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Human Geography

Economic Geography

Impact of New Technologies on Work

LO:Analyze the impact of new technologies on work

Fordism: Just-in-case production

Low end jobs easily replaceable and offshored to LDCs

o

Deindustrialization in DCs.

Skilled workers ‘deskilled’

Post-Fordism: Flexible Production Systems

Just-in-time production

Allows for flexible product differentiation

Positive

Negative

Cost saving – less storage space required

Risk of unexpected demand surges

Value added – latest products available to customers; customization

System is vulnerable should a breakdown – eg in supply chains - occur

Takes advantages of product life cycles by riding on the upward curve of middle stage of PLCs

Outsourcing

Transfer of non-core jobs to other firms

o

Back-office: Call centres, accounting, payrolls

o

Low-end manufacturing: assembly

o

Low-end services: cleaning, attendants, security

Insourcing

SOHOs – especially prevalent in the dotcom boom

Spatial redistribution of workplaces

Specific service-based industries: consultations, web-design, graphic design

Established and New Economic Practices

Strategic alliances – Star Alliance (airlines)

Joint ventures (see notes on Role of State/Supranational bodies)

Business networks

Mergers: combination of two or more firms into one (HP-Compaq, ExxonMobil)

Acquisitions: one firm buying over another

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