Critically evaluate the view that ‘Taylorism’ and ‘Fordism’ have been replaced by ‘post-Fordism’ as the ruling paradigm of work in capitalist society.
Henry Ford (1863-1947), was a pioneer in the U.S. automotive industry who invented ‘Fordism’, which refers to the industrial system that involved the mass production of standardised goods that integrated automobile companies during the 1940s-1960s (Beynon, 1973). Fordism resulted in huge impact on the society at that time and it was influenced greatly by ‘Taylorism’.
Haralmbos (2008) defines Taylorism as ‘the production efficiency methodology that breaks every action, job, or task into small and simple segments which can be easily and taught.’ With the de-skilling issue and other factors, most commentators on technological and economic change had recognised developments and changes in capitalist society have occurred, which lead to the appearance of Post-Fordism. It employs more flexible methods of production focused on product innovation, diversity and quality, and requiring multi-skilled and highly committed employees, that some claims have succeeded Fordism mass production. (Fulcher & Scott, 2007) This essay aims to critically evaluate the view that ‘Post-Fordism’ has superseded ‘Fordism’ and ‘Taylorism’ as the ruling paradigm of work in capitalist society.
Fordism refers to the system of mass consumption and mass production. It relies on standardised products, use of standardised components, high volume production of products, use of the assembly line, a single dedicated task and highly paid for a monotonous job.