Of the Division of Labour (Adam Smith 1776) Classical Organization Theory

Topics: Manufacturing, Organization, Mass production Pages: 1 (334 words) Published: February 17, 2014
Of the Division of Labour discusses the optimum organization of a pin factory. Specialization of Labour was one of the pillars of Smith´s ”invisible hand” market mechanism in which the greatest rewards would go to those who were the most efficient in the competitive marketplace. In great manufactures with a great number of workmen the work may really be divided into a much greater number of parts than in those of a more trifling nature. Traditional pin makers could produce only a few dozen pins a day. When organized in a factory with each worker educated and specialized in performing a limited operation, they could produce tens of thousands a day. Smith revolutionized thinking about economics and organizations and the year 1776 can be seen as the beginning point of organization theory as an applied science and as an academic discipline. He declared the factory to be the most appropriate means of mass production.

This great increase of the quantity of work, which, in consequence of the division of labour, the same number of people are capable of performing, is owing to three different circumstances; •1 to the increase of dexterity in every particular workman •2 to the saving of the time, which is commonly lost in passing from one species of work to another •3 to the invention of a great number of machines, which facilitate and abridge labour and enable one man to do the work of many. Men are much more likely to discover easier methods of attaining any object, when the whole attention is directed towards a single object, than when it is dissipated among a great variety of things. The employer in each particular branch of labour will find out easier methods of performing, which leads to improved skills and can also lead to new inventions and ideas about how to improve the machines.

Without the assistance and cooperation of many thousands, the very meanest person in a civilized country could not be provided in the manner, which he is commonly...
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