Specialization is a wide economic concept that is used to describe
the process of separation of various tasks within a system or a firm.
Specialization will give each individual a chance to specialize in the
area that one is best in. In the context of economics
it describes the specialization of all the factors of productions. The
factors of productions that are subjected to specializations are land,
labor, capital and entrepreneurship. This different category gives rise
to the four categories of specialization, land specialization, capital
specialization, labor specialization or division of labor.
Specialization will help in the accomplishment of some of unattainable
goals of the factors of productions. In all the cases of specialization
all the individual of the system will become very dependent on other
units and will be difficult to work outside the specialized systems.
Division of labor on the other hand is the cooperative specialization
of labor. Division of labor can be dated as early as the start of
civilization and was practiced by the Sumerians to group different jobs
according to various skills of the members of the society. Division of
labor is historically associated with increased growth in total output
and is viewed as the rise of capitalism. It also helps to solve some of
the most complex industrialization Processes. Division of labor as
explained by Adam smith
can be restricted based on the market extent. Adam has suggested that
the bigger the market the higher the specialization. It can then be
deduced that the global market that we are currently enjoying has
resulted to so much specialization. The conditions for specialization to
thrive on the global market are a free trade, free mobility and
migration of labor. The process of specialization brings the law of comparative advantage
into the mind. It is commonly referred to as the law of association by
many economists. This is so because division of labor, free trade,
specialization and law of comparative advantage results into a
relationship between individuals.
Every concept and idea has its main pros and cons. In specialization
although there is increased efficiency and increase in productivity,
there are several conflicts that will arise between the different
specialized units. The conflicts might hinder the growth of the firm or
job dissatisfaction by the employees of the company. Further
specialization can act as an impediment to communication among the
specialized units. Another disadvantage of specialization is that it can
lead to burnout and boredom to the employees. An employee will have to
repeat the same procedure each day for the whole year and denies the
employees a chance to explore new areas. The above problems associated
with specialization and division of labor is being addressed and some of
the solution that has been given out are changing the structures of
companies to commitment oriented approach and increase the scope of
There are some emerging issues to the modern application of
specialization and division of labor brought about by market dynamics.
The market dynamic factors are Information communication technology,
changes and worker empowerment rights.