Learning Curves in Manufacturing

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Science  23 Feb 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4945, pp. 920-924
DOI: 10.1126/science.247.4945.920


Large increases in productivity are typically realized as organizations gain experience in production. These "learning curves" have been found in many organizations. Organizations vary considerably in the rates at which they learn. Some organizations show remarkable productivity gains, whereas others show little or no learning. Reasons for the variation observed in organizational learning curves include organizational "forgetting," employee turnover, transfer of knowledge from other products and other organizations, and economies of scale.

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