Fordism, named after Henry Ford, is often considered to be a period in economic history, starting around 1914 and ending in 1973. It thus coincides with modernism and its end marks the beginning of postmodernism . 

The Ford model was based on the centralized mass-assembly production of standardized products. The twin symbols of Ford's achievement must be both the Model T and the River Rouge factory that produced it, where raw materials came in one end and finished cars came out the other. 

Ford's factories required a disciplined and deskilled workforce, willing and able to perform repetitive tasks on the assembly line. F. W. Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management published in 1911 had already described how labor productivity could be radically increased by breaking down each labor process into component motions and organizing them according to rigorous standards of time and motion. 

What was new about Ford's thinking was his vision, his explicit recognition that mass production meant mass consumption. (David Harvey, The Condition of PostModernity, p. 126) Thus Ford's five dollar, eight-hour work day served both to assure compliance with the discipline required to work the assembly line and also to provide workers with sufficient income and leisure time to consume the mass-produced products turned out by corporations like Ford. 

During the postwar boom, Fordism developed into a fully-fledged and distinctive regime of accumulation, meaning the stabilization over a long period of the net product between consumption and accumulation -- based on a general, although tacit, social contract between labor and corporate power. "Postwar Fordism has to be seen less as a mere system of mass production and more as a total way of life." (p.135) 

According to Harvey, the Fordist model began to break down in the 1970's when it began to overproduce, resulting in the massive lay-off of workers, and effectively reducing the demand for products. The resulting crisis of inflation jarred the Fordist system to such an extent that the post-Fordist system of "flexible accumulation" emerged. This regime, according to Harvey, "rests on flexibility with respect to labor processes, labor markets, products, and patterns of consumption. It is characterized by the emergence of entirely new sectors of production, new ways of providing financial services, new markets, and above all, greatly intensified rates of commercial, technological, and organizational innovation." (p.147) Workers, instead of acquiring a skill for life, can now look forward to at least one if not multiple bouts of de-skilling and reskilling in a lifetime. (p.230) 

The main implication of the post-Fordist model is the space-time compression of globalization.