STUDENTS' CORNER - 3
This week, we shall look into the merits of the principle of the division of labour.
Let us take the simple example of cleaning one’s house. A good sense of cleanliness is a mark of good culture. Neatness appeals to almost all senses; a clean house looks beautiful to the eye; a gentle breeze through the house pleases you without carrying any dust; the atmosphere gives you a sense of hygiene and so on. (Let us not worry about those who do not keep the house clean; it is not a matter of discussion now.) If one person, be it your father or mother or even a servant maid, is to do the cleaning all by oneself, it may take, say, about three to four hours. On the other hand, if the work is shared by two or three, to that extent, the work is completed faster.
What is applicable to a single house is more meaningfully applicable to an industry or to a company that manufactures products. Imagine a garment manufacturer, a readymade dresses company. To manage a company of this kind, there will be hundreds of works involved and all of them cannot be given to one individual. It is impossible. Somebody must purchase cloth for the dresses; there will be cloth of different kinds. If very huge quantity is required, to get them in time, for every kind of cloth there must be one person responsible. Stitching has different kinds of works, all interrelated. First, the cloth must be cut to sizes; then, the cut pieces of cloth must be sewn together. It is not over. Buttons must be sewn on them. Then, before the dresses sent to the dealer or the market, they must be neatly pressed and packed. Thereafter, somebody must follow the dispatch and get the money for the dresses sent. Like this, the whole work associated with the company can be split into endless number of smaller and specific tasks and for each of the tasks somebody must be made responsible. So, it must be clear by now that a business to continue and sustain itself must follow the first principle of management: the division of labour.
Let us see the merits, the advantages of the division of labour. To have a product, there must be a producer. The producer must have people working for him, the employees, or, the labour. There must be someone to buy the product, that is, the consumer. And for all these actions, the basis is finance, the money involved in production, in employment, and in consumption. It therefore is related to the economy, so to say, of the producer, of the employee and of the consumer. It means, ultimately, the economy of the nation. A nation, in a way, is the biggest business concern. Let us have a look at the merits of the division of labour for all those involved in the production of a product.
First, the advantages for the producer.
To continue with the example of a dress maker. If it takes, roughly, about two hours to make a dress, one tailor, doing the entire job, will be able to finish about four to five units. But, on the other hand, cutting the cloth, sewing, button-fixing, ironing, packing and dispatching, if there are different people for all these different jobs, at the end of the day, about twenty to thirty units would have been completed. In other words, the producer will have more products for the market. So, the first advantage to the producer is quantitative increase in the production.
We will continue with other merits that make a producer happy.