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4 – Future trends

There is little doubt that DEA and its applications will continue to be a primary arena of research going forward. We see at least three reasons for this trend continuing in strong fashion:
I. Measuring efficiency and productivity of large organisations is a non-trivial exercise, involving a complex multi-input/output structure. DEA technology, by design, naturally accounts for such issues efficiently and effectively.
II. There is an inexhaustible number of real-world applications involving efficiency measurement available to stimulate academics’ and practitioners’ interests in conducting research. Evidence of this phenomenon is clearly shown in the current bibliography. As DEA technology matures further, “late majority” and “laggard” investigators will likely enter the field, further adding to the data base.
III. The ability to obtain raw study data is relatively easier now than it was a decade ago. This bibliography thus showed that most published DEA applications arose in the US, UK, and other developed nations. A derivative of this phenomenon will likely be studies looking into the comparative analysis of efficiency.
While there has been an increasing number of DEA studies originating in less developed countries, the authors speculate that, unfortunately, such growth may not persist. This is due to the fact that many countries’ information technologies are not as advanced as those of the developed countries, and their adoption of DEA (and other) technology can lag by a matter of years.

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