This entails a concept where work processes tend to be divided into different tasks. Each task is supposed to be performed by a different individual or a group of people. An individual dealing with one task is not permitted to deal with another task that is outside the scope’s jurisdiction. The concept of division of labor is frequently applied in systems that deal with mass production (Durkheim and Steven, 2014). It is among the core principles in organizations that deal with assembly lines such as motor vehicle manufacturers.
The concept of division of labor is typically applied due to the dynamics that it brings in the workplace. However, there are individuals and organizations that do not prefer this concept due to its limitations. This is an indication that the concept has both strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths of Division of Labor
Among the advantages associated with division of labor is increased productivity. Continuous practice makes people good at what they do. Putting concentration on repeating a given task, again and again, makes an employee to acquire skill, dexterity and speed (Durkheim and Steven, 2014). Division of labor also helps to save effort and time that is prevalent when changing from one task to another. In the long-run, the levels of productivity are increased in all areas.
Division of labor also ensures that every job is being executed by the right person. Every employee is assigned to a task that they are best suited. As a result, there is the provision of an opportunity to utilize natural talents since people perform tasks that they enjoy and derive pleasure from (Janoski and Darina, 2014). Such people are likely to work to the best of their abilities so that they can retain their jobs.
There is a less learning period involved with division of labor. This is because people are only required to learn aspects that are related to their specified job description. This means that minimal time is spent in training the employees. The same goes to expenditure based on the resources that are utilized during training (Durkheim and Steven, 2014). This is a good thing for any organization since more time is focused on execution of actual tasks and the expenditure saved adds to the profits.
Limitations of Division of Labor
Despite the advantages associated with division of labor, there are also eminent disadvantages. Among them is monotony. There is a probability of mental fatigue when an individual is doing the same work again and again without making any changes. The work just becomes monotonous and joyless. Employees cannot have interest from the job since they do not derive pleasure (Janoski and Darina, 2014). In the long-run, the quality of the work produced is poor.
There is also a loss of skills. The technical skills deteriorate since people are not allowed to participate in the entire process, but only repeat simple tasks. The skills ingrained in employees tend to die with time since they are not being put to use (Durkheim and Steven, 2014).. The sense of responsibility is also lost. No one can be held accountable for any bad production since no one makes a complete unit. When things are not going well, it turns out to be more of a blame game.
Employees also run the risk of unemployment due to division of labor. Once they are dismissed it becomes difficult to secure employment in areas that they had specialized. Having the ability to develop a complete package brings more advantage to a job seeker.
Durkheim, Emile, and Steven Lukes. The Division of Labor in Society. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014. Print.
Janoski, Thomas, and Darina Lepadatu. “New Models of the Division of Labor—I.” Dominant Divisions of Labor (2014): 15-32. Web.
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