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Definition: Post Fordism
Post-Fordism is the theory put forward by some scholars to what they describe as the dominance of economic production, consumption patterns and the associated socio-economic phenomena. This is basically referring to the theory that modern industrial production should transformation from Mass production of large scale to making use of the Small scale flexible units. It is basically a theory given & developed after Fordism.
Fordism was the system formulated in Henry Ford's automotive factories; the workers were to work on performing specialized tasks repetitively.
Post-Fordism is characterized by the following attributes:
• Production in Small Flexible batches, to create a flexible specialization as opposed to mass production.
• The focus was to target the social class which contributed to the maximum customers
• The products & jobs present were started to be specialized, & performed in focus of the types of customers in hand.
• The rise of functional workforce, is essential in case of Post Fordism, that is people who do Managerial/Administrative work increased in this phase
• Economies of Scope: Focuses on making the diversification of products efficient if they are based on the common and recurrent use of proprietary know-how or indivisible physical assets.
• Decreased overheads, primarily done by means of,
o Self-Supervision, the person doing the job is responsible for the output as well as supervision of the machinery, inventory & other aspects.
o Decreased On Hand Delivery
o Just In Time Production is employed to increase efficiency and decrease waste. This is done by procuring goods in the production line for production only when the need arises. The crucial part being the ability of the management to predict the demand.
Post Fordism focuses on the world as it is today, and it continues to evolve, with various thinkers having different ideas & implications. There are 3 schools of thoughts to it,
Regulation School: It states that Production & Consumption will reach a crisis point at which the existing laws will be unable to support & new laws have to be codified.
Flexible Specialization: They emphasized that fundamental changes in the world economy forced the firms to move from mass production to flexible specialization.
Neo-Schumpeterianism: Techno Economic paradigm of the wave will be dominated by Information/Communication Technology.
There have been criticisms regarding continuous evolvement of the theory vs Fordism crisis or revolution. The Automobile industry is known to combine both Fordism & Non Fordism using both mass production & flexible specialization.