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Chapter 8

notes for chapter 8 textbook readings for lecture 6

6 pages46 viewsFall 2010

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC341H5
Professor
Lina Samuel
Chapter
8

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Chapter 8 1-800 New Brunswick: Economic Development
Strategies, Firm Restructuring, and the Local Production of
Global Services Ruth Buchanan
-Chapter examines the processes of globalization that are taking place in New
Brunswick in ways that are different from the global centre, like Boston or
New York.
-Themes that were emerging in the local economic news: the implications of
new telecommunications technologies, restructuring and reorganization by
firms and the shifting roles of local, provincial and federal governments.
-Strategies from governments, firms and workers created an attractive
environment for call centres.- have both inbound 1-800 numbers- courier
companies to airlines, hospitality industries and financial institutions and
also outbound telephone services - `survey research and fundraising.
-Reorganizing firms changing into call centres where lots of functions can be
centralized and is much more cost efficient N.B realized that it could
market itself as a cheap location for these call centres
-Between 1991 and 1997, call centres created 6.000 new jobs in NB
-The provincial govt played a role in this by initiating the sectors
growth, soliciting firms and offering incentives for those that
relocate. This also occurred during the same time as many other firms
were consolidating and restructuring
-This was linked to globalization but operated in a distinct logic
-Globalization isnt a single process that comes from a global centre, rather
occurs through a multiplicity of interactions and institutions that are local
and have their own histories, needs and instrumentalities. Workers have
agency. Therefore the chapter looks at the complex ways that global
processes are interpreted and transformed by institutions and local workers
that have agency.
-Transformation and growth within the sectors are crucial
-Now services are the central process in spatial and institutional
restructuring, whereas before it was economic processes that did this
increasing significance of legal, marketing financial and management
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expertise so key factors in spatial and institutional restructuring are:
producer services and their consolidation as the economic core.
-This polarization of economic activity is producing agglomeration and
decentralization.
-Through a case study of NB this chapter looks at how uneven development in
capitalist forms of social organization places workers and communities in
relation to these service core areas , and how firms participate in these
changes through spatial restructuring and reorganization of work processes.
-Looking at intersection of forces that are producing current restructuring and
the interaction between: multinational firms, regional government and the
individuals in the local labour market
- “back officing the spatial reorganizing of firms that led to growth
of call centres in NB- lower skilled jobs like telemarketing and data
entry are separated from the firm and relocated to a off shore
location where labour is cheaper as well as other expenses like rent,
and there are few other options for employment
-but gains from relocating production are usually limited because firms
trying to save cost have to eventually either increase productivity somehow
or relocate again for even cheaper labour.
-Two approaches to increase productivity
oSweatshop low road approach which depends on a steady
supply of ready labour, invest little as possible in employees
who tend to burn out quickly and the turn over rate is high
oFlexible firms firms invest in their employees heavily, rely on
internal labour markets, and depend on loyalty, commitment
and productivity from employees
-these ideal types capture the important features of restructuring, but it isnt
always as simple as this especially in current processes of economic
transformation where there are ongoing conflicts and accommodations among
local workers. So the chapter also examines the diffs between the approaches
firms take in order to restruct their operations in order to incorporate their
telephone services. There are also similarities in the way they share basic
forms of organization, information technologies, and geographically oriented
restructuring strategies
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