This notion seems to pose as a self evident statement, but in reality it has become a common truth a couple of decades ago. Statements such as “One in three workers remain in a job for less than two years…” (Trapp, 1995) make their way to the public at a constant rate increasing its validity. In the following essay we are going to assess the basic historical changes that have led to an unstable and fluctuating job market while providing the necessary explanation concerning the effects that shape our current situation.
Furthermore we are going to examine how globalisation acts as a catalyst to these circumstances. In order to address this issue we have to take into consideration the historical background that has led to this notion. I am going to concentrate on one of the people that made the most important steps on the concept of production relating their work to its current form. I’m going to address the work of F. W. Taylor that was the theorist that put together what Henry Ford, the second persona, put into action through the assembly line.
Taylor’s aim was to optimise the production of a product by focusing on two main aspects. The first was to break down the process of production into the smallest possible component, a process known as specialisation, and in advance to limit the time frame that each step needed to completion. This was named by Taylor as a division of labour in time and motion. In order to achieve that Taylor manifested a number of methods, such as the training workers into mastering a simple and specific task so that they didn’t have to put any mental effort into it that would have complicated the process.
In order though to control this massive chain of production Taylor had to take into consideration a way to monitor it. That’s where Taylor introduced the principle of management where the working labour that its job was the systematic repetition of a task was supervised by a number of managers that were to compensate for the lack of any mental activity carried out by the rest of the workforce. Taylor’s theoretical contributions were justified my his belief that “the one best ethod and best implementation can only be discovered or developed through scientific study and analysis”(Taylor,1964, 131) but his analysis failed to consider the implications that his methods have brought upon the workforce; even though they may have renovated the industrial world its side effect was the creation of a new generation of deskilled and demotivated workers. And as we observe this is not an issue of the past since all the assembly lines still work within the framework that Taylor first implemented, from a highly technological product to the simplest household item.
This paragraph is going to focus on the problems that appear by the deskilled labour force and how this affects its employability. Deskilling as it’s defined by the Oxford Dictionary is “…the process by which skilled labor within an industry or economy is eliminated by the introduction of technologies operated by semiskilled or unskilled workers. ” This elimination raises a number of issues, firstly is the issue of the working satisfaction of the labor force.
By stripping the creativity out of the labor force’s job you are creating a level of dissatisfaction. This dissatisfaction is due to the fact that the reward that the workers get by the creativeness that they used to assert is now lost; even if in most cases it has been replaced by a higher payroll this didn’t seem to cover the damage. As Noon and Blyton (1997, 147) put it “The dehumanising effects can often be seen in the glazed expressions of the young people who serve. Thus you have a new generation of deskilled workers that lacks the confidence to interact with their working place or any working place, a worker that’s alienated who is not only less able to keep up with the increasingly demanding working environment but is less able to mobilize in any other work place. The other issue that arises from this deskilling that exists in the secondary sector is that for a deskilled worker it’s easier to become redundant.
This is the case since the semiskilled workers may have gone through a sophisticated and elaborated training but their training only covered the absolutely necessary aspects of their specific task. This may be considered as a form of upskilling but in its essence is just another component making the worker more dependable to his current job in an epoch that the job market is becoming more and more contestable. The rise in the employments market contestability is largely dependable to the role of globalisation and up to a certain extend has played a main role to the instability that is currently present.
Financial Times (Stern, 2012) defines globalisation as “…the integration of economies, industries, markets, cultures and policy-making around the world. ” Therefore one cannot argue that it has contracted the employment market as well as any other market. This contraction is a result of the “widening deepening and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness” (Baldry, 2007, 40) providing chances for people to compete in any market from anywhere in the world.
That’s not an issue to the well rounded and highly trained workers, but it raises a number of concerns for the semi-skilled workers that add up to the overwhelming majority of the working population. They are faced with a crisis that not only have not caused but are also unable to confront. They have to compete against people from countries that are less paid and better trained causing the unemployment figures to rise dramatically as the IMF(Slaughter and Swagel, 1997) states here “there is no doubt that globalisation has coincided with higher unemployment among the less skilled and with widening income inequality.
Other than that there are cases of mass shifts in the markets where companies assign projects to foreign countries that were previously based at home. We observe that for example in the telecommunication industry where the telephone helpdesks of British companies get assigned to Indian stated firms that offer a better deal due to the lower wages provided to the Indian workforce; making this abstract, as it is generally perceived, mobilisation of the industry more rigid and more challenging.
Coming to an end I can’t avoid emphasizing on the statements vitality and the public concern that this raises. A statement that has never been more accurate than now; and as we observe notions such as Globalisation and Division of labour rooting and becoming embedded to our culture and our society this issue will not only rise but become untreatable. Therefore either some steps have to be made forward or the trust towards the socio-political system will start shaking from its foundations.
Courtney from Study Moose
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