R&D teams see need for push

Three out of every 4 research-and-development scientists and engineers believe that increasing R&D activities could directly increase US productivity, according to a survey of 2,600 respondents conducted by Industrial Research & Development magazine.

The survey shows that 77 percent of the respondents felt that a major part of the problem of poor industry earnings and performance and the balance-of-payments deficit lies with the productivity of industry. Thirty- nine percent of the respondents said that their companies are "practicing what they preach" by increasing their R&D efforts. However, 75 percent of the respondents felt that the industry should boost R&D efforts during this economic downturn and would realize increases in productivity by doing so.

When asked, "Who do you feel is primarily to blame for lagging productivity," 33 percent said government, 32 percent said unions, and 23 percent said industry management. Only 5 percent blamed a lack of productivity on the blue collar workers.

While government is seen as a major culprit for lagging productivity, only 9 percent believe that federal aid is the answer to the problem.

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