|Home > Activity Analysis: Bridging the Gap between Production Economics Theory and Practical Farm Management Procedures|
This paper is addressed to the traditional problem of demonstrating the relevance of production theory to management-oriented people. Activity analysis, it is argued, is the most appropriate pedagogic framework within which to commence either a production economics or a farm management course. Production economics theory has not been widely accepted as a useful method for the analysis of practical management problems. The theory has been traditionally presented in terms of continuous functions which assume away the question of technical efficiency. Activity analysis, in its general form, is a more comprehensive approach to the theory of production than the conventional neo-classical production function approach since activity analysis explicitly incorporates technical efficiency considerations. The failure of general agricultural economists to demonstrate appropriately the relevance of production theory has encouraged a sub-discipline of farm management dedicated to real-world management problems in agriculture. The basic procedures developed by the farm management sub-discipline (virtually independent of production theory) and now in common use, have a strong affinity with activity analysis. The traditional gap between production theory and applied farm management can, therefore, be bridged by approaching the theory from the activity analysis viewpoint.