Division of labour


Division of labor

Division of Labour means that the main process of production is split up into many simple parts and each part is taken by different workers who are specialized in the production of that specific part. It is most often applied to systems of mass production and is one of the basic organizing principles of the assembly line. Breaking down work into simple repetitive tasks eliminates unnecessary motion and limits the handling of different tools and parts. 

Definitions of Division of Labour

In the words of Prof. Watson - "Production by Division of Labour consists in splitting up the production process into its component parts, concentrating specialized factor on each subdivision and combining their output into particular forms of consumption output required.

According to Hanson "Division of Labour means specialization of process." 

Similarly, according to Chapman "The specialization of works is called Division of Labour."

Advantages of Division of Labour

Advantages of Division of Labour can be explained based on Producers, Consumers, Labourers, and the Nation. However, for the sake of simplicity following advantages are explained:

1. Increase in Production: With the adoption of the Division of Labour, the total production increases. Adam Smith has mentioned in his book that the advantage of Division of Labour can be ascertained when a worker can produce only twenty pins daily. If the making of pins in a modern factory is divided into various processes, then eighteen workers can produce 20,000 pins in a single day.

2 . Maximum Utilization of Machinery: The Division of Labour is the result of large-scale production which implies more use of machines. On the other hand, the Division of Labour increases the possibility of the use of machines in small-scale production also. Therefore, in modern times the use of machines is increasing continuously due to the increase in the Division of Labour.

3. Increases Producer's profit: Due to the fuller use of plants and machinery under the Division of Labour, production starts increasing rapidly thereby reducing the cost of production. Less cost of production increases the profit of the producer.

4. Availability of Commodities at a Cheaper Price: Division of Labour leads to mass production. Thus, production becomes less expensive and more economical. Hence, cheaper goods are produced by manufacturers. Availability of cheaper goods for consumers improves their living standards.

5. Increase in Efficiency of Labour: With the Division of Labour, a worker has to do the same work frequently, and he gets specialization in it. So, the Division of Labour leads to an increment in the efficiency of the workers.

6. Increase in Skill: Division of Labour contributes to the development of labor skills to a great extent. With the repetition of the same type of work, labor becomes well versed and specialized in it. This specialization enables him to do the work in the best possible way.

7. Full Utilization of Natural Resources: Division of Labour in the country also helps in the full utilization of natural resources. There will be production on a large scale to increase the utilization of resources.

Dis-Advantages of Division of Labour:

1. Danger of Over-production: Over-production means that the supply of production is comparatively more than its demand in the market. Because of the Division of Labour when production is done on a large scale, the demand for production lags much behind its increased supply. Such conditions create over-production which is very harmful to the producers as well as for the workers.

2 . Increased Dependence: When the production is divided into several processes and each department/ segment is handled by different workers, it may lead to over-dependence. For example - In the case of a readymade garments factory, if the labor who cuts cloth is lazy, the work of stitching, buttoning, etc. will be delayed.

3. Division of Labour Kills Creative Instinct: Since many workers contribute to the making of a commodity, no one can claim credit for making it. Labor's creative instinct is not satisfied. The work does not give him any pride and pleasure as no worker can claim the product as their own creation.

4. Monotony of Work: Under the Division of Labour, a worker has to do the same job repeatedly for years long. Therefore, the worker feels bored or the work becomes irksome and monotonous. There remains no happiness or pleasure in the job for him.

5. Fear of Unemployment: A worker may be engaged in a small segment of the whole production process of commodities. This won't add to enough knowledge of the production process. Thus, the division of labor has fear of unemployment.

6. Reduction in Mobility of Labour: It has been observed that the mobility of labor is reduced due to the Division of Labour. The worker performs in case they want to change the job. In this situation the mobility of labor gets retarded.

7. Lack of Responsibility: Since multiple processes are involved in a production process, no department of labor will be accountable for the poor production. They want to shift the burden to another division for the defective output.

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