Which is more important in a manager, efficiency or effectiveness? Is one truly more important than the other?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would argue that neither of this is more important than the other.  A manager who cannot make a firm's processes both efficient and effective will not survive.

Effectiveness is important because it has to do with how well a process does what it is supposed to do.  If a firm is supposed to be making t-shirts, it needs to have a process that actually makes good t-shirts.  Otherwise, the firm will not prosper.

Efficiency has to do with how many resources (particularly time and money) are used in making the product.  If the t-shirt company manager sets up a process that makes good t-shirts, but which spends too much money in doing it, what good is that manager.  His or her firm will be making a product but will be unable to sell it because of its high price.

A manager must be both effective and efficient.  Nothing else is going to allow the firm to prosper.

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