Lecture 3 (Oct 4)
THE GLOBAL ASSEMBLY LINE
Why are my NIKE’s made in China?
Why are manufacturing systems global in scale?
What new patterns of economic activity has this produced?
How has this affected local and regional economies and societies?
Q’S 1 AND 2:
Increased locational flexibility in time and space
From Fordism to Post-fordism, from spatially-fixed to spatially dispersed
Global scale spatial separation of manufacturing operations
Global outsourcing of materials and components
Global production and supply chains controlled by TNC’s (Trans-national
Read Crewe’s article on the fashion commodity chain
A good example is Philips, the Dutch-based electronics TNC: check it out at
http://www.philips.com/about/businesses and suppliers/suppliers/index.page
Supply and commodity chains:
the network of facilities and distribution capabilities an enterprise uses to:
"Source" (or "procure") raw materials (chemicals, ores, grains, ...) or components
Transform the materials or assemble the components into products
Deliver the products to customers (indirectly through distributors or stores or
directly to the purchaser)
Factors of the global assembly line
Comparative locational advantages – places, regions and countries that offer
cheap labour and land, lax social and environmental regulations, government incentives,
export production zones attract companies looking to minimize production costs. Mobility of capital: massive increase in foreign direct investment (FDI)
especially in developing countries and in particular in Asia
New and newer international divisions of labour. This refers to the dividing
up of the labour tasks in different stages of production of a finished item across
Read Murray: pp. 104-136.
New technologies in materials and production systems: plastics and computers
Trade de-regulation – what is the future of export production zones (called
maquiladoras in Mexico) under free trade? There will be less need for