Frobel’s Concept Of The Nidl Assignment

597 words - 3 pages

II. Frobel's Concept of the NIDLTen years before Giddens refined his model of Globalization and the roleof the IDL within it, Frobel and his collegues ( Frobel, Folker, Heinrichs,Jurgen, and Kreye, Otto, 1980) published their research study into changesin the use of labour in the manufacturing process. This seminal work is anattempt to identify the changes being wrought upon the IDL asglobalisation of production increases. Frobel's thesis is in two parts. Thefirst part states that as the division of labour becomes global it divides thelabour force into core and periphery .The second part states that asmanufacturing centres are located in the periphery, so jobs are lost in thecore.II.1. Part OneFrobel argues that the driving force of the division of labour into twoeconomic zones of 'core' and 'periphery' is global capitalism, as enactedthrough the strategies of some of the main actors in the globalizationprocess, Transnational (or Multinational, as they were generally termed inthe 1970s) corporations. The 'core' is situated in the first zone of theadvanced industrial states. The 'periphery' is situated in the second zoneof the developing countries. Transnational companies whose headquartersare based in the core states are utilising increasingly accessible labour5from the peripheral states as part of the growing phenomenon of sourcinglabour from a global base.The reason this is happening is that globalisationprovides an opportunity for international capitalists, through theirTransnational Corporations (TNCs), to maximise profits through the use oflow cost, low- skilled labour. Frobel argues that an increasing polarisationof the core and the periphery results from this use of labour. In detailedstudies of the Federal German Textile and Garment industries, theresearchers show how skilled and technologically advanced processes arebeing retained in the core economies, while deskilled and labour intensiveprocesses are being located in the periphery. TNCs are engaged in anorganisational and spatial separation of labour processes across the globe,aided by the provision of incentives from International Agencies (UNIDO,The World Bank), and Nation States from the 'periphery' eager to attractinvestment. The researchers provide much evidence of this latterphenomenon in their examination of the operation of Export ProcessingZones ('Free Production Zones': Frobel, 1980, pp. 295-392; note 2,Section V.2. of this paper).The second part of Frobel's thesis is a consequence of the first.II.2. Part TwoThe results of this core/periphery division of labour are the reduction ofmanual employment opportunities and rising unemployment in the 'core'areas, with depressed working conditions and further deskilling in the'periphery'.6The paper addresses the first part of Frobel's thesis. It focuses on thechanging patterns of the NIDL itself, rather than the consequences foremployment in the core states of the 'developed' world.


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