Division of labour on an assembly line production. Image credit youtube.com

Division of labour on an assembly line production. Image credit youtube.com

ZIMSEC O Level Commerce Notes: Division of Labour and Mass production

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.

Benefits off mass production

  • low cost of production resulting in lower prices
  • goods are always available
  • improves standards of living
  • leads to automation and mechanisation
  • leaders to standardisation of products
  • leads to simplification of processes
  • leads to specialisation of workers
  • leads to trade.

To access more topics go to the Commerce Notes page.