The Fordism , was one of the main stages that were part of the economic development that was important in the twentieth century . It was a term used primarily to describe production systems in mass of which the company Ford pioneered especially in the twentieth century. It was also used to describe postwar economic growth as well as to describe the social and political order associated with advanced capitalism.


What is Fordism?

Fordism is a type of production in chain which was characterized by work in series which managed to cause a revolution in terms of productivity improving at the same time the access he had to the market and reducing manufacturing costs .

  • What does it consist of
  • Characteristics of Fordism
  • Historic context
  • Beginning
  • How does it work
  • Advantages of Fordism
  • Disadvantages
  • Importance
  • Examples of Fordism

What does it consist of

Fordism consisted in getting organizations to divide work to ensure that production could be correctly segmented while simultaneously implementing an operator whose main function was to perform a certain task repeatedly, this made each of the employees of the factory could work in a small and specific part to achieve the development of the final product. For this, a series of stages was established, which gave rise to the assembly line.


Characteristics of Fordism

Among the most representative characteristics of Fordism are the following:

  • It was a means of production that was based on chain production .
  • It manages to reduce costs that are related to production.
  • The production times of the products can be reduced considerably.
  • It gives workers more specialization in terms of labor.
  • Improve workers ‘ wages .
  • Makes work more mechanical .
  • One of its main antecedents was Taylorism .
  • It allowed to establish policies between organized workers and the capitalist .
  • It was characterized by production type mass on standardized units.
  • Serial production was established .

Historic context

Fordism begins its history thanks to Henry Ford in 1908 when he decides to put his theory into practice, which in reality was not entirely new because it came from an improvement that Ford himself had made to Taylorism , mainly in aspects related to mechanization. . It began to be applied then at the beginning of the 20th century , however, it was in 1930 when it began to be used as a more generalized production system .


There are three principles that should be highlighted in terms of Fordism and its techniques, these are the following:

  • Intensity : it was a principle that established that all the lines used in the assembly had to be specially designed to reduce production time in order to deliver products more quickly to consumers.
  • Productivity : the principle providing that workers perform work on a continuously so that in this way managed to achieve the maximum experience and thus could perform the work with greater efficiency .
  • Economy : in this case, a struggle was established to ensure that the prices of the products could be reduced .

How does it work

Fordism is a production mechanism that is based on the chain which is based on the combination and organization of specialized work in various types of assembly lines , the use of specialized machinery and a greater number of employees . By dividing the work, it was also possible to improve production as a worker had to only take charge of a certain task, which increased time.

Advantages of Fordism

Among the main advantages that arose with the implementation of Fordism are the following:

  • The ability to manufacture the elements in stages made it possible to increase production on a larger scale, reducing costs for companies.
  • Being an innovative model , it made possible a revolution in terms of productivity .
  • The cost – cutting manufacturing companies made it possible to decrease the costs of their products and this was achieved better market access massive type.
  • The workers also managed to improve the economic situation and a greater number of personnel were hired, which benefited the employment rates that existed at the time.


Some of its disadvantages are mentioned below.

  • The work became very repetitive so some workers lost motivation very easily.
  • The dehumanization of work occurred.
  • There were greater needs for investment in capital , mainly to improve company facilities.
  • There were several adaptation or retraining problems related to the demands established by the market.


Thanks to the implementation of Fordism in the industry , several important events were produced that managed to provoke great changes at a social and economic level . This caused the middle class to be born little by little and with it, the more specialized workers , which also caused employment to be improved . In addition, it was the means by which employees managed to improve their financial situation and also had the opportunity to have greater access to popular sectors which at the time were considered as sanctuaries.

Examples of Fordism

As an example we can mention a craftsman who was dedicated to making doors, for this, he had to follow a process that included selecting the appropriate wood, shaping it, sanding it, varnishing it, cleaning it and then installing it. With the application of Fordism, that door was manufactured by several workers but each of them had a specific function, one was dedicated to selecting the wood, another to shaping it and so on until the door was finished being manufactured.

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