Fundamentally speaking, any institution requires a hierarchical structure with a strong authority at the apex. The authority must be skilled enough to manage the system efficiently. Management is central to any niche. Any niche or institution is bound to collapse without an effective management system.
In 1916, Henri Fayol gave his groundbreaking theory of principles of management. He gave 14 principles of management, including the Henri Fayol division of work principle, and concluded that they are the core of any management system.
We aim to provide a basic understanding of the division of work principle of management in the following sections.
What is a Division of Work?
The principle of division of work states that any work project must be divided into small tasks among workers based on their specialization. This division of work promotes achieving specialization in a skill. This is the primary answer to the question, “what is division of work?”
The Theory Behind the concept of Division of Work
The theory which governs the principle of work division says that when a labourer is assigned with a specialised work task, they gain mastery in the skill over due course of time. That inevitably saves time as well as resources since the worker can focus all their energy on one task and manage time efficiently. In conclusion, such segmentation is highly cost-efficient and reliable.
Division of Work Example
If you are still not able to grasp what is a division of work, here is a simple division of work example:
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The above picture depicts the principle of division of work in the process of dress production. To elaborate, suppose one gets the task of making a dress for a bridal ceremony. The process can be divided into the following various sub-processes.
Outlining a draft sketch of the dress and creating a 3D version of the initial 2D design. This process involves two tasks, designing and patterning. Thus, this process is further divided between a designer and some who can pattern the 2D design.
Production or Making of The Dress:
The making of the dress can further be divided into several processes, and each worker can be assigned a task based on their skills. A weaver weaves the textile while a tailor sews the dress.
Embroidery related work:
After a dress is sewn, it might need detailing. This task is divided based on the requirements of the design. One worker can do sequencing, while the other can do embroidery. Further, a different worker can add laces to the dress.
Hence, one can clearly see the importance of division of labour for ensuring efficient working.
Advantages and Importance of Division of Work
The advantages and importance of division of work have been highlighted below:
Intensification of Production:
When the process of production is split into sub-processes, and each worker is assigned a task in particular to their mastery, the output indisputably increases. When a group of people focus on a specific work, the yield can almost double.
Saving the Expenditure on Production:
When the outcome of production increases, naturally, the need to invest more resources decreases simultaneously. Hence, the costs of production reduce significantly.
Since tasks are segregated, multiple processes can be carried out by different people/groups simultaneously. This results in faster production. Additionally, division of work promotes skill specialisation, which increases the efficiency of the worker.
The importance of the concept lies in its effectiveness. Without a proper allocation of resources and labour, a person would be burdened. It is not only impractical to expect a person to be dexterous in all tasks but also unethical. Hence, a division of labour based on expertise is of paramount importance.
The principle of division of work was conceptualized originally in the year 1776 by Adam Smith, a Scottish economist and pioneer in political economy. In his book: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he pointed out that product’s quality and efficiency increases with the splitting of roles and duties among workers through the example of a pin factory’s manufacturing process.