Efficiency and utility: an evolutionary perspective
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop the argument that the link between efficiency and utility was strongest in the twentieth century. This would not only explain the growing focus on efficiency in the past, but also suggest that the importance of efficiency in society is set to decrease from now on. Design/methodology/approach – The two arguments in support of the claim were: first, the growing importance of the service sector where an exaggerated focus on efficiency may decrease utility and second, the utility that is generated by different working environments and identities where heterogeneity is increasing. Findings – Good reasons are found why the strong correlation between utility and efficiency that could be found in the process of industrialization is loosening. Research limitations/implications – The findings imply that the role of economic science is probably rather decreasing. Social implications – Social indicators for utility will probably gain importance. Originality/value – This paper puts the importance of efficiency into a historical context.
Volume (Year): 37 (2010)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
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