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Adam Smith Essay, Research Paper

Adam Smith, (1776), of the division of labor

According to Adam Smith, economic growth is rooted in the increasing division of labor and the specialization of the labor force by the breaking down of large jobs into many little ones. Under this regime, each worker becomes an expert in one area of production and workers do not have to switch tasks during the day. This will increase efficiency by saving time and money.

Smith illustrates his theory very well with an example of the production pins. He says that an individual could not make as many pins as he or she could produce concentrating on a single operation of its manufacture. Smith tells us that there are three reasons for this:

First, the individual has improved dexterity in concentrating on a single task;

Second, there is a disadvantage of expanding time changing from one task to another and third, the machines used are designed in a way to perform their task quickly and efficiently for that particular function.

Adam smith’s division of labor theory was very useful and was introduced into the factories of the 19th century with the assembly line technology. Almost any factory in our days considers the division of labor as a key element for efficiency and for increasing productivity. In the assembly lines of car factories for example, one worker or robot is specialized in assembling the interior, another is responsible for placing the engine, and a third is specialized with the installation of the gear box.

However, one should not ignore the disadvantages of this theory. Adam Smith’s theory considers men as robots and expects them to do the same task for their whole life. But a worker forced to perform a repetitious task would become demotivated and his productivity will decrease. One possible solution for the problem of routine could be the rotation of tasks, where workers will have the chance to discover new fields in the process of production.

After all, men are human and could not be treated as robots.


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