The very forces that made the old model so coherent impeded its simple and rapid restructuring into a system governed by different principles. Just because a model of management is in crisis does not mean that an alternative can be found that will miraculously resolve the problems of the first. Beyond the fact that each of the social groups and economic interests involved tends to defend its position within the old system, there are societal obstacles to the birth of new ideas that would presuppose different industrial relations and a different configuration of the education system,1 not to mention a reorientation of forms of state intervention that had been quite functional to the Fordist growth model. The long path from recognising Fordism’s crisis to near consensus on the configuration of an alternative system clearly reveals the intrinsic difficulty of redesigning a production system. This problem is worsened in the case of Fordism by heavy infrastructural and other investment that created indivisibilities, i.e. the requirement for a minimum size of market and the complementarity between the various institutional forms closely associated with this one mode of development (monetary and international regimes, state intervention). This diagnosis is confirmed by a brief overview of the principal stages of the process by which it came to be recognised that the Fordist production model was indeed in crisis.
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- Out with the Old System, in with the New?
- Palgrave Macmillan UK