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Discuss the Various Ways in Which Globalisation Is Affecting the World of Work.

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The term globalisation is a particularly elastic concept. Not only does it embrace a wide range of 'things', it also straddles the realms of 'fact' and 'value' of 'idea' and 'reality', thus to define the word globalisation requires an amalgamation of both moral and material values which may include and encompass events as dynamic as economic, political and social. At its simplest globalisation has tended to denote the idea that societies are becoming increasingly affected by events of other societies, thus the idea of an interconnected world is a central theme for many scholars who have remarked upon the focus of globalisation. It should be noted however that there has been and continues to be schism surrounding what some commentators constitute as being a limitless phenomena as others stand in direct contradiction and consider the globalisation thesis as merely a 'buzz-word to denote the latest phase of capitalism.'

The word globalisation is often assumed to be a relatively recent emergence in world history, however although the ancestry and precise timescale of the use of the term is nebulous for ease of analysis many scholars suggest the 1980s to be the era in which the seeds of globalisation were set and subsequently initiated historians and fellow scholars alike to begin to question the existence and effects of globalisation.

It is visible that the globalisation thesis is not clear cut therefore in this essay I will not be looking at it in isolation but will also attempt to highlight the issues surrounding globalisation, whilst attempting to find a correlation between the neo-liberal stance of globalisation and how they regard this to be affecting the global domain in regards to employment, before concluding as to if we can conclusively say that globalisation is affecting the world of work in society today.

Endeavouring to find a specific definition of globalisation can be onerous as there are a multiplicity of both positive and negative ideas and beliefs of what the term actually implies, however Rosabeth Moss Kanter in 'Thriving Locally in the Global Ecomony' (1995) has provided an original explanation of the term,

'the world is becoming a global shopping mall in which ideas and products are available everywhere at the same time.'

M.Waters has also commented on this issue, but perhaps adopting a less positive stance,

'a social process in which the constrains of geography on social and cultural arrangements recede and in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding.'

Kanter and Waters are but a few of many academics who have contributed to the globalisation thesis, and although it is evident their explanations are somewhat diverse their underlying assumptions are similar as they both consider globalisation and the 'shrinking' of the global domain to be ever present and thus cannot be diluted as being a mythical assumption.

When adopting the stance that globalisation is occurring it is critical that we begin by observing its effects, especially in regards to 'the global market' and how it can have a domino effect which will ultimately have an impact on individual societies and individuals within them primarily in the employment sector.

For some, globalisation is certainly a positive force especially in western industrialised societies where globalisation is said to have its origins, yet this compelling phenomena can certainly be recognised as being highly uneven in its effects. One of the most graphic examples of this can be identified by the net revolution, a phenomenal means of communication which has ultimately been a key player in the spread of globalisation, however in reality many of the worlds civilisations particularly those of the third world have been and remain unaffected, thus from a technological viewpoint globalisation can be said to only apply to the developed countries of the world. This vast inequality has inevitably had an impact on who is being employed across the globe and skills that are required in order for it to be advantageous for the individual.

One of the primary grounds of inequality in the employment sector in an increasingly globalised world can be reduced to the issue of gender. It is well documented that the effects of globalisation has led to a growth of exploitation process zones whereby women are being used for cheap labour especially in developing countries, this is primarily due to the fact that the lack of education, training and skills has unsurprisingly led to the ever present reality of the exploitation of women, whereby poor working conditions, long hours and mundane work is routine, yet their labour and exploitation has enabled great economic success for national economies in the western world.

Aside from gender issues, the idea of living in a 'borderless world' and the increasing awareness of proximity due to technological advancements has raised concerns for national security, as within the discipline of International Relations states are ultimately sovereign and 'state sovereignty is premised on territorial geography, therefore for states to exercise exclusive authority over a specified territorial domain, events must occur on territorial locations.' However states today are unable to control the phenomena of globalisation, for example 'global companies and global stock and bond trading' therefore interconnectedness conceptually equates to the idea of loss of power for national governments and the theoretical erosion of sovereignty. Hirst and Thompson (1996) contributed to this

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