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Delocalizations: A threat for developed countries?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The glass ceiling or non-fit between business needs and aspirations of women managers
    1. The glass ceiling: a barrier to career progression of women managers
    2. The glass ceiling, a form of vertical discrimination
    3. The walls of glass, a horizontal merger
    4. Wage disparities
  3. Recognition of skills: differential treatment
    1. Skill enhancement of males
    2. A differentiated access to employment
  4. The glass ceiling: A limit to the interests of the company
    1. Women's contribution to human performance
    2. Women's contribution to business performance
    3. Women's contribution to financial performance
  5. The glass ceiling, a construction beyond the walls of the company
    1. Organizational causes of the glass ceiling
    2. The lack of sponsorship
    3. Weak networks
  6. A traditionally male culture
  7. The so-called "lack of careerism" of women
  8. Social causes of the glass ceiling
    1. The difficulty of reconciling work and family
    2. Women confined to predefined roles in society
    3. The "self-censorship" of women
  9. Towards a better management of the glass ceiling
    1. The statutory equality sought by professionals
    2. The basic legislation
    3. Incentives for companies to act
    4. The Equality Label
  10. Support the "glass ceiling" by the company
    1. Approach
    2. Different policies to promote women
    3. Action plans
    4. Childcare
    5. Universal service employment checks (CESU)
    6. Maternity and paternity
    7. The organization of working time
  11. Conclusion

Metaleurop, Alstom, JVC and Alcatel are names of companies that made the front pages of our newspapers in the relocation of their production abroad. These names recall the social drama that may be the closure of a firm in a particular territory at a time when most developed countries have a high rate of unemployment. Fear of off-shoring anchored in people's minds the idea of a threat that could call into play the whole dynamics of a territory or a living area.

In fact, off-shoring is the ability of a firm to move its production facilities in the world space, a consequence of the capacity that today's capital can move freely. There are two different contrasting views related to off-shoring: the logic of the state based on borders and on taking into account the general interest against the logic of multinational firms who think in terms of space and look for cross-border economic profitability.

Now, with the emergence of new powers and with comparative advantages in terms of production costs, it is questionable whether there is a risk to developed countries (that is conceived as the member countries of the OECD) if off-shoring continues. Thus, for example, Serge Dassault, a senator from Essonne, declared in 2004 during an interview, "The Chinese will win the economic battle." The relocation would be a threat as well, namely a harbinger of impending danger.

Can it be considered that off-shoring threatens the economic survival of developed countries? Are we losing the game in global economics? This article will first dismantle the argument that off-shoring is a strategic and rational response of firms in an area corresponding to the global capitalist logic, to observe in the second step that relocations are made for reducing production costs. The economic environment has changed and developed countries need to adapt. The real danger then is their inertia and lack of responsiveness.

A phenomenon that has accompanied the evolution of industrial capitalism: off-shoring as a spatial redeployment of industrial activities and services pre-date the origin of industrial capitalism in the late nineteenth century. But it sees the nineteenth substitute the export of means of production to that of capital and goods. From 1855, the year the international fair in Paris, Singer opens offices in France and then in 1858 in Brazil.

The great movement of relocation began in the 1960s with the maquiladora assembly plants in Mexico and South East Asia for the purpose of re-exports. Sectors with a strong labor unskilled textile and automobile at the beginning, the activities most outsourced. The Japanese electronics industry and automotive invests primarily in Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia to Thailand to have an abundant labor, inexpensive and close to market supply and sales.

A first wave of off-shoring concerns mainly the textile industry and a second incorporates products with higher added value, automotive and electronics. But now outsourcing does not just rhyme industries. Indeed, the progress of ICT opens the way to the relocation of service activities abroad that a few years ago appeared immune against the risk of expatriation. United States, the off-shoring of services is multiplying in the areas of assurance, accounting, and financial services.

Tags: off-shoring; delocalization; developed countries; under-developed countries

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