Unit 1 Fordism Assignment Help
Fordism can be defined as the standardization of the production process which enables the organizations to have mass production of the goods resulting into lower cost production and better production in terms of quantity, quality and volume. Henry Ford was the person who came up with these ideas of transforming the manufacturing processes in the early 1910s where he introduced these ideas to his automobile manufacturing plant in Detroit, USA. While reviewing the production facility he realized that the current production process to manufacture the cars were very time consuming and effort intensive. Therefore he introduced the production process of standardization, where the same components, the processes and the other tools were used for manufacturing processes. These ideas were then termed as Fordism as it was Henry Ford who came up with these ideas. In fact Fordism not only included the changes in the production process only but other measures also which can help in increasing the productivity of the organization and also beneficial to the labors, such as Five Dollar Day scheme (Steinmetz 2006, pp. 35-39). Although these ideas were initially thought keeping in mind the automobile industry setup as Henry Ford’s organization was dealing with manufacturing of vehicles as that time, these concepts are now widely used even in other manufacturing organizations as well to make the production more efficient and effective. The essay will discuss the essence of Fordism based on the research project done to understand the topic. It will also examine how Fordism had influence on the management of the organizations. The essay will then provide the critical analysis of Fordism of how it has been useful to the organizations and what are its limitations. Finally the essay will conclude with the mention of moral and ethical issues related to Fordism.
As mentioned earlier, Henry Ford came up ideas which are now called Fordism to his automobile manufacturing plant in Detroit in order to improve its productivity. The ideas of standardizing the production process proved to be highly efficient and effective in that regard and thus were soon adopted by the other manufacturing industry organizations. Ford demonstrated that through application of standardization, the same machines and production material and tools could be used to prepare a standardized product with no deviation in between two same products. Fordism has been since then studied by scholars and practitioners and their researches have also proved that Fordism has a tremendous effect on increasing the productivity of the organizations. At present, almost every manufacturing organization makes use of Fordism to make the production process simpler and more productive (Lipietz 1993, pp. 54-62). For example, today each and every organization in electronics industry has set up its manufacturing facility in such a way that the manual labor is replaced by the machines and the production happens in an assembly line like setup similar to the setup Henry Ford designed for his automobile manufacturing facility. Assembly line is actually a production setup where the each step of production process is carried out by a fixed individual or machine and the product moves from one person to another person for the subsequent steps before the final product is complete. The thinking behind assembly line is to break down the complicated production steps into smaller and simpler steps and assigning fixed workers and equipments to complete those broken down tasks which can make the workers efficient and the production more productive. The creation of assembly line is the biggest and most effective discovery which has benefited the manufacturing organizations immensely. But some experts also believe that although Fordism has tremendous benefits for manufacturing industry, its ideas cannot be implemented as extensively for other industries such as service industry. This is because the scope of application of Fordism in these industries gets limited to the inherent nature of the tasks involved in these industries as they are highly customized. Since the scope of application in these industries is limited and there are not much tangible benefits in such cases by implementing Fordism, the application of Fordism is largely restricted to the manufacturing organizations only (Panizzolo 2008, pp. 23-34). Some researchers have also argued that the concepts behind Fordism such as the creation of assembly line, standardization, labor specialization, reduction of manual labor and higher salary to the workers are indeed the application of Theory of Scientific Management which was proposed by Fredrick Taylor a lot earlier and therefore there is not much new in Fordism as this is just an adaptation of Taylor’s ideas by Ford to his manufacturing facility. But one cannot take away the credit from Henry Ford of showing the way to practically implement the theoretical ideas proposed by Taylor and increase the productivity of the organization. In fact, Henry Ford contributed immensely to the field of project management by demonstrating how to use the concepts of Human resource management and Operations management for the benefit of the organizations. (Heragu 1997, pp. 212-245)
It can be observed that the concepts of Fordism are pertinent even today after so many years when it was first implemented and the huge change manufacturing industry has observed in all these years. The organizations at present times also use the ideas behind Fordism to improve upon their production processes. However they don’t implement the principles of Fordism in as raw manner as was implemented 100 years ago. The organizations modify the ideas as per their need now as we see Mac Donald’s burger preparation process, Dell which offers customized products, Honda which offers standardized products; both have modified and implemented Fordism as per their needs. Some organizations have even re-created certain manufacturing processes based on Fordism. These new approaches are called Post-Fordism or Neo Fordism (Amin 1994, pp. 13-37). Post Fordism is more inclined towards enabling the organizations to have flexible production instead of mass production as the organizations today need flexible production more than mass production. Post Fordism, suggests that the organizations must go for Just in Time production of the goods and in batches smaller than mass production would have required. This helps in managing the inventory cost and wastage of the material better. Further it also helps in offering customized products to the consumers rather than offering one type of products to all consumers in mass production. Post Fordism also advocates subcontracting the tasks which are not the competency of the organizations to other organizations which are more proficient in doing them. This saves a lot of effort and cost for the organizations. Post Fordism theory further suggests to make the jobs more enriching to the workers by offering them training of other tasks than the ones in which they specialize and switch the tasks of workers on regular basis so that the workers don’t get fatigued and saturated with their job (Krajewski & Rotzman 2002, pp. 89-113). The concepts and recommendations made by Post Fordism theorists are actually the extension of the old Fordism as per the needs of present business scenarios and changed customers’ needs. With the increase of number of suppliers of goods and thus increased competition to satisfy the customers, the organizations now need to do more than what the old Fordism suggests and thus these new ideas called Post Fordism are being adopted by the organizations rapidly these days. Order Now