Conclusion: From Fordism to Neo-Fordism?
We demonstrate how technological developments of the past hundred years can be seen as a progression of overlapping phases of primary, secondary and tertiary mechanisation, exemplified in particular leading industrial sectors; those developments seen within certain work organisational contexts, in labour processes, can be shown to link with long waves in capitalist economic growth.
We argue that the technological basis of the post-World War Two boom period of the fourth long wave can be seen as the generalisation of secondary mechanisation with the emergence, in a small number of industries, of tertiary mechanisation.
We identify Fordism as the dominant labour/production process paradigm of the boom period of the fourth long wave.
We see the depression of the 1980s as one of a crisis of a specific form of capital accumulation, based on particular Fordist production methods, products and consumption patterns which came from and led developed economies out of the depression of the 1930s.
KeywordsCapitalist Economy Technological Option Labour Organisation Capitalist Firm Telecommunication Infrastructure
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