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Specialisation and Division of Labour

Because of the fact that choice involves opportunity cost, the factors of production have to be used in the most efficient way. This is achieved through Specialisation and Division of Labour. This means every individual performs a specific task only so that he can give in the best output. Division of labour can be defined as

the separation of a work process into a number of tasks, with each task performed by a separate person or group of persons.

As the workers become specialised in a particular task, it results in 'specialisation'.

Division of labour is most visible in assembly lines which are used for mass production of goods. example. a car assembly line.

Importance of Specialisation

Specialisation results in greater efficiency and productivity. As the workers don’t have to move between jobs. This leads to lower cost of production.

Time is saved as the workers become for efficient in performing a particular job.

By doing the same job repeatedly, the workers become ‘experts’, they commit less mistakes and hence leads to less wastage.

Due to specialisation production level increases which make it possible to carry out mass production.

Specialisation is good for workers too. They master the job and can bargain for better wages.

However,

In specialisation each worker is assigned a particular piece of work and he or she does that particular task. Repeatedly doing the same job can result in boredom for the workers.

Repetition of work leads to a mundane routine for workers, this kills their motivation. They might become careless. This will lead to more errors and affect the quality of production.

Moreover, a job might be broken into small identifiable tasks, which a different set of workers might be doing. Now If a worker cannot complete his or her job on time this may result in a bottleneck for the whole production process.

Workers lose flexibility due to over specialisation on a particular job. If by any reason, that particular skills becomes obsolete, the worker will become redundant and might end up losing her job.

The business will have to invest in training their workers in particular skills. This costs money which adds up to the cost of production.

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