Fordism refers to the system of
mass production pioneered by Henry Ford to meet the needs of a mass market. Henry Ford
pioneered assembly line manufacturing.
Ford versus `Fordism': The
Beginning of Mass Production?
This article questions the stereotypes of Fordism and mass production. It does so by
demonstrating that there is a contradiction between the stereotypes and the reality of
Henry Ford's manufacturing practice in production of the Model T at the Highland Park
factory between 1909 and 1919. The article quantifies Ford's heroic achievement in taking
two-thirds of the labour hours out of the product at the same time as he built more of
Ford realised manufacturing flow
through proto-Japanese manufacturing techniques which involved a commitment to continuous
improvement. - Karel Williams, University of Wales, John Williams, University of Wales,
Aberystwyth, Colin Haslam, East London Polytechnic - Work, Employment & Society,
Vol. 6, No. 4, 517-555.
Everybodys Life is
Like a Spiral: Narrating Post-Fordism in the Lifestyle Movement of the 1970s Sam
Binkley, Emerson College, Cultural Studies,
Critical Methodologies, Vol4, No1, (2004)
What has been variously termed the post-Fordist turn in the social and economic
organization of Western societies describes (among other things) the demise of a middle class professional culture and the emergence of a new
lifestyle morality of expressive self realization. This study examines the role played by
selection of lifestyle innovators in this process: through an interpretive study of narratives of moral change, the
shift from the old professional morality to the new lifestyle morality is interpreted as a
story of learned relaxation and impulsive release. An overview of theories of the
Post-Fordism and Workplace
Change: Towards a Critical Research Agenda
Ian Hampson, School of Industrial Relations and Organisational Behaviour, at the
University of New South Wales, Peter Ewer, Meg Smith, Labour Market Altematives -
Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 36, No. 2, 231-257 (1994)
Post-Fordism is an influential account of workplace change. Post-Fordism propagates an
image of workplace change that could confuse the deliberations of those vitally affected
by the latter. This article identifies three incompatible positions on the nature of
post-Fordist work organization within the work of Mathews. We argue that post-Fordism. in
particular the work of Mathews, fails to distinguish favourable from unfavourable (for
workers) forms of work organization, misreads developments in management strategy, and
neglects the gender dimension of workplace change. Accordingly we counterpose a critical
research agenda to that suggested by Mathews. We attempt, hesitantly, to take the debate
towards a sociology of knowledge of post-Fordism,
by pointing to some of the political interests post-Fordism serves.
Post-Fordism: Historical Break or Utopian Fantasy?
Diane Fieldes, School of Industrial Relations and Organisational Behaviour, University of
New South Wales, Tom Bramble, School of Economics and Commerce, La Trobe University,
Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 34, No. 4, 562-579 (1992)
A range of writers, operating within a paradigm of post-Fordism, contend that traditional
Western manufacturing methods, based on mass markets, mass production and Taylorism, are
being replaced by strategies premised on niche markets, small-batch production and the
upgrading of workforce skills and autonomy. In Australia it has been argued, chiefly by
Mathews, that such changes have important implications for the labour movement. In
particular, the new circumstances require a move from a confrontationist to a consensual
approach to industrial relations by the trade unions. These claims are challenged in this
article, both because of the determinist framework that
informs them and because of their inability to explain the complexity of the changes that
are taking place in the areas they address. The implication that a post-Fordist strategy
will reinforce the strength and integrity of the trade union movement is also questioned
in the light of the later experience of the Accord.
Fordism on a World Scale: International Dimensions of Regulation -
David F. Ruccio, Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Review of
Radical Political Economics, Vol. 21, No. 4, 33-53 (1989)
The method of analysis of the French Regulation School, especially the work of Lipietz, is
presented and critically discussed as a potential contribution to a much-needed Marnan
class analysis of contemporary capitalism.
The Japanization of Fordism - Stephen Wood, London School of
Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 14, No. 4, 535-555 (1993)
Japan, or more specifically its management methods, has increasingly entered debates about
work organization in the 1980s. In so doing it also began to play an important role in the
wider Post-Fordist debates about transformations in production regimes and even societies
in general. At one extreme Post-Fordists see the Japanese management model as prototypical
of the new flexible era they are heralding. At the other extreme Williams et al. have
begun to see the Japanese experience as providing significant fuel to their more general
questioning of the whole Fordist conceptual edifice which underlies Post-Fordist theses.
This paper suggests that the Japanese model does expose problems of certain concepts of
Fordism, particularly the blanket association of Fordist mass production with
inflexibility. At the labour process level, the Japanese model rests on the fundamental
bedrock of Fordism work study, assembly lines, and mass production and marketing. It
nevertheless reverses certain features of Fordism particularly by involving workers more
in conception than did conventional Taylorism. As such it represents an evolution within
Fordism rather than transformation of it, i.e. neo- Fordism not Post-Fordism. It is common
to incorrectly identify Fordism with rigidity. We should settle for a fairly exclusive
definition of Fordism, see the issue as one of developing new concepts of it, and above
all else not expect Fordism to carry a bigger theoretical burden than it can.
From Fordism to?: New Technology, Labour Markets and Unions - Rianne
School of Public Administration, Carleton University - Economic and Industrial
Democracy, Vol. 8, No. 1, 5-60 (1987)
In the burgeoning literature, both popular and academic, on the 'newa technology', there
is a general consensus that we are on the verge of sweeping changes in the production,
distribution and consumption of goods and services.
Globalization, Post-Fordism and the Contemporary
Context of Development, Ray Kiely, University of East London, International
Sociology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 95-115 (1998)
This article examines the claims that we are living in a new, global, post-Fordist era.
The claims of both globalization and post-Fordism are examined, as well as some of the
implications for development.
Post-Fordism, Monopoly Capitalism, and Hollywood's Media Industrial Complex
Michael Wayne, Brunel University, England michael, International Journal of Cultural
Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, 82-103 (2003)
This article seeks a dialectical critique of and synthesis between two conflicting
paradigms. In exploring the changing structures and global markets of Hollywood's media
industrial complex, it draws on, but also critiques, post-Fordist accounts of corporate
change and market competition. It identifies the new dominance of the multi-divisional
corporate structure and its combination with subsidiary and subcontractor modes of
inter-corporate relations together with a new emphasis on branding to tap into segmented
global markets. The second paradigm, the political economy of the media approach, has
failed, to its detriment, to draw on or to engage theoretically with post-Fordist
discussions. This is largely because post-Fordist accounts implicitly or explicitly
suggest that one of the central dynamics of advanced capitalism - namely, its tendency
towards the centralization and concentration of capital (the Three Cs Thesis) - is being
corrected or reversed.