What is Division of Work?
The division of work means dividing a whole task into its components and assigning a specific task to a specific employee so that the given task can be done in the most efficient way.
Division of work is one of Fayol’s principles of management, it is similar to the principle of the “Division of Labor” of Adam Smith. It is also called the “Division of Labor and Work Specialization”. This principle believes that when an employee is given a specific task only he would be specialized in it and gain greater knowledge and skills in it than if he is given a range of tasks.
Since specialization is achieved, the productivity of the employee increases, and so of the organization. It helps to achieve more tasks in the most efficient way, increasing productivity, and minimizing time and wastage.
However, while assigning such tasks a manager should consider the skills, knowledge, expertise, and competencies of his employees. The specific task should align with the interest and abilities of the employees in order to it done effectively and efficiently.
Advantages of the Division of Work Principle
The concept of division of work has been all over the world. Just take an example of a mobile manufacturing company. It itself does not produce all components of the mobile. It imports different parts such as the battery, screen, and others from specialists company, and makes a complete mobile phone.
The same happens in management, the manager divides different tasks among different employees and seeks to achieve the aggregate results of all tasks to realize desired objectives.
Some notable advantages of the principle of division of work are mentioned below:
At the core of this principle is to let employees gain work efficiency (mastery of a specific task). By doing the same task repeatedly, employees can get all the insightful knowledge of the same task.
Without this principle, it is hard to get mastery of skills that takes much longer too. If a person is given too many tasks to perform, certainly he can not gain specialization in it, rather he will always be in a hurry to perform, which does not let him do work efficiently.
Also Read: What is Order Principle of Management?
This principle provides simplicity to perform the task. Just imagine, if you are given only one work to do always, how simply you can perform it. Surely, in a very simple way as it is what always you do.
In addition to simplicity, it also promotes the accuracy of the work. As you are assigned with respect to your interest and ability in a single task, you are free from the responsibility of other tasks, which increases the accuracy of the task.
By doing the same task, you get to know all the pitfalls of it. You better know how it works well, how not, when it works well, when not, and so forth. It lets you work more accurately on your specialized task.
Productivity means more outstanding results from the same input. By this principle, employees are focused solely on a specified task, they can conquer it more easily and become more efficient in less time. As a result, they become more productive in their sector.
In fact, productivity is the reason that most organizations prefer to use the division of work. As the employees are aligned with tasks that best fit their capability, they become efficient and effective, perform tasks in minimum time, and waste resources is very low. They become productive, so the overall organization performance becomes also.
It also promotes the efficient allocation of resources, people, and tasks. Since most large organizations have different departments, HR, Account, IT, and Finance, it ensures the proper allocation of workers. People who have expertise in HR will be assigned to HR Dep., expertise in IT will go on IT, and so forth.
Disadvantages of Division of Work Principle
As the division of work provides some great advantages, it also has some cons and disadvantages. Let’s look at some cons of the division of work principle of management:
Related: Discipline Principle of Management
The basis of this principle is that an employee should be given a single task to perform during the period in the organization. Yes, it has many benefits – increases productivity and promotes efficiency but it also creates monotonous and boredom while doing work.
It is a human tendency to always be interested in trying new things, but this principle does not let employees try new. In the short run, it produces good results, but in the long run, it also causes the job boring.
Since every employee has a separate task to do, overall to make the job complete, they are dependent on each other. For example, if a company only produces mobile batteries, it is dependent on another company that purchases its batteries and finally makes a fine mobile.
The same happens in the organization, though the employees work separately, in the end, to achieve set organizational goals and objectives they need to share work.
Lack of Collective Responsibility
It is obvious that there is a lack of spirit of collective responsibility. There lack of working in teamwork. Everyone is responsible for their separate task, and when the task is done, they think they are done, they do not want to share their work and even involve with others.
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