A world-renowned book titled ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ‘ was written by Adam Smith at the terminal of the 18th century. This book, which is besides known as ‘The Wealth of Nations ‘ , remains an influential literature to day of the month and is well-known amongst faculty members. The first chapter of this book is dedicated to a elaborate treatment about the division of labor. Adam Smith provinces in the gap paragraph of this chapter that “ the greatest betterments in the powers of labor, and the greater portion of the accomplishment, sleight, and judgement with which it is any where directed, or applied, seem to hold been the effects of the division of labor. ” ( Adam Smith, 1776, p.13 ) . In this chapter he advocates the importance and the benefits, chiefly economical, of the division of labor ; and the demand for it in the society. He besides acknowledges the negative and psychological effects of the division of labor in the society and suggests a solution for these affairs. Several other philosophers and intellectuals, including Aristotle, Plato, Karl Marx, Henri Fayol and Fredrick Taylor, have besides referred to the division of labor, and its importance, in their Hagiographas after or prior to Adam Smith ‘s ‘The Wealth of Nations ‘ in 1776, but the comprehensive work of Adam Smith on this subject is considered to be of great significance. The purpose of this essay is to discourse that why Adam Smith ‘s work on the division of labor is still of involvement in the 20 first century ; and to critically analyze the effects of the division of labor in the society.

A strong economic place is critical to guarantee the prosperity of a state and every bit good as a house. This can be achieved through consistence in the economic growing. In order to maintain the growing consistent it is of import that productiveness is increased, peculiarly in industrial economic systems. This is a factor that Adam Smith believed was the consequence of the increasing division of labor. “ Smith emphasized the importance of the division of labor as the root of economic advancement ” ( Thomas Donlan, 2008, p. 33 ) Harmonizing to Smith the division of labour leads to specialisation in specific undertakings, by interrupting down the production procedure into smaller undertakings. As a consequence of this pattern the work force becomes specialized in a peculiar undertaking, which leads to greater efficiency and higher productiveness. Following is a quotation mark from ‘The Wealth of Nations ‘ in which Adam Smith refers to the pin-making mill:

“ Those 10 individuals, hence, could do among them upwards of 48 1000 pins in a twenty-four hours. But if they had all wrought individually and independently, and without any of them holding been educated to this peculiar concern, they surely could non each of them have made 20, possibly non one pin a twenty-four hours. ” ( Adam Smith, 1776, p. 14-15 )

The point made here is that the division of labor and specialisation leads to greater degrees of end product. Whereas, an single acting all undertakings single-handedly is non capable of bring forthing a smaller per centum of the end product that is produced as a consequence of the production procedure affecting the division of labor. Adam Smith is non the exclusive intellectual who emphasized the importance of the division of labor. ‘The division of work ‘ is besides one of Henri Fayol ‘s 14 rules of direction. P.G. Aquinas in his book “ Principles of Management ” elaborates this rule and provinces that the “ division of work among assorted persons in the organisation is necessary to convey about specialization in every activity. Management procedure should be based on the rules of specialization. Division of work or specialization entirely can give maximal productiveness and efficiency. ” ( P.G. Aquinas, 2005, p.80 ) This point is closely associated with the ultimate end – to maximise net income through lower inputs and higher end products – of every maker in the modern-day concern universe as capitalist economy is on the rise and the market construction is absolutely competitory. In order to hold an border over the rivals and increase the market portion, the division of labor has proved to be a ready to hand tool for makers. Additionally, this thought besides relates to mass production, which can be achieved by agencies of following specialisation in the production methodological analysis. It is a feature of the development states, including China and India, to bring forth standardised merchandises in big sums.

The positive influence of the division of labor is apparent in about every facet of the society, peculiarly in the industrial sector. It can be easy observed that the division of labor continues to act upon the different Fieldss in the society ; including the authorities of a state. Nevertheless, one might besides happen it hard to place its being in some societies as it can be in a sophisticated signifier. In the authorities degree, the formation of a cabinet with the purpose of effectual administration by the caput of province and the subsequent assignment of specific responsibilities to peculiar persons, holding different expertness, within the authorities section is a clear illustration of the division of labor and specialization. Furthermore, if specialization is considered from an person ‘s position, it tends to turn out an advantageous thought. It enables one to be better off in footings of both pecuniary and non-monetary wagess. Professionals who have specialised in a peculiar field tend to have better wage bundles. It besides allows one to derive significant experience in the relevant field with the transition of clip and do farther betterment in his/her country of specialization. For case, in the medical field the compensation bundles of advisers i.e. specializers are relatively higher than the general practicians ( GPs ) due to their specialization in a peculiar country.

Critics argue that the utmost division of labour causes disaffection and dissatisfaction among the work force, peculiarly the workers in fabricating mills. They considered this to be the failing of Adam Smith ‘s work. In malice of this, Adam Smith besides recognized this affair ; he believed that working in mills and executing insistent undertakings all twenty-four hours has negative effects in footings of societal facets. For this ground, he proposed a satisfactory solution. He believed that the proviso of instruction to workers is indispensable to get the better of these jobs. “ Surprisingly, Smith recognized the possible jobs of this development. He pointed out that coercing persons to execute mundane and repetitive undertakings would take to an ignorant, disgruntled work force. For this ground he advanced the radical belief that authoritiess had an duty to supply instruction to workers. This sprung from the hope that instruction could battle the hurtful effects of mill life. ” ( The Victorian Web, 1995 ) . This signifies that the public assistance of labor was besides of importance to Adam Smith besides the house ‘s benefit.

The on-going displacement, in economic production, from fabricating to services undermines the thoughts of Adam Smith, to an extent, refering the increasing division of labor. It is hard to split undertakings in service-based labor. Additionally, it can be observed that the grade of the division of labor is comparatively low, and in some instances nonexistent, in certain facets of the service-based labor. For case, a mortgage adviser at a subdivision of a local NatWest bank trades with the file of a client throughout the procedure of procuring a mortgage ; or a scholar driver who intends to larn driving a auto is benefited from the service of merely one individual technically i.e. the drive teacher. However, the division of labor might be applicable in the administrative affairs, but to a limited extent. Furthermore, the division of labor and specialization is associated with high degree of dependance, which discourages the being of multi-skilling. As the degree of absenteeism is on the rise at workplace, the absence of an person who performs a specific undertaking in the production procedure might do a hold in the overall of operations of a house. Whereas, multi-skilling can be an effectual tool to get the better of similar jobs and cut down the degree of dependance on a peculiar person. As a consequence, the thought of specialization is non favourable in such fortunes.

To reason, Adam Smith ‘s work on the division of labor entails some of import constructs. These constructs have chiefly proved to be effectual in the industrial sector. The division of labour consequences in specialization. The cardinal result of this attack is efficiency in the production methodological analysis that finally leads to increased productiveness. This attack has been adopted by most of the houses. These houses are still the donees of Adam Smith ‘s thoughts. Firms are required to do trade goods available in the market at lower monetary values in order to hold an advantage over the rivals in the market ; this can be merely achieved to acquire the most of out of the factors of the production, in this peculiar instance the workers. They have to be made to work expeditiously and efficaciously to bring forth greater end product with finite resources. Adam Smith ‘s work on the division of labor was published in the late 18th century, which is considered to be the epoch of industrial revolution. At that peculiar span of clip Industries attracted a big figure of workers from the agricultural sector and the thoughts of Adam Smith absolutely suited the industrial economic systems. Recently, as there has been a major displacement from fabricating to the services sector the repute of the thought of increasing division of labor is being scrutinized to weaken it. It is besides considered to be the cause of hurt among the workers, who are forced to execute similar activities for the clip they spend at their workplace.


Smith, A. ( 1776 ) . “ An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ” . W. Strahan and T. Cadell: London

Donlan, T. ( 2008 ) . “ A World of Wealth: How Capitalism Turns Profit into Progress ” . United States of America: Pearson Education, INC.

Aquinas, P. , ( 2005 ) . “ Principles of Management ” New Delhi: Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.

Smith, A. ( 1776 ) . “ An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ” . W. Strahan and T. Cadell: London

The Victorian Web ( 1995 ) . “ Adam Smith and the Division of Labor ” [ online ] . Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.victorianweb.org/economics/division.html [ accessed 27/02/2011 ]