Almost two years back, when I was at Birmingham, UK deployed for a project, there was a violent gathering here near my apartment at the center of the city. It started with a public meeting of a party called BNP which believes in radical thinking with a society of all-white’s. It was then countered by the so-called “immigrants” who were obviously at the target of BNP’s agenda … and as expected, things started to turn violent in certain pockets leading to the presence of large police battalion with helicopter patrolling. The thought of this incident came after witnessing something of the same sort in TV back in India few days back.
When I was thinking of this today morning, the immediate thought that came to me was Constraint based Globalisation and it’s impact. In real world, whether in individual lives or in corporate lives or in state lives, all of us work for a solution which is best within the constraints. In supply chain terminology, many refer to this as contraint-based planning. But in today’s context, I would rather term this as constraint based globalisation due to reasons as detailed below.
When I started by corporate career 15 years ago, all corporations used to struggle in optimisation of its resources within their own geographical boundaries. Even today, corporations do struggle in optimisation of resources – but the only difference is that the spread has changed and instead of geographical boundaries, they can spread their wings across the globe. The same applies in states and nations. That is why economic partnerships have become so critical in today’s success of nations – that is why we have the G8’s, the G20’s, the EU’s and so on … and when at times, economic partnerships fail to address some of the areas where demand is more than the supply, this leads to political and military battles – be it in the streets of Iraq or in some other place in the world.
Coming back to the context of the incident at Birmingham, I feel that the globalisation impact on constraint based resource management is getting felt, specially at times of big recessions like this. Certain strata’s of the society are getting threatened because of globalisation and putting the entire nation’s economic needs in a global linkage towards getting value for money … in other words, keeping other parameters same, I would always like to go for something that is the cheapest.
Hence, we have corporations, nations going for cheapest labours, cheapest products, cheapest manufacturing with the assumption that quality and other technical parameters remain constant. With globalisation, the incentive to go beyond the natural shores or boundaries is much high and hence we now have pockets of specialisations across the world. It is not just a group of people who are specialised in certain activities, but also certain nations have specialised themselves in certain services, industries.
This has led to relatively incompetent people or comparatively less-skilled people of a nation losing their jobs or activities to group of other people not necessarily belonging to the same nation. This is leading to natural unhappiness of the local people and the reaction is the same whether in Birmingham or whether at Kolkata or in US or anywhere else.
The world has become smaller and the supply chain has become bigger going beyond corporations or nations. Hence constrain based globalisation is having positive and negative impacts across different societies and this is manifested through different types of reactions.
However, at the end of the day it will still be the survival of the fittest … only the definition of fittest will evolve through time and some will survive in good health and others will be soon extinct