Detailed division of labor

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Detailed division of labor, one of the two aspects of the division of labor, is where the labor required for one product is distributed between many people, each producing a part of the final product. So instead of each worker making a product piece by piece, each worker specializes in making one piece of the product, and all of the workers' pieces come together to make the final product. This enhances productivity by increasing workers' "dexterity in performing a simple operation repeatedly" and "Saving time that is generally lost in passing from one type of work to the next."[1] The most common example of this is Henry Ford's assembly line. The reason Ford Motor Company became so successful in the early 20th century is because Henry Ford was the first to master the assembly line, which uses detailed division of labor. Detailed division of labor can be seen on a larger scale where multiple companies will work together, each making interchangeable parts for a final product.

Detailed division of labor is very profitable for capitalistic companies, but can be disadvantageous for workers. "Resulting jobs are mind numbing, devoid of variety, human initiative and thought, and any sort of skill save."[2] This can drive workers insane, as well as lowering the value of the worker's job because their labor becomes unskilled. This gives power to managers because they potentially could give jobs away to anyone who would do it for cheaper, while retaining the same production. This ability to take advantage of workers makes it very easy for economists to critique capitalism, because workers become just another "factor of production."[3]

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