An international survey of Australian manufacturing companies confirms that good managers are the key to successful businesses and highlights where Australian managers need to improve.
Management Matters in Australia analyses results from a survey of 439 medium and large firms and compares Australia’s performance with 15 other countries. The study, launched in Melbourne today, was commissioned by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and conducted by a team led by Professor Roy Green, Dean of Business at the University of Technology Sydney.
Innovation Minister Kim Carr said: “The report tells us that there is a direct link between management practices and productivity in companies and that the more skilled and educated the managers are, the better their businesses will perform.
“Australia rated sixth out of 15 in the survey of management performance. We lag behind other advanced economies, and over half our firms are outperformed by many of their competitors in India and China. There is clearly considerable room for improvement.
“The results show multinational firms are the best managed and larger operations are often better managed than small and family-owned businesses. This is a challenge for Australia, which has a disproportionate number of smaller firms, and few multinationals.
“Of the three areas assessed, Australia performs well in operational management, but is less strong in people and strategic management.
“If Australian manufacturing and other businesses are to thrive, we must lift the standard of everything we do - from the shop floor to the front office.
“Given the rigour of the international competition, average just isn’t good enough. We wouldn't accept an average result in any other race, and we can’t accept it in this one.
“The race to the top – the race to secure our place at the high-value, knowledge-intensive end of the global value chain – is the most important we will ever enter.
“If we don't put in a strong run, we can kiss the living standards and the way of life we cherish goodbye.
“The Government’s Enterprise Connect has already made a good start helping businesses to improve the way they operate, providing comprehensive business reviews plus access to targeted Government financial assistance programs,” Senator Carr said.
For more information on the opportunities available call the Enterprise Connect hotline on 131791 or visit www.enterpriseconnect.gov.au
The report is available at www.innovation.gov.au