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Globalisation and Labour Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2021


The labour market dictates the social welfare of every person in the world. Globalisation is a powerful force that affects different aspects of labour, such as employment and income. Many economists and sociologists are examining how globalisation affects different functions of labour (Harrison, 2007). This essay gives a detailed analysis of labour in the global market environment. The article will also examine the effects of globalisation on global labour patterns.

Globalisation and Labour in the Global Market Environment

The ‘term globalisation refers to the continued integration arising from the global exchange of products, technologies, worldviews, concepts, cultural practices, and services’ (Reddy 2014, p. 2). This process is facilitated by different social functions, such as communication, trade, and politics. The process is believed to support the needs of many societies across the globe.

The wave of globalisation is dictating the economic activities undertaken in different countries. The ‘world has experienced widespread reforms to labour markets in the recent past’ (Kaufman 2007, p. 18). This development explains why labour demand and supply has been changing significantly. The labour share of GDP has ‘decreased significantly in the developed world’ (Reddy 2014, p. 6). At the same time, wages in such nations have increased robustly within the past two decades. The bargaining power of workers has also increased significantly. The continued wave of globalisation might eventually result in wage equality across the world. However, some sceptics believe strongly that such labour changes might eventually produce greater wage gaps.

Positive and Negative Impact of Globalisation for Labour

The above discussion explains how globalisation has redefined the nature of different labour markets. Several examples can be used to explore the benefits of globalisation for many multinational companies. Apple Incorporation launched its iPhone 6 recently. This revolutionary phone has succeeded in the global market. Apple uses the power of outsourcing to produce its mobile devices. This phone is usually assembled in China.

This strategy reduces the firm’s costs of production (Kaufman 2007). The company has been able to market the device at a friendly price. Samsung Electronics also imports different spare parts from Hungary and Vietnam. This approach reduces the firm’s costs of production. The firm also maintains positive relationships with the two countries. This development shows how globalisation affects different labour markets.

Different multinational companies ‘have been moving labour costs to different countries’ (Reddy 2014, p. 12). Globalisation is a powerful force that encourages companies to outsource different services. Many domestic industries have benefited significantly from this new development. The cost of labour in the developed world has forced many companies to look for cost-saving practices (Bamber, Lansbury & Wailes 2010). Statistics indicate that foreign-affiliate employment increased significantly between 1998 and 2005 (Reddy, 2014).

The development presents new opportunities for many individuals in the developing world. For example, many unemployed individuals are now able to deliver quality services to different foreign companies. Globalisation has also promoted the concept of specialisation. The individuals are also acquiring foreign skills and knowledge. This approach is also supporting the development of many economies across the globe. The ‘use of intermediate inputs gained from off-shoring can boost the targeted domestic economy’ (Bamber et al. 2010, p. 84). These labour patterns have also increased the level of competition in different labour markets.

Some negative aspects have also emerged within the past few years. For example, many employees ‘have been losing their jobs due to continued outsourcing’ (Jung & Mercenier 2010, p. 6). Many companies have also been importing different products in order to support their business goals. The behaviours of many employees ‘have been changing in response to the impact of globalisation on labour markets’ (Jung & Mercenier 2010, p. 6). People are also migrating from one region to another. Such workers are expected to offer cheap labour in different countries. This practice is also ‘impacting human capital investment’ (Jung & Mercenier 2010, p. 6). New strategies are needed to ensure the wave of globalisation supports the economies of many countries.


Globalisation has become a new opportunity for many international labourers. For instance, globalisation is ‘reducing the level of labour income share’ (Harrison 2007, p. 19). This development continues ‘to support the needs of many skilled workers in the international environment’ (Kaufman 2007, p. 19). In conclusion, globalisation has the potential ‘to increase the wage elasticity of labour supply and demand’ (Jung & Mercenier 2010, p. 12).

List of References

Areal, N & Carvalho, A 2013, . Web.

Bamber, G, Lansbury, R & Wailes, N 2010, International and Comparative Employment Relations, Sage Publications, New York.

De Blasio, G 2008, ‘Understanding McDonald’s Among the World’s Most Ethical Companies’, Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organisation Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 5-12.

Harrison, A 2007, ‘Off-shoring Jobs? Multinationals and U.S. Manufacturing Employment’, International Policy Center, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-58.

Jung, J & Mercenier, J 2010, Routinization-Biased Technical Change, Globalization and Labor Market Polarization: Does Theory Fit the Facts. Web.

Kaufman, C 2007, Globalisation and Labour Rights: The Conflict between Core Labour Rights and International Economic Law, Hart Publishing, Oxford.

Patterson, P 2004, Media Ethics: Issues and Cases, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Reddy, S 2014, Globalisation, Labour Markets, and Social Outcomes in Developing Countries. Web.

Richard, S 2011, Ethics and the Media: An Introduction, Wiley, New York.

Ward, S 2013, Global Media Ethics: Problems and Perspectives, Blackwell, New York.

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