Difference Between Effectiveness and Efficiency

Main Difference – Effectiveness vs Efficiency

Effectiveness and efficiency are two words that most people assume to be similar. Although both these words describe the manner in which some work is done, there is a slight difference between their meanings, which limits their interchangeability. Effectiveness refers to the degree of success whereas efficiency refers to achieving results in an optimal manner. This is the main difference between effectiveness and efficiency.  In simple words, effectiveness is doing the right thing, and efficiency is doing the thing right.

This article describes,

1. What is Effectiveness – Definition, Meaning, Usage, and Examples

2. What is Efficiency – Definition, Meaning, Usage, and Examples

3. Difference Between Effectiveness and EfficiencyDifference Between Effectiveness and Efficiency - Effectiveness vs Efficiency Comparison Summary

What is Effectiveness – Definition, Meaning and Usage

The Oxford dictionary defines effectiveness as “degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result.” Effectiveness refers to the usefulness since it describes the degree of success. For example, a bicycle is an effective mode of transport; an effective speaker is a person who can successfully convince or persuade his audience. Effectiveness focuses on the success of a thing. For example, an effective method is a method that has brought successful results.

The following examples will help you to understand the meaning and usage of the noun effectiveness.

The doctor questioned the effectiveness of her diet plan.

There was no question about the effectiveness of the method.

His effectiveness as a public speaker is a marvel.

There is no guarantee about the effectiveness of the treatment.

Main Difference - Effectiveness vs Efficiency

There was no doubt about the effectiveness of their plan.

What is Efficiency  – Definition, Meaning and Usage

Efficiency is the quality or property of being efficient and efficient refers to acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort. Thus, efficiency describes the manner in which something is done. Efficiency is all about doing things in the ‘right’ or more efficient way; it saves money and time and increases productivity. For example, imagine that an employee of a factory usually takes 30 minutes to complete a certain task, but he has discovered a new method to complete in 20 minutes, with less effort. Here, there is an increase in the efficiency.

Observe the following sentences to understand the meaning of the noun efficiency better.

Information technology can be used to improve the efficiency of the company.

The program was implemented with great efficiency.

The employee’s efficiency was rewarded.

The fuel efficiency of the new model is better than that of the old one.

Difference Between Effectiveness and Efficiency

Difference Between Effectiveness and Efficiency


Effectiveness is the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result.

Efficiency is the quality or property of being efficient.


Effectiveness refers to the usefulness of a thing.

Efficiency refers to the manner in which something is done.


Effectiveness is characterized by successful results.

Efficiency is characterized by minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort.

Image Courtesy: 

“Efficiency” By mourgfile – mourgfile.com via

“Image 1553776″ (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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