construction. However, it would seem that e.g. clear cost-advantages should be achieved to raise grater interest of construction companies. The results found similar implications of other studies where producing cost-advantages and developing standardization was emphasized. The market share of WMC in future was seen to either stay at the current levels or to increase. Notably, none of the experts saw that the market share of WMC would decrease toward 2030.