Division of labor refers to the division of a complete job into various stages or parts. This is the common observation that most of the jobs are done on the principle of division of labor'. For example, a professor does not teach all the subjects to the students in a college but different professors are assigned to teach different subjects. In a furniture factory, different parts of a piece of furniture are made by the different people. Similarly, for constructing a house the different group of the people is assigned the different jobs like electrician, mason, carpenter etc. the division of labor, therefore, is defined as under:
"....when a particular work is divided among the different workers according to their capabilities, is called the division of labor.
Kinds of Division of Labor
Division of labor, in the beginning, used to be simple in nature and as the industrial revolution took place, the division of labor became more complex. The division of labor can be classified into the following kinds:
1. Simple Division of Labor:
When a complete job is divided in a manner that every part is a complete part is said to be the Simple Division of Labor. For example, in a furniture factory, a group of the people is assigned to make the wooden frame of the table, the second group is assigned make the top, the third group is assigned to paste Formica the fourth group is required to polish the table. In this situation of division, every part is complete. This is the simple division of labor
2. Complex Division of Labor:
Complex division labor means the further division of a complete part of the job into various steps. For instance, the top of the table is divided into many stages like cutting the wood, smoothing it pasting of Formica. In other words, a complete part has been divided further into 3 parts. If the complete parts of a table into four and every part is further divided into 3 each the total job is divided into 12 stages. This is the 'Complex Division of Labor
3. Labor Horizontal/Geographical Division of Labor:
Different countries reserve their dominant labor force for particular productions depending on their geographical and physical conditions. For example, the climate and geographical conditions of Malaya areas such that the people of this country are engaged mainly in rubber production and processing. Similarly, sports goods in Sialkot tea in Bangladesh. In this manner, different countries become reserved for the production of different goods
4. Occupational Division of Labor:
Division of labor also comes into being on the basis of occupations. The laborers adopt various occupations like the occupation of carpenter, ironsmith, and goldsmith etc. Different occupations are adopted on the basis of division of labor. For example, in the olden period when it became impossible for an individual to satisfy all of his needs, the people made different jobs reserved for themselves. Whosoever adopted a particular occupation, he was assigned the work accordingly. It should be noted that the present age is of specialization and complex division of labor, therefore, the occupational division of labor is taken unimportant.
Advantages of division of labor
Following are the advantages of Division of labor
As a result of division of labor, a worker performs a very small part of the total job repeatedly therefore, he concentrates deeply on his job. Since his capabilities become reserved for a very small job and the Secrets of the job are exposed to him. Consequently, he not total only knows the defects but also efforts for the improvement and rectification. This leads to inventions and innovations.
2. Use of Machines:
As a consequence of the complex division of labor, use of labor decreases with the increase of use of machines because labor can't keep pace with the fast speed of machines. The increasing use of machines gradually converts the economy into the industrial economy
3. Improvement in Efficiency:
As a result of division of labor, increasing use of machines also improves working efficiency of labor because the errors committed by human brain and hands are compensated by the machines
4. Economy of Time and Tools:
Since a worker has to undertake a particular job, the tools with which he works remains under constant use otherwise when one tool is under use the other will remain unutilized which will lead to waste of tools. Moreover, the time is also saved because the time is not wasted in changing the tools again and again.
5. Social Advantages:
As a result of complex division of labor, the job is divided into very small parts and since no part is complete but a stage of completion due to which the whole of the job integrates all the people concerned to it. When mutual dependence comes into being, the qualities like mutual cooperation, tolerance, organization and patience are also created.
6. Work According To Liking and Taste:
According to the division of labor, the workers are assigned to job according to their liking and taste. If the job is to be done under compulsion, the worker will not perform with interest and consequently the efficiency is bound to be lowered down Under the division of labor every worker turns efficient because he is assigned the job according to his taste
7. Increase in Production:
As the human population is increasing, the economic problems are also being multiplied because the production is not capable to keep apace with it consequently, due to the scarcity of goods their prices increasing rapidly. As a result of division of labor, the production increases keeping the prices at a reasonable level
8. Increase in skill:
Practice is indispensable for skill and expertness. The more will be the practice, the higher will be the skill. The division of labor provides this opportunity. As a worker performs a minor part again and again, he becomes the expert of the same. As a result of this, the total job becomes the outcome of experts
Disadvantages of Division of Labor
Every coin has two sides. Division of labor has not only the advantages but there are some disadvantages also as mentioned below:
In the case of division of labor, every worker is the expert in a particular job and does not know any other job. If he is not provided with his job of specialization, he will become unemployed because he can't undertake any other job. Similarly, if the machine is invented which can do his job, again he will be jobless. Therefore chances of unemployment are aggravated under the division of labor
The desire for change is but human because a monotony creates boredom. Under the division of labor, a particular worker is compelled to perform a particular job again and again and he gets bored considering himself a tool of a machine. Boredom affects his efficiency adversely
3. Mental Stagnation:
As a result of the division of labor, a worker reserves himself for a particular job, therefore, he is segregated mentally from the rest of the stages of a job. Every person possesses different kinds of capabilities but the division of labor does not provide opportunities to use and test them. Consequently, he becomes the victim of mental stagnation
4. Lack of Sense of Self Responsibility:
Under the system of division of labor, many workers undertake one job jointly, therefore, no one accepts the responsibility of any defect if it is created. Every one shades the responsibility of error on the shoulders of others.