Outsourcing Workers Does Not Have To Mean Sacrificing Our Futures – Business Essay
Outsourcing has become one of the fastest growing trends in the business world. There are many reasons that a company would elect to use outsourcing. Among them is the
fact that it provides an almost immediate opportunity for savings as well as a noted improvement in quality. At the same time, these savings are often gained to the detriment of American workers. Research has shown that outsourcing has both positive as well as negative impacts on an organization. By reading articles pertaining to outsourcing and its pros and cons, one can see how important it is to make sure the pros do not outweigh the cons or vice versa.
As this is an election year, more attention than ever before is being placed on the issue of outsourcing. As noted by Daniel Drezner in his article, “The Outsourcing Bogeyman”, there are many possible problems with outsourcing. He quotes statements by many government officials who are not in agreement with outsourcing. However, he makes his readers aware of the fact that, “…if their exaggerated alarmism succeeds in provoking protectionist responses from lawmakers, it will do far more harm than good, to the U.S. economy and to American workers.” This is an interesting remark. Employees of organizations usually do not benefit from outsourcing and are often at risk of becoming redundant. At the same time, Drezner shows us that challenging the current outsourcing conditions could also have a negative impact on American workers.
In his article, “Questioning Free Trade Mathematics”, Jeff Madrick poses the question, “How much has the exporting of jobs to foreign nations contributed to the lack of jobs and the absence of wage growth in the current expansion at home?” Throughout this article, Madrick attempts to answer this question and shows the negative and positive effects that the absence of wage growth has had. In the end, he concludes his article by making readers aware of his position that, “…the losers from free trade require more of the nation’s attention.
The hierarchal structure of business is another area that has the potential to be impacted by outsourcing. If an aspect of a business, such as Human Resources, is controlled by an outside group, human resources are thus removed from an organization and its formal structure. An advantage to this would be the prospect of expanding into locations that have not yet been outsourced. At the same time, the departmentalization of the structure would most likely need to be altered to meet with the changes resulting from the outsourcing.
Organizations can call on outside companies on the basis of need. This is how an organization can reduce costs by outsourcing. Using the human resources example, one can see that such a division works on a basis where unnecessary wages are being paid. As most organizations do not require things such as constant recruitment, outsourcing them can save much money. The fact to keep in mind is that outsourcing does not do away with decision-making and a need for managers to be in control. On the contrary, managers are required to constantly monitor and evaluate outsourced functions to be sure that they are beneficial to their organization. In the long run, it is possible that such consistent monitoring has the potential of costing companies even more money than if their own people had conducted the work.
If an outside group can perform tasks and duties with the same or better skills and competencies of existing workers, few companies would hesitate to choose them over their own workers. If a group of employees were made to feel inferior and caused to lack confidence and job stability, a collapse of morale could have severe consequences on an organization. In order to prevent this from happening, companies should perhaps consider cross-training their redundant employees to allow them to fill another position. Not only with this restore the faith of the workers, yet it also has the potential of increasing productivity. If more companies were to come up with similar solutions, outsourcing would cease to be a concern and American workers could benefit from increased job stability.
It is clear to see through the articles of writers such as Drezner and Madrick, that outsourcing is a very controversial topic with both positive and negative aspects. Readers need to keep an open mind and be able to see both sides of the situation in order to have an accurate view of the issue. When we do this, we are able to see that outsourcing can stimulate productivity growth while at the same time reducing American employment. The goal for any company should be to protect the needs of their American workers by balancing the rewards of cheaper work through outsourcing with the impact it will have on American workers.