Efficiency and Values

Efficiency is a concept that has meaning only in the context of an agreed set of objectives. Such objectives can include inter-personnel distribution, typically reflecting one or other interpretation of equity. The dominant interpretation of efficiency has typically included only the objective of measured economic production/consumption. We should at most call this interpretation economic efficiency, and not honor it with the label of efficiency in general. But the efficiency label has enormous legitimizing power and functions as a trump card in the modern vocabulary.

No one can declare themselves against it. If a policy option is deemed inefficient that usually sinks it. So contenders try to capture the label, to serve their particular set of objectives. This is what business interests and mainstream economists have successfully done for a long time. We need to ask: Efficient by which values?

Mainstream economists have focused on growth of aggregate production and national income. Business and other sectional interests may focus on sectional gains but advocate these behind the language of efficiency.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: