Critical Analysis of The Notion of Skilling and Deskilling Mentioned by Braverman and Henry Ford

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1998 |

Pages: 4|

10 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 1998|Pages: 4|10 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background of Braverman and Henry Ford
  3. De-skilling in Capitalist Society
  4. The Scientific Management
  5. The Critics of Skilling and De-skilling Influenced by Braverman
    The Global Changes and Development of Post-Fordism
  6. Conclusion
  7. List of References


The purpose of this assignment is to critically discuss the notion of skilling and de-skilling explained by Braverman and Henry Ford, against rapid global changes and developments in the capitalist state. A little bit of both Braverman and Henry’s background meaning the start of everything they had and created. How it has played a role in the society or globally what difference did it make to the people and the production companies. The essay also examines the impact of skilling and de-skilling, the changes of global changes and development. And skilling and de-skilling approach and the critics directed towards Braverman’s work. But the Assignment focusses more on de-skilling especially by Braverman’s theory with Taylorism in capitalist society. The essay examines the scientific management because scientific management and Taylorism are most likely the same thing and they go hand in hand. Taylorism and scientific management are theories that are meant to exert as much control over labor as possible, they both influence labor unlike Fordism, Fordism has an impact in production. Even thought there is skilling and de-skilling the assignment focuses more on de-killing the most.

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Background of Braverman and Henry Ford

Braverman and Henry Ford have explored the notion of skilling and de-skilling to its widest scope once truncated readings of Marx that underpins labor method theory. Henry Ford was the founder of Ford Motor Company, he was also the sponsor of mass production. He was an American industrialist, Henry came up with the ideology or term called or known as Fordism. Fordism is a mess production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Fordism is primarily a sort of business production system, usually referred to as production, one that was pioneered by Henry Ford throughout the primary two decades of the 20th century. Throughout this era Fordism signed to a unitary social control ideology that thought about unions as excess but under pressure from employees and the state eventually acknowledged the legitimacy of union illustration and accepted a doctrine compromise. Fordism is additionally associate national economy characterized by mass consumption thanks to the sharing of the advantages of the economies of large-scale production. Braverman is known for his labor and monopoly capital, which reinvigorated a Marxist theory of the capital labor process in which de-skilling was a concomitant of the division of labor with capitalism. Braverman contested the claim that with new technologies and the increasing importance of the service sector, the de-skilling process would decelerate. Taylorism is the explicit verbalization of the capitalist mode of production. Braverman is also known for publishing capitalism and monopoly book.

De-skilling in Capitalist Society

Braverman explains de-skilling as something that requires a formal definition of skill. He states that skill is comprised on technical components that can be examined and observed. As mentioned above that de-skilling is a process where skilled labor within the economy is eliminated by the introduction of technology operated by semiskilled or unskilled labor people for example working in a position where it is not suitable for your position for example working as a cashier yet you are a qualified accountant but because of the demand of work and the take over of technological machines. Marx sees technical deskilling as unprogressive weapon in the matriculation struggle: By substituting for workers, capitalists deliberately seek to reduce skilled workers bargaining power. Machinists are easy to be replaced by unskilled workers, including women and children and therefore have a much weaker bargain position than highly specialized and well and well-trained workers. In times of upper frequency, capitalists got shown quite plainly that specialized skilled workers are pivotal for production and difficult to replace. Therefore, strikes provided incentives for capitalists to search for deskilling innovations; in England strikes have regularly given to the invention and using of new machines, Machines were said to be the weapons employed by the capitalists to quell the revolt of specialist labor.

Basically, de-skilling in capitalist society has brought many changes not just any changes but developmental changes in scientific management. Braverman in his thesis he mentioned that specialization leads to de-skilling meaning skills required in a job are questionable not that specialization tell whether the job is more skilled or not. For example, the difference between the specialist doctor and a nurse they both on the same department but different positions so there is no undermining of job qualifications. De-skilling is more like limiting people to do what they are good at not because they do not qualify or meet the requirement, but the job opportunities are very slim so that forces one to take whatever that comes on their way. For example, a qualified accountant working at Shoprite as a cashier knowing exactly that she did not want to be a cashier but because of the technical machines that are slowly taking over peoples job, people end up being de-skilled because of the technological machines that takes the positions and do the work that was supposed to be done by qualified people. The economy on the other side the business owners rejoice because they send less money in paying the employers that’s why they keep on replacing their employees and their employees become de-skilled. Harsh control can lead to de-skilling meaning when workers work in an environment that is not friendly nor doing something they do not enjoy, only doing it for the sake of doing it. It also can lead to economic failure on the company. De-skilling has taken place through the period of industrial capitalism.

The Scientific Management

Scientific management is a theory of management that analyzes that work flow. Scientific management purpose is to make sure that the economy is improving in the work places but in this content scientific management and Taylorism are pretty much the same thing especially when Braverman and Henry when they explain both theories. The idea of scientific management was built during the time of capitalism in America before the great depression took place. It was also developed during the era of capitalist explosive system and bureaucracy was objectified on maximizing the production outputs with minimum costs. However, because of that, labor tends to be commodified and knowledge was centralized to planning departments. All processes and structures imposed led to deskilling of workers which includes the notion of simplifying and standardizing the tools and task instructed for workers to perform. Scientific management as it stands has its own principles. The first principle is called ‘separation of the labor process from the skills of the workers’, it was believed that the labor process was independent of the technicality of the work including knowledge (Staples, 1993). Scientific management is also about creating new laws and rules, trying to prove some points or facts that they have developed.

The Critics of Skilling and De-skilling Influenced by Braverman

His work is criticized but it has been adopted by many departments, companies even educational institutions are applying Braverman’s work, because it is very influential, and his theories have been put to practice. But people will always find faults and little cracks in everything that a person does, meaning the effort of Braverman is not highly appreciated. Some researchers have posed their critics against Braverman’s theories to prove that some managers have even imposed some of the things that Braverman introduced, they changed those without letting their workers questioning them and it’s final. Friedman (1977) argues that where worker revolt is prominent and organized, it puts much pressure on the management as they tend to avoid deskilling instead, they acquire a strategy of responsibility Autonomy that made it possible for workers to retain their skill and responsibility. The research has shown that due to global changes and developments, various skills would be required to ensure flexibility and to keep workers engaged and motivated because of the underlying belief that workers are motivated by challenges Staples (1993). Critics of skilling and de-skilling is that some researchers agree with Braverman and some do not agree not because they do not see the impact that the theories have, but because they are running away from being responsible and take responsibility of what is happening in their working environment. The other thing that the researcher’s do not agree with Braverman the most are some of the things that he mentioned in his work that lead to de-skilling and the lost that the company makes when things start not going according to plan , for example taking people who were meant to be in certain positions and use them to fill up the positions they are more qualified for, that leads to de-skilling because the skills the person have learned are more like they have gone to waste and working at a level where you know that is not meant for you.

The Global Changes and Development of Post-Fordism

Global chances are changes that occur almost every year, they don’t happen only on certain countries but globally meaning they occur every where in the world they are the changes on earth. Development of post- Fordism is the things that are happening nowadays, they are the reflection of the mass production that occurred in the 19th century. Developments of post Fordism are the things that they do differently from the things that were produced back then, how they have developed their other things for the future and how Fordism has grown. Within the later years long time ago, there has been contentions with respect to the effect of computerization, rise in data and other shapes of work courses of action to whichsoever occupation or field of intrigued. Braverman noted few industrial societies in his theory, those industrial societies are some of the global changes that had occur back then. That industrialization is to mention few: Industrialization taking over capitalism to a point where it cleared capitalism. Technological advancement requires advanced level of skill and responsibility.

The framework of financial generation has changed nowadays than ever some time recently, post Fordism stands to unfurl neighborhood fabricating, neighborhood shopper markets and nearby economy based on fabricating. Post Fordism components uncovering fast worldwide changes and improvements within the capitalist society nowadays incorporate the quick rise of data innovation which led to changes within the way work is seen to be. The rise of trade unions to protect the rights of the workers is one of the other developments globally.


In conclusion as mentioned above the theories and works of both Henry and Braverman, they have made an impact to the capitalist society and globally, but Fordism is the only ideology that is still practiced even today. The critics of Braverman has been proven that Fordism is the best practiced ideology even today it has not been radical enough. There are number of variables ability patterns depends on which incorporates different sectoral, word related, work environment and other contrasts. Even though de-skilling had so much impact on workers and workers have been oppressed all the past years because they did not know how to stand up for their rights in their working places because there were no unions that would fight for them then. So, they had to take whatever thing that came on their way basically they had no choice but to submit on whatever that was presented to them. hanged in technologies and other form of new developments seems to generate changes in work that not only tendentially increase skill levels, but also devalue the viability of the human potential.

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List of References

  1. Friedman, A. w., 1990. Friedman, A.L., Managerial Activities, Techniques and Technology: Towards a Complex Theory of tLabor Process Theory. 2 ed. london: macmillan.
  2. Hants, B., 1991. Post-fordism and social form; a Marxist debate on the post fordist state. s.l.: Macmillan.
  3. H, B., 1998. Labor and monopoly capital. New York: library of congress catalogingin publication data.
  4. John, M., 1989. Age of democracy: the politics of post-fordism. Melbourne: oxford university press.
  5. Staples, C., 1993. Rereading Harry Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital. After Twenty Years. Rereading Harry Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital. After Twenty Years, Volume 23, pp. 167-168.
  6. U.K, c., 2006. The fordism of Ford and modern management fordisn and post-fordism. London: Edward Elgar Publishers.


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Critical Analysis Of The Notion Of Skilling And Deskilling Mentioned By Braverman And Henry Ford. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
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