Division of Labour and Specialisation

Division of labor and specialization occurs when the production process is split into many stages or operations. Each stage is the special task of one worker or a group of workers. The people working in each stage are then said to be specialized in their respective activities. The principle of division of labor is commonly applied in various manufacturing processes. When one worker performs certain tasks of a job. It is referred to as specialization. This process creates interdependence among the parts involved. This concept has some advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of division of Labour and Specialisation

  • Workers skills are enhanced because of performing repetitive tasks.
  • The worker suffers less fatigue as they concentrate on doing one task in one place.
  • There is a likelihood of new talents developing and also new inventions
  • The rate at which work is done increases leading to faster or quicker results.
  • The goods and services produced are usually of high quality since they are produced by specialists.
  • Use of machines is made possible, which leads to standardization of commodities and lower production costs which may lead to higher profits
  • The overall output increases because the work is done at a faster rate.
  • Planning and management of work becomes easy which enhances efficiency in the organization.
  • Less time is spent on movements from one site of work to another since the worker performs only a specific task.

Disadvantages of division of Labour and Specialisation

  • The workers suffer from boredom due to the monotony of doing the same task or job repeatedly
  • Because of the splitting of the production tasks where each worker performs only a specific task, a problem at one stage can affect the whole production process, leading to loss of time, reduction in output and possible loses.
  • Since a worker performs only a small part of the whole process, there is lack of motivation as it is difficult for the individual workers to identify themselves with the final product.
  • In case of a fall in demand in the jobs that the specialized workers are engaged, they find it difficult to enter into new jobs. This is due to specialization in a particular field only.
  • Specialized firms may become dominant in the market and therefore they may increase the prices of their products at will
  • The interdependence between countries or firms created by specialization may lead to shortages of goods and services at certain times e.g. during conflicts of war leading to shortages in other regions.
  • Use of machines not only reduces employment opportunities but it also denies people the opportunity to apply their skills.

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