Fordism: Spawning New Management Styles

Topics: Ford Motor Company, Assembly line, Mass production Pages: 8 (2767 words) Published: April 16, 2013
In this essay the focus is on Henry Ford and Fordism. The first paragraph of the essay is an introduction of Fredrick W Taylor, and how Fordism is derived from the ideas of Taylorism. It also looks at the main ideas behind Fordism and scientific management. Further in the essay the importance is to look at the different ideas of Fordism (the mass-production, the $5 day, the division of labour and management style), and on why it was important at is time and the effect following from those ideas. The essay has two different paragraphs discussing the positive and the negative effects of Fordism on management and organisations, and workers and society. In the end of the essay there is some paragraphs about the new forms of management developed after Fordism, and the management styles discussed in this paragraphs are about Neo-Fordism and Post-Fordism.

In the early 20th century the ideas of scientific management was created by Frederick W. Taylor, and these new ideas of management style had a big impact on the economy at that time, and for many decades following. In this new form of management, the word efficiency became a central part of the manufacturing process. Some of the strongest characteristics of Taylorism are the division of labour, the structure of control over task performance and the implicit minimum interaction employment relationship. (Craig R Littler 1978) The new role of management was now to scientifically analyse the task that was performed in the manufacture, and then to design the jobs to eliminate all unnecessary time and motion waste. Fordism is derived from Taylorism, and in which Fordism added some new ideas to scientific management, like the assembly line. (RMIT University2012)Fordism is a term that is used to describe mass-production using an assembly line technology to make it possible for a better division of labour and time, with motion management techniques. (RMIT University 2012). It has derived from Henry Ford (1863-1947) a car manufacturer which was perceived as the inventor of mass-production, by installing specialized machines, the flow line of assembly work and using the ideas of Taylorism (Frederick W. Taylor) in his car-manufacture, which led to Henry Ford producing millions of identical cars at a lower production cost which made the cars more affordable. (Ray Batchelor 1994 ; Palgrave Macmillan 2012) The ideas of Taylorism that Henry Ford took into his car manufacturing were the ideas of maximising job fragmentation, minimizing of skill requirements, a minimization of handling component parts and material, separate indirect and direct labour and separate planning and doing. (RMIT University2012)

Fordism was important in its time, and some of the new ideas of Fordism played an significant role in change in the production, economy, and the relationship between the managers and workers. One of the main ideas of Fordism was mass-production, which made it possible to produce products at a lower cost, through spreading the fixed costs out on a large amount of outputs, and the cars could therefore be sold cheaper. (Fred Thomsen 2007) Ford managed to produce practical cars which was within the reach of the average American person.(Robert J Antonio, Alessandro Bonanno 2000) One of Henry Fords main contributing to mass production was the standardization, and this had to be done at perfection, so he had to exploit in machinery tools which made is possible to use the assembly line, so every workers only had to perform one simple task.(Fred Thompson 2007) At Ford’s manufacturing’s they made almost all they needed from the raw material, because he had a lot of knowledge about mass production techniques, and could therefore keep the business economic sustainable by doing all of the parts of the production in he’s own manufacture with his own workforce( even though it required more workers, which needed a lot of...
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