Pre-Industrial, Industrial and Post-Industrial Era (Business Studies)
For this paper, we are going to look at 3 very different periods from the history. We concentrate on the work conditions, look at who has to work in the family and how inventions influence the production and selling processes. Also, name some jobs that were popular during these periods. First era is Pre-industrial era.
Eventhough this period goes far back to the time when plough was invented (Concern Infotech Pvt. Ltd. 2010), we are going to look at last 250 years of it. This involves years 1500- 1750. Next period is Industrial era, which is from 1750 to late 20th century. Final era is Post-industrial era. This started circa 1980 and is still continuing. Pre-industrial era
This period is very important when we think about development. Firstly, working people had to develop their physical skills at that time because there were no machines to help them. Everything had to be done by using their own hands and strength of their body which made production more timetaking and less producing than it would have been with machines help. It took time until people discovered that it is more useful and easier for them to use animals instead of their own power (Concern Infotech Pvt. Ltd. 2010).
After that animals` importance was growing and people used them for cultivation and transportation. Secondly, people found out that combining plough and irrigation makes it possible for them to use fallow land which helps to increase efficiency (Concern Infotech Pvt. Ltd. 2010).
Thirdly, there was a growth in economy on that time which led to an increase in occupations (Edgell, 2012) because people started to want more products to choose from and also new things that they did not have before. On the other hand, because of the noticeable increase in production, social differentiation also increased. This means that there are dominant groups who own the land and subordinate groups who have to do everything. This includes producing the things like spices, food and weapons and also transporting and distributing them (Edgell, 2012).
Second important thought that we have to consider is the lack of skilled crafts (Miller, 2011). I mentioned in the previous section that workers had to develop their physical skills to make most out of their fields. But because the production was quite simple, when we consider the knowledge needed, there were not many skilled crafts who could think out new ways how to make production easier. Also, in that period, work and home were not separated (Traugott, 1993). This means that production process took place at home and everyone had to do something.
Even little children had to help with chores. They only went to school during winter and until they learned basics like reading, writing and easier arithmetics (Eggert, 2010). During that time, the labour was not free- workers were slaves or had a serfdom (Edgell, 2012). This shows that workers did not earn money for themselves. All money went to their owners and slaves got to keep their houses. All jobs were divided between men and women. Women were not allowed to do men jobs and opposite (Edgell, 2012). Industrial era
The best words to describe this era are manufacturing and mass production. People started using machines to get more output using less labour. This led to an increase in productivity and decrease in cost (Hackett, 1992) because owners did not have to pay for so many workers. It was the time of new inventions and manufacturing processes.
The most important inventions were telephone which managers used to stay in contact with other parts of the business and electricity which replaced steam engines and brought along even bigger decrease in cost. People built waterways and railroads to trade products and raw material with other countries (Husband, O`Loughlin, 2004). Also, we can not forget the invention of assembly line by Ford because of what workers did not have to transport things on wheels in the industry. In Pre-industrial era, individuals` statuses were mostly ascribed but now people had to earn them (Concern Infotech Pvt. Ltd. 2010).
This means that everyone had a chance to get respectful status. On the other hand, there were many problems also in that era. Firstly, factories produced more goods than actually were needed and therefore they had to stop the process of production in one point and leave their labour without job. Ofcourse, people did not get any money during that time so they had to have some spare food or savings. Also, the labour had to work for long hours and move away from their houses to be closer to the industry (Traugott, 1993) which meant that they could not help their family to harvest fields.
On the same time, it is good that the production takes place in the factories because home is now separated from work (Concern Infotech Pvt. Ltd. 2010) and different generations do not have to live together anymore. It is the start of nuclear families. During that period, many workers were not satisfied because they realised that eventhough they were more skilled than others, they got paid as much as those who were unskilled (Hackett, 1992).
They had no use of their knowledge and skill while working in a factory where they had to do one thing for a long time and therefore we can talk about deskilling while thinking about the industrial era. And eventhough there came out previously, that people can now earn their status, it does not mean that people are more equal now. The gap between rich and poor is bigger than it was in the Pre-industrial era (Concern Infotech Pvt. Ltd. 2010). Post-industrial era
There have been many technological inventions in the post-industrial era- for example telephones, computers and other gadgets (Aneesh, 2001) which means that it is the start of information technology. Industry owners wanted to replace their old machines with automated ones to decrease the number of labour needed and therefore reduce costs in the long term.
This means that workers had to improve their skills to keep their jobs (Link, 2009). Therefore, during that period, education`s importance increased and more young adults went to university to study subjects like computer programming, law and engineering (Miller, 2011).
Also, people might think that thanks to the automation and technological inventions, the leisure time has expanded because people are able to set computers to run the production process and do not have to be in the factory all the time but that is actually not right. Ofcourse it is clear that machines allow employees to leave industries and choose when and where they want to work because people can finish their tasks on the computer but doing that they might end up overworking. The reason for that is the blurred boundary between working and leisure time (Link, 2009).
One more benefit, which came along with information technology and internet is being up-to-date. People can read about competitive companies situation from the internet and be in contact with people from the other parts of the world not only through phones but also online. And what is important, you can even see the other person you are having a call with eventhough they might be in any other country. The other thing that characterises this era is that goods production importance decreases and services industry starts to stand out (Miller, 2011).
This means that production of clothes and other goods is not so important anymore and people focus on services like fast food and telephone counselling. This made it possible to create new jobs because the number of services that people can provide to others is in a continuos increase. For example, delivery services and spa treatments can always be improved. Still, salaries in service industry tend to be lower than in manufacturing (Annesley, 2004) because services tend to be more personal and it takes time to provide a service. Conclusion
Pre-industrial, Industrial and Post-industrial eras have features that separate them from eachother. Pre-industrial era is also called agricultural era because the most popular job is farming. Everyone in family has to work to keep food on the table. Therefore, children go to school only during winter while it is not possible to work on fields. Industrial era, like the name relates, is focused on manufacturing and industries.
Production is getting cheaper because workers do not need special skills to work on assembly lines. This period makes it possible to export and import products thanks to the railroads and waterways. People are mostly working in the factories, farming falls behind. Post-industrial era pushes the production from the throne and the importance of services increases.
This period is the start of information technology which makes it easier for companies to enter the global market. People can work from homes thanks to the computers and internet but it might lead to overworking. Also, there is upskilling going on because workers need to know more than before to use developed systems. It is the first period that prioritizes education. People have a variety of jobs to choose from, they can be lawyers, programmers, advisers or who else they want to be.
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- Concern Infotech Pvt. Ltd. (2010), Agrarian Society [Online], Accessed:28/11/2012, Available: