There is no significant difference between division of labour and specialization of labour as these are synonyms.
Both these concepts involve dividing the main process into different tasks, assigning each task to individual workers or group of workers. Moreover, the concept of division of labour or specialization is mainly useful in mass production and assembly lines.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Division of Labour
3. What is Specialization
4. Relationship Between Division of Labour and Specialization
5. Side by Side Comparison – Division of Labour vs Specialization in Tabular Form
What is Division of Labour?
Division of labour refers to splitting up the main process into different tasks, assigning each task to different workers who are specialized in their task. Thus, each individual performs different tasks to produce the final outcome depending on their specialization. For instance, in a garment factory, one worker cuts the fabric, and another worker stitches it, while yet another irons it. Thus, the final product will release as a result of the cooperation of employees.
What is Specialization?
Specialization is a synonym for division of labour as per many HR and Industrial consultants. Here also, the main process is divided into multiple tasks, and each employee completes assigned tasks. Thus, employees become competent in work and become specialized with knowledge, comprehensive training and gather experience.
The concept behind the assembly line is dependent on the specialization of labour. For instance, if a single person builds a car, he or she may require comprehensive training and theoretical knowledge on how to build a car, safety functions, and how each component functions. This is practically impossible and time-consuming. Therefore, to avoid inefficiencies, car builders use a sequence of work divided among workers. Furthermore, each worker or each group of workers have a specific job to complete the task efficiently.
Advantages of Division of Labor/Specialization
- Increase in production – If the production process is divided into sub-processes, there will be an increase in production as there will be more output by a group of people than by a single person.
- Reduction of production cost – Increase in the output result in the reduction of the average cost of production.
- Maximum utilization of machinery and equipment – Division of labour increases the possibility of use of machines.
- Large scale manufacturing – Due to usage of machinery, production increases and results in the least production cost.
- Saves time – Since there is no movement of workers from one process to the other, it saves times.
Drawbacks of Division of Labour/Specialization
- Limited and repetitive nature of work can create frustration for workers and may lead to ergonomic risks due to repeat work throughout time.
- Sometimes an overly specialized production line could also generate bottlenecks without sufficient supplies of workers.
Comparatively, advantages of division of labour or specialization are more prominent than disadvantages.
What is the Relationship Between Division of Labour and Specialization?
Division of labour is very closely related to specialization; in most cases, specialization is considered as an alternative term for division of labour. Both concepts are used in industrial relations and human resources. Moreover, both basically refer to the dividing of large, labour-intensive tasks into workable sub-tasks that may be done by various employees or various groups of employees. The concept of division of labour is mainly used in mass production and assembly lines.
What is the Difference Between Division of Labour and Specialization?
There is no significant difference between division of labour and specialization of labour and most consider these terms synonyms.
Summary – Division of Labour vs Specialization
Basically, both these concepts involve dividing the main process into different tasks, assigning each task to individual workers or group of workers. Thus, there is no significant difference between division of labour and specialization. Moreover, the concept of division of labour or specialization is mainly useful in mass production and assembly lines.
1. “Introduction to Business.” Lumen, Available here.
2. Shpak, Scott. “What Is Specialization of Labor?” Your Business, 21 May 2018, Available here.
3. “What Is Division of Labor? Definition and Meaning.” BusinessDictionary.com, Available here.
1. “Garment-factory” By Thenetparadigm – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia