Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of communism, in what was called the Eastern Block, globalization seems to be the rule governing international politics and economics. Nowadays, a big debate is in course regarding the effects of globalization on local economies. Many authors and scholars argue that globalization is to be ‘blamed’ for rising unemployment and, what they call, unfair competition in the labor market (Taylor, 2008, pp. 3).
This small research aims to analyze the effects that globalization has on young men and women, who are pursuing their studies in college, but that in the near future will be part of the labor market. The basic question of this research is to evaluate to what extent do these college students perceive their career choices affected by globalization?! It will be interesting to know that since they are going to become part of the labor market how do they feel about their preparation in the educational institutions they are actually attending. Also, it would be very interesting to know their thoughts about the work and policies of the government. Do they perceive they are threatened by the foreign labor force in their domestic market?
As students, they have learned that many times does not count only to have the proper education but even offer high-quality service at the lowest cost possible. Many authors do believe that allowing foreign workers (the so-called temporary employment foreign workers) to be contracted in local markets could damage the local labor force and the market, in general, more than benefiting it (Gomez-Mejia et al. 2006, pp. 5). The negative experience of the dramatic decrease of the wages and hourly bonuses in many of the most developed countries of the European Union after the enlargement of 2005, is an example of what we are discussing about. The internal migration (internal to the European Union) of workers from countries like Poland, Rumania, Czech Republic and Bulgaria to Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom, made possible the decrease of hourly payments for many jobs. Especially this was true for semi qualified jobs or those requiring no qualification at all. But it had an effect even on jobs requiring qualification since many engineers, technicians, dental doctors, and many others have transferred from their countries to the more developed ones within the European Union. Certainly this situation is making itself present in nowadays Britain (Leslie, 2008, pp. 1-2).
Like in every research study, methodology is important. It is the key to a successful study. For this reason we have chosen for this study a small group of 16 students from the same educational institution in London. The group will be composed of eight male students and eight female students. This is done in order to get an equal view from both genders. Also, the students will be in their final year of their studies. This is important because in their final year they are expected to be academically and professionally prepared to compete in the labour market which would be in the next months to come. Thus, they feel more the pressure of the market now than they do at the beginning of their studies. To be professionally correct with the research we will use the random choosing method in selecting which students from the group mentioned above will be part of the research.
In order to test our hypotheses / question we will use a combination of the quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative methods are used to gather data in numerical forms. It is very helpful to look at the relationship and correlation between the factors. These data are very important in order to get an objective view of the relation between the students and the labour market. The other form used would be qualitative methods. These methods are useful to get the insight view, to understand the psychological aspect of the relation between the students thought and the globalized labour market. The combination of both these methods, quantitative and qualitative, will give us the ‘full picture’ for the research question we have.
Thus, the research will be divided into two parts. In the first part the students will be ‘busy’ filling out the survey questioners. These questioners will be the source for the ‘objective’ data, the quantitative aspect of the research. After that, the students will be interviewed individually. This personal interview will assure the qualitative aspect of the research. The conditions of confidentiality will ensure that the student express their thoughts freely. A copy of the survey questioner and interview questions are included at the end of this paper.
From the quantitative analysis of the survey questionnaires it becomes very clear that every one of the students believed that globalization was having a sort of impact on the local markets, especially on local labour markets. And from the qualitative interpretation of the interviews it came out, as we are going to discuss below, that these students also believed that globalization was having more a negative impact on these markets that a positive one. All of the students responded ‘yes’ to the question whether they believed globalization was affecting the local markets.
They also responded ‘yes’, all of them, to the question whether a young graduate of the educational institution they were attending might find difficulties in finding a suitable job in the same local markets. We must also add that 87.5% of them, or 14 out of 16, responded ‘yes’ to the question that globalization is bringing unfair competition to the local labour market. The above mentioned data makes it clear that the students have a preoccupation for their future and that globalization is, in a certain sense, implicated in this preoccupation. If there was to be any doubt on this, the answer to question one and two during the personal interviews made it clearer (Davitson & Matusz, 2000, p. 1).
The last two questions of the survey questioner are a sort of introduction to the personal beliefs and thoughts of the students surveyed. But first we have to note that they differed among themselves regarding the degree of affection that globalization had on local markets. But even here it is to be noted that none of them responded that globalization had not at all affected the market or that it was on its beginnings. In fact, six of the students responded that globalization’s affection of the local labour market was on average. This corresponds to 37.5% of them. From the ten remaining, eight responded that the market was very much affected by globalization and the remaining two that it was totally affected. In percentages it corresponds to 12.5% for the totally affected response and 50% for the very much affected response. If we combine the last two responses we will see that 62.5% of the students believe that globalization has highly affected the local labour market. But what is more substantial to note is that all of them, 100%, believe that globalization has at least affected on average the local markets.
This situation is completely confirmed in the personal interviews. In response to the first question of the interview, all of them agreed that the labour market was a ‘mess’ and that globalization was, at least, one of the major factors causing this situation. In fact this is a view congruent to that of many authors in the media for a long period of time now (Davitson & Matusz, 2000). This is reinforced by the second question of the interview which regards the role of foreign workers on the local labour market. This questions help even detail some of the direct effects of globalization on the local markets. Most of the interviewed students responded that foreign workers were a misbalancing factor to the local market. This was the response from 13 of them, or 81.25%. The remaining three were of the opinion that foreign workers were in fact just supplying a demand already there in the markets (Slaughter, & Swagel, 1997).
These three students pointed out the inadequate response of the government to globalization and its effect on local markets. This was a view that all the others also agreed. The students gave during the interviews several options of what should be done by the government and even by themselves to change the disfavouring situation that was created in the labour markets. They all demanded, at different degrees, more protection from the government for the labour force. Eleven from them also demanded the government restricts the permissions for foreign workers and favour local graduates.
In today’s world the trend of globalization affecting local markets of any kind is becoming more and more a certain fact (Cole, 2008, pp. 4). This ‘fact’ was confirmed even in our survey and interviews with graduate students of a college in London. Even though they disagreed on the grade of affection of globalization on the market, they agreed in principle that it was affecting seriously the markets. They also agreed on the fact that the government should do more to help local graduates and protect them from these effects.
In your opinion, have you received the necessary qualification from the institution you are graduating to properly compete into the labour market?
In your opinion, how much has globalization affected the local labour market?
- Not at all
- At its beginnings
- On average
- Very much affected
- Totally affected
In your opinion, for a young graduate from your institution is it more difficult to find jobs in the local market?
If yes, do you think that the influence of globalization is the primary cause for this situation?
Do you believe that globalization is bringing an unfair competition on the labour market?
- How do you feel about the situation on the labour market today?
- What about foreign workers? Do you see them as unbalancing the local markets or as a supplement meeting the already existing demand?
- Should the government and its competent agencies intervene in the present market situation and how?
- In your opinion, what should be done to ensure a better future for everyone on the labour market?
Davidson, C. & Matusz, S.J. 2000. Globalization and labour-market adjustment: how fast and at what cost? The Oxford review of economic policy [online]. Web.
Gomez-Mejia, Luis R.; David B. Balkin and Robert L. Cardy. 2008. Management: People, Performance, Change. 3rd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Leslie, R. 2008. Polish workers: help or hindrance? The BBC [online]. Web.
Slaughter, M. & Swagel, P. 1997. Does globalization lower wages and export jobs? The International Monetary Fund [online]. Web.
Taylor, W. 2006. Introduction to Management. 9th edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Publishing House.
Cole, A. 2008. Labour market trends and globalization’s impact on them. The International Labour Organization [online]. Web.