Division of Labour & Specialization
Definition of Division of Labour:
This is a systematic breakdown of the production process into various tasks or segments that can be performed by different individuals or machines.
The idea of division of labour was economically and primarily to promote an increase in productivity. This principle is applicable to all production processes which can be split into stages commonly found in an industrial set up such as manufacturing construction and extractive industries.
We learned that even in the olden days, there was an application of the element of division of labour where men engaged in farming and hunting while women engaged in cooking, caring for children, and assisting in the harvesting of grains.
The principle of modern division of labour was developed practically by Adam Smith in 1776. In his book titled “The wealth of Nation” he observed that greater improvements in the productive powers of labour and the greatest part of the skill, dexterity and judgment with which it is applied seem to have been the effects of division of labour.
He visited a small factory that produces pins in 1776, on careful observation he noticed there were 10 processes required, and each worker was made to go through all these processes on his own to produce pins. At last, each worker produced a total of 20pins per day. Division of labour was applied and each worker was made to handle only one out of the ten stages for the production of pins and a tremendous increase in outputs from the 200pins(10×20=200pins) to 48,000 pins per day. The importance of the division of labour was clearly shown in the production company.
Definition of Specialization:
This is the permanent engagement of people in one aspect of the production process or in one type of occupation, resulting in better and faster production, and expertise in the case of operation. The permanent engagement of people in any task that now becomes their occupation brings about specialization.