Division of work

Division of work
See also

The division of labor is a separation as a result of specialization of various types of work and types of economic activity, both in the entire economy and in its various sections and planes.

You can therefore distinguish:

  • The general division of labor, meaning separation of departments and institutional sectors of the national economy
  • Detailed division of work into individual occupations or activities
  • Separate division of labor, carried out inside enterprises or other economic organisms

The principle of division of labor

The main idea of this principle is to divide the main goal to be achieved for simple activities. The breakdown of work into smaller factors and the division of these tasks between separate workplaces leads to an increase in the quality and increase in the quantity of products produced. This is because it is easier to do smaller things and you can improve the quality of their execution faster. In order to divide work on a larger scale, the enterprise should be guided by an economic calculation to determine whether the appropriate distribution will be profitable. It is important, however, to remember that the boundary of work division is determined and its exceeding can lead to rapid fatigue and a decrease in work efficiency caused by monotony.

Types of labor division

  • Horizontal division of labor - it consists in the separation of activities performed by employees between contractors of the same level
  • Vertical division of labor - consisting in grouping executive and managerial functions

Division of labor according to Adam Smith

Describing and promoting the work division process is one of the greatest achievements of Smith's work: the division of labor radically contributes to the efficiency of the production process, is an obvious technical application that focuses on the benefits it generates. from the division of labor can be seen immediately, they bind our way of thinking, which easily succumbs to their irresistible logic. Smith points to three such factors that increase productivity:

  • First of all, it increases the productivity of every employee. If mastering the full production cycle in the model example required mastering eighteen activities, getting proficiency in each of them is very time-consuming.
  • The second productivity increasing factor is saving time, which usually loses when one goes from one type of work to another.
  • The third productivity increasing factor is the invention of a large number of machines that simplify and shorten the work and allow one person to do the work of many people. Smith's production-mixing process involves the division of labor.

Modern division of labor

Contemporary division of labor departs significantly from those who have been postulated by the creators of organization and management. Nowadays attention is focused on individual elements of a given process, e.g. order execution, purchase of goods. In such proceedings, the managers do not focus on the wider purpose of delivering the finished product to the customer. For the consumer, manufacturing processes do not matter, the finished product that matters is what counts. M. Hammer and J. Champy defined the process as a set of tasks that are required at the beginning and end result, which has value for the client. The concentration of work on such defined processes is rejected by the industrial paradigm of the classics of organizational and management sciences, which was supported by the division of labor, functional structure, hierarchical control, economies of scale. Thus, Business Process Reengineering is a solution for the reversal of the industrial revolution and is the beginning in searching for better models of work organization.