Specialization with Advantages and Disadvantages



Specialization means doing the same thing over and over until one becomes an expert in doing that particular task. It is the outcome of the division of labor. In the process of specialization, an individual or firm concentrates on what they are good at. When an individual specializes, they limit their focus to one specific activity. When a company specializes, it focuses on a narrow range of goods or services. This helps to use scarce resources efficiently.

Adam Smith, the Father of Economics, wrote about specialization in his famous book, The Wealth of Nations. Smith argued that specialization within the labor force was one of the primary factors to increase productivity.

Advantages of Specialization

The main advantages of specialization can be pointed out as follows:

1. Increases efficiency: In specialization, jobs and duties are divided among the employees according to their skills and abilities. It promotes the principle of 'right man in the right place' which helps to improve the efficiency and performance of the workers.

2. Reduces the risk of errors and mistakes: The person who is a specialist is less likely to commit a mistake in doing a particular task than a non-specialist person doing the same task. Hence, specialization helps to reduce errors and mistakes.

3. Time-saving: In specialization, workers have to do the same job again and again. This leads to finding the shortcut way to do the thing which in turn results in a lot of saving of time. Also, the workers have to perform specific types of jobs, there is no need to change tools and machines. This helps to save time.

4. Reduces costs: Increased efficiency, fewer errors, and mistakes increase the production and productivity of the firm. Specialization also reduces waste and unnecessary costs, which helps to minimize the cost of production and increases the revenue of the firm.

5. Less supervision and control: Specialization is based on the principle of "right man in the right place". Thus, a firm hires highly competent and self-motivated employees. So it requires less supervision, guidance, and control to carry out activities.

Disadvantages of Specialization

The main disadvantages of specialization can be highlighted as follows:

1. Monotony: Specialization means focusing on a specific job. Repetitive work or doing the same job, again and again, can create monotony. The work becomes boring, which leads to dissatisfaction and loss of interest. This ultimately leads to a decrease in productivity.

2. Increase in cost: Skilled employees may demand a high salary and other financial benefits as compared to unskilled workers. So, it may increase administrative expenses in the organization.

3. Lacks flexibility: Another disadvantage of specialization is the lack of flexibility. If a specialist worker is on leave, no one can take his position, which leads to disruption of work. Due to the specialization, employees are not able to develop multitasking abilities, leading to a loss of flexibility in managing day-to-day activities.

4. Difficult to find jobs: Another disadvantage of specialization is difficulty to find jobs. Since the employee knows only part of the job, he may become unfit for another job. Therefore, when there is a downsizing of the company, he may face problems in finding the same job in another factory.

5. Increases dependency:
Specialization increases dependency. One worker depends on the other, one company depends on the other and one country depends on the other. This is because specialization leads to concentration in one product or one sector only.

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