Essay Sample on The Division of Labor: How Companies Maximize Production

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1033 Words
Date:  2023-03-26


Companies and organizations dealing with mass production divide and separate the production processes along the assembly line. The different production processes are assigned to various works based on their skills and experiences. The process is the division of labor. It refers to the process through which a work process is broken down into many chunks or tasks and then designating the tasks to separate people or groups within the organization. The concept was introduced by Adam Smith who divided work in the pin factories amongst the workers in 1776. Production in the factory increased because the workers would specialize in areas they perform best. Various types of division of labor include simple, compound, occupational and geographical divisions of labor. The paper examines the importance of the concept, its application, as well as giving some practical examples.

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The Importance of the Division of Labor to a Capitalist Economy

The division of labor is essential in an economy because it creates an opportunity for increased efficiency and productivity. It also allows for increased profitability. The division of labor ensures that work along the distribution chain or assembly line is divided amongst workers based on their skills. People specialize in processes that they perform best. Workers become more experienced in the work they do. Therefore, the organization saves on time, money and resources as well as eliminating wastes.

In the division of labor, people devote their entire effort on a single process or service towards completion. Workers can identify the bottleneck of events in the production line, improve the production process, thus achieving overall growth and development in the entire process (West, & Cooper, 2016). Repetitive work serves as ample training for the worker. The company only needs to train a worker once unlike the rotational form of labor where an organization spends a lot of time and money whenever they have to reshuffle workers to different work stations. Therefore, the process enhances productivity and timely decision making and problem-solving.

Division of labor leads to specialization. Specialization creates a sense of security and loyalty both from the employer and the employee. The employer believes and trusts the ability of a work to work on a particular part effectively. The worker also trusts the employer that his job position is guaranteed due to the specialization. As a result, workers become more motivated, feel proud of the company and develop a positive attitude towards the job that they do. Nevertheless, movement within the work stations is minimal since the parts move towards the workers as they advance the production process. Workers concentrate on the job that best suits their temperament.

How the Division of Labor Leads to a More Efficient Production

Division of labor matches workers with the jobs that they do best or that they have an advantage based on health, physical conditions, or training. Workers have disparate training, skill sets and interest. Equating these abilities with the right job increases workers' morale. They become more productive when they do something that they love doing. Research shows that people become more active and productive when they specialize in areas they like or do best as compared to when they engage in a wide range of production activities (Cooper, & West, 2018).

Workers learn new methods and techniques when they work on a part or process over and over again. For example, in a design and manufacturing company, a worker who specializes in designing learn new techniques as he works on projects repeatedly. The worker can come up with various dummies and samples that make the process easier and faster. Workers in highly repetitive assembly lines learn new tricks that make the work easier and faster with improved quality. Therefore, the division of labor creates an opportunity for the workers to learn while working, improve their speed and increase efficiency and quality of their products and services. Statistics show that businesses which split work amongst their employees are more successful than the ones with all-rounded reshuffled workers (Parpart, & Stichter, 2016). The success is as a result of the mastery of the process.

Examples of Division of Labor and Specialization

Division of labor and specialization are closely related. In fact, it leads to specialization. There are various examples of division of labor. A typical example of the division of labor and specialization is in the automobile manufacturing industry like the Henry Ford Company. The company uses assembly lines in its vehicle manufacturing processes. Workers in the assembly line concentrate on specific tasks. For example, there are those working on mechanical parts like the axial, engine, radiator, brakes and shock absorbers. Others work on the electrical components of the car, while others specialize in the aesthetic value of the final product.

Another example of division of labor and specialization is in the food production industry. The food production and packaging involves a wide range of operations that are broken down amongst the workers. Some specialize in processing, others on branding, others on storage while others concentrate on flavoring or packaging. The processing of food follows a channel usually through a conveyor belt or an automated guarded vehicle from a worker to another. Finally, devices and gadgets such as phones, tablets and computers go through innumerable specialization and division of labor. The different parts then form the final section. Thus, there is specialization in terms of designing components, software, manufacture, assembly and then marketing.


In conclusion, the division of labor is an essential concept in economics. It involves the splitting of tasks and allocating them to people who can handle them best. Workers concentrate on specific production processes. The repeated work and concentration on one line is beneficial to an organization as it helps in the elimination of wastes, improving the production process as well as enhancing training. Examples of the division of labor are evident in the automotive, food processing and other assembly processes.


Cooper, G. A., & West, S. A. (2018). Division of labor and the evolution of extreme specialization. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(7), 1161.

Parpart, J., & Stichter, S. (Eds.). (2016). Women, employment, and the family in the international division of labor. Springer.

West, S. A., & Cooper, G. A. (2016). Division of labor in microorganisms: an evolutionary perspective. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 14(11), 716.

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