Division of labour on an assembly line production. Image credit youtube.com
ZIMSEC O Level Commerce Notes: Division of Labour and Mass production
DIVISION OF LABOUR
Production activites can be classified according to two basic principles:
Division of Labour
this refers to the breakdown of work or trading activities into individual tasks which are then allocated and done by different people. Examples include:
The division of sectors into industries for example: butchers, farmers, potters, mechanics etc
The division into processes: for example the iron industry can be divided into processes that begin with the extraction of ore, smelting, turning pig iron into steel.
Geographical division- this is the division of labour arising from physical conditions of the region for example availability of coal or gold in a given area or using climatic conditions such as Mashonaland and its vast maize farms.
Benefits of Division of labour
more goods are produced for various markets
Large scale production has resulted in more people being employed
Mass production has enabled people to afford different types of goods e.g. Tvs, Cars resulting in higher standards of living
Automation and Mechanisation results in faster production rates
Prompted the interdependence of workers leading to trade
Leaders to lower production costs resulting in consumers paying lower prices
Disadvantages of Division of labour
leaders to interdependence of workers
Due to interdependence of workers any disruptions in any part of the production line might affect the whole production process of the goods.
Goods produced are standardised thus robbing people of individuality
Tasks become repetitive and boring leading to workplace alienation
Mechanisation and automation has resulted in unemployment
Specialisation-is doing a job one is good/talented at.
Standardisation- this is the practice of making identical goods e.g. cars of the same model have the same exact specifications and features.
Simplification-processes and tasks are easier to perfom.
Mass production– is the making of goods in large quantities and the provision of serves on a large scale.