Fordism Detailed and Referenced

6927 WordsAug 23, 201228 Pages
‘Fordism’ in Warner, M. & Poole M. (eds.) International Encyclopaedia of Business and Management - Handbook of Human Resource Management FORDISM 1. Overview 2. Introduction 3. Fordism as a Labour Process 4. Fordism as Socio-economic System 5. Post-Fordism 6. Conclusion 1. Overview At its very simplest level, Fordism refers to the production methods utilised by Henry Ford in his car assembly plants at River Rouge and Highland Park in Detroit in the first two decades of the twentieth century. In these plants, Ford further developed both the American System of Manufacturing, consisting of the use of single purpose machinery; manufacture of standardised products; and the interchangeability of…show more content…
Although there are significant methodological, political and theoretical differences between the ‘regulationists’ and the ‘institutionalists’ they both agree that sometime between 1965 and 1975 Fordism entered a period of crisis in which both mass production and mass consumption could no longer be sustained because of the development of micro-processor technology, the information society and the increasing dis-aggregation and fragmentation of customer demand. Out of this crisis, arose a third aspect of Fordism, in which new forms of Labour Processes such as flexible specialization and new flatter organizational forms replaced Taylorism and the bureaucratic organization under the general aegis of the enterprise culture 2. Fordism as a Labour Process Standardisation, Single Purpose Machinery and Flow line Mass Production The main elements in the technical definition of Fordism are; Standardised Production and Interchangeable parts; The use of dedicated single purpose machine tools; and Mechanised flow-line Mass production. The Model T was the mainstay of Fordist commodity production through the decision in 1909 that the Ford company would ‘only make Model T’s and the runabout, touring car, town car and delivery car would all consist of the same chassis’ (Hounsell, 1984: 227).

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