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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.

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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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