This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Fordist Period. Essay

2770 words - 11 pages

Fordism is defined as an organisation of industry and work which was seen as asystem of mass production, assembly line work and strict regulation and structuring ofwork tasks (lecture notes). Dramatic changes in the organisation and composition ofwork over the last five decades have seen production becoming more flexible andspecialised enabling a greater variety of goods to be produced. More multi-purposemachinery and equipment have ultimately reduced the size of the workforce thusproducing a more highly skilled and responsible workforce. The traditionalorganisation of work still exists to some extent today recognised within theMcDonalds food chain industry, but there is no longer one model of work but avariety of models in place which are constantly been adapted to the circumstances ofthe individual firm and its workers. This new process of continuous change issometimes described as the "flexible" approach, where workplaces are high in trustand skills (Britain at Work 1998, pp75). This transformation has come about througha variety of reasons, which now will be discussed in detail.Fordism rests upon a set of techniques based on Henry Ford who founded the FordMotor Company in 1903. Ford saw the existing method of production as slow,laborious and inefficient. By introducing a complex division of labour, by breakingdown the process of production into small-individualised parts, Ford reasoned(correctly) that costs could be lowered and profits increased. This production was anew way of thinking and doing, helped made possible by advances in machinery.Productivity could increase whilst decreasing the amount of time needed to produce.Through the assembly system workers had to work at the speed of the man next tohim. This meant standards were set and the speed of production was regulated. Bytaking the skills and knowledge from his workers, Ford also took power! (Fordismexplained from:, Accessed 30 October 2002)The advantages of this system became apparent at the beginning of the 19th Century.Work was bought or produced in bulk to minimise costs and time. This led to anincreased market for products through mechanisation. The high profits led to higherwages for semi-skilled and unskilled workers, which led to higher standards of livingand more money in people's pockets to spend which helps stabilise the economy.During the 20th Century this type of work organisation spread throughout theindustrialised world. The re-building of industry during the post war period wascentred on the mass production system. This system contributed for several decadestowards a huge growth in productivity and prosperity. It became a role model forsuccessful industries ( Mathias and Davis 1996, Enterprise and Work).The changes in the organisation of work have been through influences frominflation, industrial conflict, competitive pressures, advanced technology and thesocial relations within employment. The most fundamental change is the shift innumbers...

Find Another Essay On The Fordist period.

Postmodernity: Societal Changes Essay

2553 words - 10 pages has been argued that contemporary societies are no longer modern but are now postmodern. The term postmodern was first used by Toynbee 1939 (in Docherty 1993) originally he suggested that modern period ended in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, further suggesting that from, that moment the postmodern period began. Toynbee 1939 (in Docherty 1993) later suggested that the modern period actually ending during the First World War. The

The condition of postmodernity Essay

3483 words - 14 pages Harvey, the speed-up of capital turnover and the pace of life itself has direct implications at the level of cultural practices. "The relatively stable aesthetic of Fordist modernism has given way to all the ferment, instability, and fleeting qualities of a postmodernist aesthetic that celebrates difference, ephemerality, spectacle, fashion, and the commodifications of cultural forms" (156). Postmodern developments are therefore directly related

Reinforcing Fears: Space Race and Sci Fi in the Cold War

2432 words - 10 pages (Drown 94). “The Incredible Formula” has a scientist whom creates countless, soulless people and fills the workplace with homogeneity, in response to the Fordist and capitalist system (Drown 96). Similarity, it was at this time period where science fiction took place in worlds where robots were replaced by people (Wolf 83). In the time of the Great Depression combined with the increasing focus on machinery in the workplace, science fiction truly

SME Development In Pakistan. Do Economic Growth And Government Support Matter?

2801 words - 11 pages been going through transformation from fordist (mass production) to non fordist production. According to Flexible specialization offers an op-opportunity to rethink, or revitalize, the relationship between (building) design and production while highlighting the important aspects of the process of restructuring briefly outlined. The basic argument of the flexible specialization in SMEs development literature is that SMEs can grow faster than large

Industrial America from the American Steel Industry to the Early 1970's

2323 words - 9 pages US Steel Industry 1900-1940 Output increased significantly during this time period from 10million tons to approximately 70million tons. By the early 1920s, the US produced 3/5 of global output. Production was reduced in the Great Depression before recovering in the later 1930s. In the early part of the 20th century, the steel industry experienced some important changes:- Raw Materials: Technological advances in the

Double Indemnity: A Tale of One City

2449 words - 10 pages , maintenance crew and this the Los Angeles Neff navigates is far removed from the glamorous side audience might have come to know during that period of time. Wilder manages to establish this in the first few sequences of the film. Naremore (1998), describes the affiliation writers; James Cain, Billy Wilder Raymond Chandler involved in the making of Double Indemnity had with modernity in part as the reason for their “ambivalence” towards Los Angeles

The dynamics of a flexible firm

1983 words - 8 pages outcomes. With many firms wishing to provide service out of hours in industries like retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, such a model has become important and for firms, represents the most economical cost basis.In recent years, many industrial relations analysts have claimed that the traditional "Fordist model is exhausted" (Munch, 2002: 73). Internal numerical flexibility has become a common sight in Australian industrial relations and has

Extreme vote in France and globalization

3108 words - 12 pages 2008, illustrates the revival of a radical left who disappeared from the French political system since the collapse of the USSR and the transition to a Post-Fordist economy in the 80s.Thus, this is how my hypothesis is formulated:The extreme vote is the mirror of a social cleavage in the French society between the "winners" and the "losers" of globalization, between those who benefit from it and those who bear the negative consequences and / or

The Organizational Culture of Quinlan's

5332 words - 21 pages The Organizational Culture of Quinlan's Introduction Quinlan has been UK’s foremost retail giant for a long period of time. By end of 1998 there was evidence of a crisis and since then the company has been on a decline. The company has been ignoring market changes and trying to maintain its corporate image and identity. This has caused the customers to drift to more fashionable brands causing huge loss of

The Role of the State in Employment Relations

3096 words - 13 pages commitment to enterprise; and centralized leadership or responsibility. This duality is rooted in Confucius teachings on respect for elders, social harmony, reciprocity, collectivism, and the fact that prior to the reform period both economies were agrarian, businesses were family-based, and work relationships based on the quanxi system (Laulusa, 2008; Zhu & Warner, 2000) The apparent convergence or perceived divergence between Japanese


3258 words - 13 pages a people's car made Volkswagen recognised as a Fordist mass automobile manufacturer with high standard process equipment as their emphasis (Roobeek, 1987). He also stated that 25% of yearly production was exported overseas, with USA became the biggest buyer of Volkswagen's car. This success also made Volkswagen major employer in unskilled worker for factory's assembly area. At the end of 1960s, Volkswagen AG was hit by a big crisis. There was a

Similar Essays

To What Extent Has There Been A Transition To Post Fordist Modes Of Work?

1759 words - 7 pages Untitled To what extent has there been a transition to post-Fordist modes of work? The Fordist period is described as reigning from the 1920's until the early 1970's. It operated on a system of electro-mechanical mass production and marketing techniques, and predominately utilised a semi- skilled labour force that were paid a decent wage in return for assembly line work. The standardized goods produced were

Industrial Society Essay

1806 words - 7 pages Industrial society ‘The Fordist system led to both labour market and production inflexibility, which prevented organizations from competing in increasingly fluid markets’. Discuss the economic and workplace policies which were proposed under the broad title of ‘flexibilisation’, providing relevant examples. Between 1908 and 1929, Henry ford clearly established the linkages between division of labour and mass

Fordism And Post Fordism Essay

3037 words - 12 pages saves time for workers switching between work places. Besides, assembly line production frees workers from complex skills of production. All they need to do on the assembly line is the broken-down simple tasks. The introduction of Fordist manufactory, the mass production, has made common men's dream come true--they could all afford a Ford model T motorcar.In Fordist society, the "scientific management" is involved. Developed by F.W. Taylor, who

Fordist Characteristics Of An Active Mill

1094 words - 4 pages Life as a Lemming It was what my dad called my “character building experience”. Ahead of me was four dreaded months at an OSB mill in Dawson Creek where I would be one of five girls (and the only one with a female-looking body) working among 230 bulky rednecks. The mill was a 400m long concrete building in which logs went in one end and left at the other in neatly packed boxes. The mill was a typical Fordist mill and a successful mass