STUDENTS' CORNER - 5
Monotony kills…though work gives bread;
Last week, we saw the advantages for the employer in the division of labour. The analysts, however, point out the disadvantages of the division of labour also, particularly for the worker.
We saw the division of labour increases the efficiency of the worker since he does the same small job ; he becomes an expert, taking less time in due course. There are some more qualities that he develops which help him in life in general. It is possible that he may at times feel like doing the same job in a different way. This kind of out of the box thinking develops his intellectual capacity. Many inventions are the result of radically different approach to the same work. From ordinary bullock-cart to the ultra-modern jet plane, the development testifies to the fact that man wanted to conquer distance faster and quicker. Another significant character he develops because of the division of labour helps him learn how to behave with others. In the workplace, he has to give his best to the other workers who in turn give their best to him. This quality of social living in an atmosphere of togetherness marks the vital necessity of any man of any society.
But these desirable qualities do not come alone exclusively to shape the worker. The division of labour has its own disadvantages also.
First of them, they say is monotony. Soon, the worker begins to feel monotonous and bored since he is doing the same job for hours on end everyday and the work becomes mechanical, taking away the spirit of happiness from the worker. Sociologists have talked about the curse of alienation which is so subtle that we need not go into all those details. In short, man becomes by doing the same job for many years less human and more of a machine. Acquisition of efficiency occurs at the expense of the very joy of living. Another most serious demerit of the system for the worker is he becomes ineligible for any other work since he knows only a small part of a whole job. Thus, specialization takes away from him the possibility of employment in a different place for some different job. The division of labour has become for him a big hurdle rather than a help.
For the employer also, there are some very crucial setbacks in the division of labour. When many do their specific jobs in right time in the right way, a product is born. The singular danger inbuilt in this system is when one of the many is absent, the work-chain becomes disrupted and the production is seriously affected. It is not possible to make any one worker accountable for the product. Absence of accountability leads to inefficiency.
There is one more serious disadvantage in the system of division of labour. If one worker produces an output of some inferior quality, the entire product becomes inferior.
Division of labour is the first principle of management. In the next session, we shall go to the next principle of management: Authority and Responsibility.