When we say division of labour, we means assigning a specific task to a particular worker in the processes involved in the production of a good or service. The worker thus conceentrate on performing a single repetitive task in the whole processes of producing a finished product or rendering service requiring many operations.
Division of labour has its strength and draw- backs. The strength lies in the advantages while the draw- backs lies in the disadvantages.
THE STRENGTH OF DIVISION OF LABOUR
One of the advantages of division of labour is that it helps to increase the skill of workers. As a result of carrying out a particular aspect of Job repeatedly, the worker becomes an expert in that particular aspect of the job; unlike someone who carries out so many operations of job, more or less becoming a "jack of all trades and a master of none".
Division of labour leads to increase in output. As a result of being a expert in a job, a worker will be able to produce a greater output than same given period of time. So the economic unit as a whole i.e the firm where divison of labour is practised will be able to achieve greater output than where it is not practised.
Division of labour is advantageous in that it saves a lot of the time spent in production. If a worker has to move from one operation to another in the process of producing a particular commodity, a lot of time wasted.
But plenty of time is saved when the worker is limited to a particular operation. For instance, the production of this book involves so many stages. One has to write out what is called the manuscript, somebody has to do the typing of the. Manuscript, another has to edit the typed version and so before it is what it is now.
One could imagine how long it would take a person to carry out all these operations, so a person would become very tired and can even break down and spend days or weeks before he recovers, thus wasting plenty of precious time.
It is also advantageous in that it does not allow workers to get easily tired. As a result of the repetitive performance of a task, the performance becomes almost automatic and so requires less effort, this conserving energy and avoiding fatigue or tiredness.
Apart from all these, it gives room for the use of machinery. Division of labour aims at Mass production of goods within the shortest time possible. To achieve this, the use of machinery is necessary. It could be asserted, therefore that division of labour encourages or makes possible the use of machinery.
Division of labour helps to economise resources. If a worker is to perform the whole operations required in the production of a particular product, much human material resources will be wasted. Machinery would be duplicated and a lot of other materials could be wasted as a result of the absence of expert knowledge. But division of labour would reduce such wastage to the barest minimum.
I will be stopping here for today in my next post I will be talking about the draw back of division of labour or rather the disadvantages.