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Production vs. Productivity: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 6, 2023
Production refers to the total output or goods produced, while productivity measures the efficiency of production in terms of units per input.

Key Differences

Production denotes the process of creating goods or services, encompassing everything made or provided. It's a quantitative term that tallies what's been made. In contrast, productivity reflects how efficiently resources are used in the production process, indicating the amount produced per unit of input.
In many industries, production values are crucial, as they depict the sheer volume of goods created or services rendered. However, high production doesn't always mean that the resources are used efficiently. Productivity, on the other hand, might reveal that fewer resources could produce the same volume, or that more could be produced with the same resources.
Consider a factory: its production might be 1000 widgets a day. This number alone doesn't convey how this output relates to the resources used. Productivity offers this perspective; if the factory produces 10 widgets per worker per hour, this rate showcases its productivity.
Businesses often focus on enhancing production to meet rising demand. Yet, without considering productivity, they might miss opportunities for optimization, cost reduction, and efficiency improvements. In essence, while production quantifies output, productivity qualifies the process.
From an economic viewpoint, production levels influence a country's GDP, marking its economic health. Meanwhile, productivity growth can signal advancements in technology, process improvements, or better workforce training, all crucial for long-term economic stability.

Comparison Chart


The act of producing or amount produced.
Efficiency of production measured per unit of input.




Volume of output
Efficiency of output


Number of units produced
Units produced per resource input

Role in Business

Reflects overall output
Reflects optimization and efficiency of processes

Production and Productivity Definitions


The output or total amount of something produced.
The country's oil production has increased this year.


Efficiency in terms of output per unit of input.
The team's productivity surged after the training session.


A particular output or batch of manufactured items.
This year's production of smartphones includes new features.


The rate at which goods are produced relative to resources used.
Implementing new technology increased the factory's productivity.


The process of creating goods or services.
The factory ramped up its production to meet holiday demand.


Yield per unit area in agricultural contexts.
Modern farming techniques have enhanced crop productivity.


The making or growing of something in large quantities.
Wine production in the region is renowned worldwide.


A measure of performance in any production process.
Monitoring productivity can identify areas for improvement.


The act or process of filming, recording, or broadcasting.
The film went into production last summer.


The capacity to produce at a given level of input.
Investments in infrastructure can boost a nation's productivity.


The act or process of producing
Timber used for the production of lumber and paper.


The quality of being productive.


The fact or process of being produced
A movie going into production.


(Economics) The rate at which goods or services are produced especially output per unit of labor.


The creation of value or wealth by producing goods and services.


(Ecology) The rate at which photosynthesizing or chemosynthesizing producers form organic substances that can be used as food by consumers.


Does a rise in production always mean increased profits?

Not necessarily. Without considering costs and productivity, more production might not mean more profits.

What does production primarily refer to?

Production refers to the total output or goods and services produced.

How does productivity differ from production?

Productivity measures the efficiency of production in terms of units produced per input.

Is production always related to tangible goods?

No, production can refer to both goods and services.

Why might a company focus on increasing production?

To meet rising demand or increase its market share.

Why might a business prioritize productivity over sheer production?

To achieve better efficiency, reduce costs, and improve profitability.

Can a company have high production but low productivity?

Yes, high production doesn't always indicate efficient use of resources.

How can a company boost its productivity?

By optimizing processes, training staff, or investing in technology.

What tools can help track and improve productivity?

Software solutions, analytics, performance metrics, and continuous improvement methodologies.

Can high productivity lead to job losses?

Sometimes, if increased efficiency reduces the need for as many workers.

How can productivity be measured?

Typically, by dividing total output by total input, like products per hour or services per employee.

What factors can influence a country's productivity?

Technology, education, infrastructure, and regulatory policies, among others.

Can two companies have the same production but different productivities?

Yes, if they produce the same number of units but use different amounts of resources.

How does technology influence production and productivity?

Technology can increase both by optimizing processes and enabling more efficient resource use.

Can a decline in production be offset by an increase in productivity?

It's possible, especially if the productivity gains lead to cost savings or better-quality products.

Is there a direct correlation between production and productivity?

Not always. Production might increase without a rise in productivity or vice versa.

Why is productivity important in a business context?

Productivity indicates how well resources are used, affecting costs and profits.

Is maximizing production always beneficial for a company?

No, overproduction without demand can lead to excess inventory and wasted resources.

In what sectors is production crucial?

In all sectors, but especially in manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.

Can productivity affect a nation's economy?

Yes, higher productivity can lead to economic growth and improved living standards.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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