Activity 1: Ford and Taylorism:
The video compared between the productivities outcomes of the old fashioned unscientific management and scientific management by following the theory Fredrick Taylor in two automobile companies in two of the world’s developed economies, the United Kingdom and the United of America respectively. The Vulcan Motor Company in the UK used unscientific methods to produce cars which took weeks and the cars were expensive. This led to market penetration of cars being restricted to Henry Ford at his Ford Motor Company introduced the system of scientific management of material and human resources which encouraged more production of automobiles and led to lower cost. Ford introduced production of using conveyers belts, a concept which was adopted in the European automobile companies and revolutionised automobile manufacturing. He, in order to ensure continuous production and profit generation, offered good salary to his staff to retain them. He in order to ensure uninterrupted flow of work at the Ford factory kept trade unions at bay and sacked employees who were suspected to be with the unions. Ford even kept a spy system to ensure that his employees contribute towards productivity and did not indulge with unions. This scientific management of production process by Ford made automobile manufacturing cheaper and made the cars more affordable. The video shows how scientific management can be used in the factory to channelize the production process and increase productivity(Lloyd-Smith 2015).
1. The workers in Europe, America and Australia would surely accept Taylorism today. Taylorism guides the management of the firms irrespective of their sizes to follow scientific management of resource to improve the level of productivity. The small firms in these three markets can apply Taylorism to increase the production, bring about innovation and reduce their costs of production. Thus, adoption of Taylorism will help the small companies to earn profit and sustain in the competitive market(Witzel and Warner 2015).
2. The design of the scripts used in the call centres use Taylorism to a great extent. This is because the questions on the scripts are arranged in specific orders and have to execute on a telephone or on a computer. The scripts questions are arranged on the scripts so as to generate positive responses from the customers. The scripts are managed scientifically and restructured from time to time to suit the business needs of the clients of the call centres. Hence, it can be inferred from the discussion that the scripts in the call centres follow Taylorism.
3. The video on Taylorism can be a century old and apparently may be obsolete but the system of scientific management can be used to augment productivity in many small firms. This will help them to manage their resources better, cut down production costs and leverage profits(Mortenson, Doherty and Robinson 2015). Adopting scientific management of Taylor would allow these small firms to offer goods at lower prices and increase the profit margins by offering goods to a larger population of customers. This can help them leverage their competitive advantages and grow in size.
Activity 2: Thomas Friedman on Globalisation; 3 Eras of Globalisation; World is flat
Thomas Friedman in the video described the three eras of globalisation and their impact o the world. The first era of globalisation took place in 1492 and continued into 1800s when countries like the United Kingdom and Spain colonised nations. The first era of globalisation led people become global through their countries and shrunk the world from size large to medium. The second era of globalisation lasted from 1800s to 2000s when the companies expanded globally in search of markets and cheap labour. The second era led to the world shrink from medium to small and allowed the people to experience globalisation through companies. The last era of globalisation is characterised by individuals gaining control over vast resources. The third era contracted the world to size tiny and is attributed with people collaborating, connecting and competing in the global market. Friedman said that today people have so much resource that they have gained power to mobilise those to impact the whole world irrespective of the consequences. The professor told that this empowerment is both a challenge and an opportunity to the world. He hinted at terrorism and entrepreneurial ventures as challenges and opportunities respectively. He said that the iron rule today’s connected and flat world is either impact or be impacted by someone’s activities. He in the second video went on to describe an incidence when his friend discovered a sustainable dish in Peru and made in famous in China.
1. Some of the key drawbacks of living in a flat world are that today individuals have access to huge resources and individuals can effect a large number of people and even countries with the use of these resources. The individuals are capable of impacting the whole world by mobilising resources irrespective of the outcomes. They can either use it to start a business venture or can misuse it to encourage terrorist activities(Gurgul and Lach 2014). This risk of increasing power of individuals can pose threat to the global economy
2. The iron rule by Friedman states that today individuals have too much power and resources and the fact can be agreed to. Today no individual is free from impact of other individuals and no opportunity in the market is left unidentified. The failure of one person to exploit resources provides opportunities to other individuals to exploit them. This is because this exposure to vast resources allows individuals to either use it to enhance economic conditions through innovations or bring about economic slowdown like using the resources to spread terrorism (O'neil, P.H., 2015).
3. The level of globalisation is not uniform because there are markets which are highly developed, markets which are emerging and these two markets interact to help each other develop even further. The companies in these two markets hold assets and resources worth billions of dollars and provide customers with quality products at affordable prices. There are also underdeveloped markets which experience lack of resources and are dependent on the other two markets even for the basic needs. Thus, the level of globalisation in the world economy is not uniform.
The can be concluded that scientific management proposed by Taylor is still very much relevant even today though it is centuries old. It can help small firms around the world to improve their modus operandi, reduce costs and maximise profits. It can be concluded from the speech by Friedman that globalisation has its opportunities and threats which impacts the present world greatly. The level of globalisation varies from market to market. While there are some markets which are booming, there are other markets which are still lagging behind and are dependent on these growing markets.
Gurgul, H. and Lach, ?., 2014. Globalization and economic growth: Evidence from two decades of transition in CEE. Economic Modelling, 36, pp.99-107.
Lloyd-Smith, M., 2015. The ideas of the classical theorists, particularly those of bureaucracy and scientific management, are generally considered as rather old fashioned and out of date, and of little relevance to work and organisation today. Is this really the case?. Unpublished Paper, 6, p.10.
Mortenson, M.J., Doherty, N.F. and Robinson, S., 2015. Operational research from Taylorism to Terabytes: A research agenda for the analytics age. European Journal of Operational Research, 241(3), pp.583-595.
O'neil, P.H., 2015. Essentials of Comparative Politics: Fifth International Student Edition. WW Norton & Company.
Witzel, M. and Warner, M., 2015. Taylorism revisited: culture, management theory and paradigm-shift. Journal of General Management, 40(3), pp.55-70.
YouTube. 2017). What Thomas Friedman means when he says "The World is Flat". [online] Available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM2BguxRSyY [Accessed 19 Aug. 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Ford and Taylor Scientific Management (Edited). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PdmNbqtDdI [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Thomas Friedman's Three Eras of Globalization. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp4znWHvsjU [Accessed 19 Aug. 2017].