Fordism Explained Fordism is the basis of modern economic and social systems in industrialized, standardized mass production and mass consumption. The concept is named for Henry Ford. It is used in social , economic, and management theory about production , working conditions , consumption , and related phenomena, especially regarding the 20th century. Overview Fordism is "the eponymous manufacturing system designed to spew out standardized, low-cost goods and afford its workers decent enough wages to buy them. His assembly line was revolutionary though not original as it had previously been used at slaughterhouses. His most original contribution to the modern world was breaking down complex tasks into simpler ones, with the help of specialised tools.
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In the U. Fordism is the economic philosophy that widespread prosperity and high corporate profits can be achieved by high wages that allow the workers to purchase the output they produce, such as automobiles. With high wages the employer has the pick of the most stable and most efficient employees, who have low turnover. Ford improved mass production methods and developed the assembly line by He sold 10 million inexpensive Model T automobiles, and made a vast fortune, while his employees became the highest paid factory workers in the world.
As promoted internationally by the proponents of Fordism, Detroit served as a model of urbanism placed in the service of optimized industrial production. After the Great Depression began, American policy was to keep wages high in hopes that Fordism would reverse the downturn.
It did not do so. Fordism Worldwide Maier shows that Taylorism attracted European intellectuals after , by its demonstration that workers did not have to work harder to be work smarter and be more productive. After , however, the goal of Taylorist labor efficiency thought in Europe moved to "Fordism", that is, reorganization of the entire productive process by means of the moving assembly line, standardization, and the mass market.
Ford itself opened plants across Europe, and sold cars in major cities. They saw the size, tempo, standardization, and philosophy of production demonstrated at the Ford Works as a national service - an "American thing" that represented the culture of United States. Both supporters and critics insisted that Fordism epitomized American capitalist development, and that the auto industry was the key to understanding economic and social relations in the United States.
It is difficult to remember what life was like before Mr. Ford began preaching his doctrine of salvation"  For many Germans, Henry Ford himself embodied the essence of successful Americanism.
Austria In Austria, for example, in the late 19th century, "American" became synonymous with modernity and most Austrian observers admired American technical progress and machinery. After , however, ideological differences and waning interest in the American rationalization model caused a reduction in educational travel to the United States. Only after World War II, with the Allied occupation of Austria and the genesis of the Marshall Plan, did Austrian emulation of American productivity models resume and the number of government-funded study tours increase.
Most recent research has identified forms of organized capitalism that include significant input from organized labor along with state and industry as the most "modern" forms. While these efforts stagnated and eventually failed under the Weimar Republic, they are still seen as the origin of a characteristic and successful postwar model of organized capitalism. Acknowledging that this view is accurate, Shearer draws attention to the alternate model of the RKW, which strove to implement technical and organizational measures of industrial and economic efficiency using state funding but avoiding significant input from organized labor.
This variation of German organized capitalism emerged from the more traditional, self-regulating patterns of the late 19th century. Less helpful toward explaining the character of the RKW are models from the s Cold War era, which elaborated a strongly symbiotic version of organized capitalism between state and big business that allegedly subordinated efforts of big business to state interests. They sought to reform and modernize German culture and housing by using more efficient building techniques, but criticism was sparked by the resulting standardization - exemplified by low-cost mass-produced apartments called "Wohnfords" - and there was a backlash against the influence of "Americanism" on German culture.
The law of increasing returns appeared in contemporaneous journals on economic theory, and it revealed the connections and contradictions between mass production, employment, wages, and economic growth in both society and the business community. Productivism and Fordism promised economic growth and prosperity for all, but workers and employers accused each other of enriching themselves at the expense of the others.
The onset of economic world crisis halted further debate, but by the idea of productivism was broadly accepted by all political parties. Due to the so-called "Danish Model," the labor market was regulated without participation of the state.
The political ideas of productivism thus could not succeed without a labor market compromise. This compromise was achieved by the creation in of shop committees "samarbejdsudvalg" , where rationalization and cost reductions could be discussed. The transparencies of the rationalization process were thought to reduce distrust and create a situation in which both employers and employees could reap the benefits of rationalization. Ford himself set up a major auto plant and sent in engineers and skilled mechanics.
The concepts of the Five Year Plan and the centrally planned economy can be traced directly to the influence of Taylorism on Soviet thinking. The combination of the Russian revolutionary sweep with American efficiency is the essence of Leninism.
Hughes , Peripheral Europe Similar developments and timing in Spain, Portugal, and Greece over the past 50 years arose from similar historical and economic backgrounds. Fordism, in terms of the modern system of mass production and consumption, came later to these semiperipheral countries than to the core countries of Western Europe. Once economic growth had brought a modern class system and class conflict, vertical control through state corporatism became obsolete; in dictatorships ended, societal corporatism - horizontal organization - replaced state corporatism, and "socialist" governments took power.
Needing middle class support and under constraints of austerity, they were much more social democratic than socialist and furthered the consolidation of corporate liberalism. Leaders of this trend moved easily between business and government. Successful assimilation of Fordism also required the co-optation of labor leaders. New Zealand acquired some ideas indirectly through Australia, whereas Australia went directly to the U.
Australia also relied more heavily on loans for industrial development, many of which supported expansion and modernization of American firms. Rolfe finds little American cultural imperialism in either country. Resistance came from both labour unions and management, especially in Britain, where craft-dominated trade unions controlled the shop floor and prevented management from introducing Fordist methods of work organization and an associated pattern of regulation.
The introduction of mass standardized production on the Fordist model was less than successful during the post-WW2 period yet employee resistance appears less significant than employer resistance and the structural impact of British markets. Based on the work of Charles E.
Bedaux, the system represented a method of time and motion studies with aspects of both wage management and business management. Regarding wages, Bedaux was a simple premium system based on guaranteed hourly wages. Regarding business management, however, the Bedaux system emerged to be a rather modern system of managing and accounting.
Bedaux started as a special system for work measurement and wage determination but turned out to be effective above all as a general system for the management of business organization, manufacturing, and cost controlling. It covered both blue- and white-collar workers, especially of middle management. During the ss there about one thousand companies in 21 countries adopted Bedaux, mainly in the United States but also in Britain and France.
In Germany, however, the Bedaux system operated only in the rubber and tire industry, because most German businessmen were reluctant to adopt this new "American system" and preferred the German "Refa" system, ignoring that the rationalization effects of the Bedaux system were much more far-reaching than only the reduction of labor costs. Furthermore there was strong resistance in the German labor movement to the Bedaux system.
Continental, the leading rubber company in Germany, was open minded about the system and profited heavily from it, thus surviving the Great Depression relatively undamaged and improving its competitive capabilities. They argue that Fordism peaked in the post-World War II decades of American dominance and mass consumerism but collapsed due to political and cultural crises in the s.
Fordism is also a Marxist term for a "form of production" or "production paradigm" that spread from the US to Western Europe after It consisted of domestic mass production and stabilizing economic policies that provided national demand and social stability by paying relatively high wages, and it also included various other economic policies. Fordism is related to Keynesianism and also Taylorism.
The social-scientific concept of "Fordism" was introduced by the French "regulation school," sometimes known as regulation theory, which is a Marxist-influenced strand of political economy. According to the regulation school, capitalist production paradigms are born from the crisis of the previous paradigm; a newborn paradigm is also bound to fall into crisis sooner or later.
The crisis of Fordism became apparent to Marxists in late s. ROAs are periods of relatively settled economic growth and profit across a nation or global region.
Such regimes eventually become exhausted, falling into crisis, and are torn down as capitalism seeks to remake itself and return to a period of profit. These periods of capital accumulation are "underpinned", or stabilised, by MOR. A plethora of laws, institutions, social mores, customs and hegemonies both national and international work together to create the environment for long-run capitalist profit. Fordism is a tag used to characterise the post long boom experienced by western nations. It is typified by a cycle of mass production and mass consumption, the production of standardized most often consumer items to be sold in typically protected domestic markets, and the use of Keynesian economic policies.
Whilst the standard pattern is post-war America, national variations of this standard norm are well known. Regulation theory talks of National Modes of Growth to denote different varieties of Fordism across western economies. Fordism as a ROA broke down, dependent on national experiences, somewhere between the late s and the mids. Western economies experienced slow or nil economic growth, rising inflation and growing unemployment.
The former implies that global capitalism has made a clean break from Fordism including overcoming its inconsistencies whilst the latter that elements of the Fordist ROA continued to exist. Fordism can describe the paternalistic "taking care of the worker" - a "family-like" mentality seen first in the auto-industry Ford.
The paternalism could be kindly providing benefits or restrictive for example, Ford discouraged smoking even off premises. Ford had a "sociology department" to help the workers shed traditional behavior patterns and modernize themselves, and vigorously promoted Americanization programs. See also.
Nursing beyond fordism
In the U. Fordism is the economic philosophy that widespread prosperity and high corporate profits can be achieved by high wages that allow the workers to purchase the output they produce, such as automobiles. With high wages the employer has the pick of the most stable and most efficient employees, who have low turnover. Ford improved mass production methods and developed the assembly line by He sold 10 million inexpensive Model T automobiles, and made a vast fortune, while his employees became the highest paid factory workers in the world. As promoted internationally by the proponents of Fordism, Detroit served as a model of urbanism placed in the service of optimized industrial production. After the Great Depression began, American policy was to keep wages high in hopes that Fordism would reverse the downturn.
Metrics details Abstract Currently, economic and social pressures have resulted in a dramatic restructuring of health care organizations. Hospitals under heavy pressure to contain prices are moving rapidly toward the deskilling of nursing duties as an immediate way to reduce their labor costs. This article discusses this movement and how, while at first glance it may appear acceptable, the change is nothing more than a movement from Taylorism to Fordism. Deskilling is a step backward for the industry and it has serious implications for patient care.
1853430110 - From Taylorism to Fordism: a Rational Madness by Doray, Bernard
Overview[ edit ] Fordism is "the eponymous manufacturing system designed to spew out standardized, low-cost goods and afford its workers decent enough wages to buy them. His assembly line was revolutionary though not original as it had previously been used at slaughterhouses. His most original contribution to the modern world was breaking down complex tasks into simpler ones, with the help of specialised tools. His real accomplishment was recognizing the potential by breaking it all down into its components, only to build it back up again in a more effective and productive combination, thereby producing an optimum method for the real world. Hence, common workers could buy their own cars. The Ford Motor Company was one of several hundred small automobile manufacturers that emerged between and