Friday, October 3, 2014

"Globalization of the ICT Labour Force"

The article “Globalization of the ICT Labour Force” discusses the economic phenomena called the “brain drain.” The brain drain is defined as the outsourcing of a countries brainpower to another country. The “brain drain” results in a smaller number of skilled employees within a geographic area, thus, hurting a countries economy. The article was original published in 2007 in “The Oxford Handbook of Information and Communication Technologies.” This article is a scholarly discussion of the economics of outsourcing information and communication technology jobs. The intended audience for this article is university students and business professionals looking to gather information on the risks and affects of moving information and communication technology jobs overseas. The article goes in depth into the economics behind the global network of workforces in the information and communication technology (ICT) field. The strong economic background found in the article can be explained through the author’s background. William Lazonick is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. Lazonick researches the economic development in advanced and emerging economies. The author’s background is a clear explanation for his motive to explore the thesis question “Why would many of the best ICT jobs be migrating to India and China if Indians and Chinese are migrating to the US for ICT education and experience.”
The number of people immigrating back in forth for work and training is explained through economics. If the reader is not an economics major, the article may have been perceived to be a bit wordy at first. The vast amount of numbers made the main points of the article difficult to follow. Ignoring most of the numbers, the author explains to the reader that counties like China and India are sending some of their brightest students and professions to the United States to gain job skills within ICT and eventual get a job overseas. The idea of the “brain drain” affected the economies of the counties outsourcing these jobs by losing their workforce to countries like the United States. The ICT companies eventually realized that they could expand their markets by investing money in foreign expansion, thus, taking the jobs to the workforce. These companies invested money into the economies of Asian countries and built plants to house jobs. These investments gave certain areas a competitive advantage where the demand for jobs and the workforce was large. This worldwide expansion of ICT companies resulted in a reverse of the “brain drain.” Lazonac describes the reverse of the “brain drain” through several examples.
The four examples discussed in Lazonac’s article are Motorola in Korea, Samsung in Korea, Intel in Malaysia, and Texas instrument in India. All of these corporations helped contribute to bringing jobs back to Asian counties. Korea began their reverse of the “brain drain” by building the Korea Instatute of Science and Technology. This brought students back from the United States to Korea. This increased the supply of labor in Korea; thus, foreign companies such as Motorola and Samsung began investing in plants. In India, technology parks were built. This attracted companies such as Texas Instrument. Malaysia had a skilled workforce that specialized in electronics, which attracted Intel. As seen through these examples, providing certain benefits that make the workforce highly employable of reverses the “brain drain”. Throughout Lazonac’s article the idea of the “brain drain” is discussed and how it affects global network of companies.

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