Fordist Principles

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'Fordist' principles

In organizational development, there are different theories that are considered to be influential. One of which is the theory of Fordism. Fordism is a form of industrial production developed from Taylorism methods; the main aim is product maximization through tight control over movements and separating planning from executing tasks. This production management practice was widely criticized for its inhumane production system with regards to employee conditions and was then replaced by Fordism (Edwards 1990)

Fordism is a production ideology pioneered by Henry Ford during the post-war decades in the Western industrial countries which supported domestic mass production and allocation of relatively higher wages among labourers. Ford was credited for improving the production methods during that time through developments in the assembly line methods and manufacturing as implemented by Ford Motor Company. Under the concept of Fordism, mass consumption considerations were integrated with production accountabilities in order to sustain economic growth (Hounshell, 1984). Ford believed in deskilling of car production was required to achieve ‘continuous improvement' and mass production. Moreover, the Fordism philosophy has greatly influenced business operation management strategies that have transformed through time so as to address the current demands in the highly complex and competitive market environment. These include the principles of lean management, flexible system production, also called the Japanese management system, total quality management, just-in-time inventory control, leaderless work groups; globalization of consumer goods markets, faster production life cycles, as well as intensive product/market segmentation and differentiation (Hounshell, 1984).

As modern organizations grew larger, skills become increasingly fragmented and specialized and positions become more functionally differentiated. (Hardy & Clegg, 1996). The best organizations/suppliers continuously update and upgrade their service deliveries in order to answer the demands of their customers. Customers have the ever-increasing demand on getting their hands into the new products which can lead to change in supplier if expectations are not met. This meant that organizations have to completely reformulate their conventional business aims and purposes from being process-focused to customer-centred. Organizations/suppliers are to highly differentiate their product range to meet and satisfy customers need. Rethinking and reformulating the organization on the other hand, entail the consideration of several factors such as various processes, technology, the environment as well as the success factors of people (Cohen & Moore, 2000). Hence, in order to bring out exceptional customer services within the organization operations, the management should employ fine-tuned organizational restructuring. (Lowenstein, 1997).

The author's choice of organization is an electronic goods company, XYZ Corporation, a company that produces huge range for electronic goods ranging from digital camera, notebook to LCD televisions. In the electronics industry, business organizations have never ceased in employing means to satisfy the requirements and tastes of the consumer population through intensive research and development. This is evident in the confounding issues of market volatility, technological uncertainty (Celly, Kamauff & Spekman, 1999), and fast product life cycle (Katsikeas, Schlegelmilch & Skarmeas, 2002). Moreover, it is a management philosophy that seeks to integrate all organizational functions such as marketing, finance, design, engineering, production, customer service, and others to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives (Hashmi, 2000). A considerable number of electronic companies have developed into an essential part of the period of global competition, increasing...
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