Smith’s Division of Labour Essay

Smith’s Division of Labour Essay

Length: 855 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Smith’s Division of Labour

According to Smith, there are three reasons why the division of labour increases productivity. First, Smith attests that the division of labour increases dexterity within the workplace. By dexterity, Smith means that an individual performing one task repetitively can accomplish that task faster than an individual who attempts to accomplish all tasks by himself. Carpentry is a prime example of Smith’s division of labour. It may take an individual an entire day to complete one chair… to cut, route, and sand the boards. Then to glue, screw, and finish the chair. If the job of making the chair was divided up between different individuals each performing one task, then the number of chairs completed in a single day would increase dramatically.

Second, Smith believed that the division of labour saves time. When one man must perform every task, it takes time to move between the different stations necessary to complete the task. Furthermore, changing jobs or tasks within the workplace causes psychological problems. It takes time for someone to adjust to a different task, whereas an individual who only performs one task never has the need to readjust. Take the carpenter for example; after cutting the boards to shape he must then move to route and sand the boards. The adjustment from cutting the boards to sanding the boards is a complete mental transition. Different tools, motions, and locations are necessary in order to sand the boards as opposed to cut the boards. The transition between tasks wastes valuable time and money. Another time-wasting element of the workplace without a division of labour is man’s intrinsic tendency to take breaks between jobs or tasks. The transition between diff...


... middle of paper ...


... process is to make a woolen coat which keeps a day labourer warm so that he, again, can start the chain of economic processes. Within each step of the woolen coat or chair construction, there exists a separate division of labor as well. In order to gather the lumber, there are dozens of separate steps necessary. Someone must cut down the tree, and then one must stack the tree into a truck. After which, one must drive the truck to the lumber yard. Then the trees must be cut into boards. Then the boards must be stacked and watered… it is an endless chain of responsibilities. Again, according the Smith, the most beneficial manner in which to accomplish these steps is to have one individual occupy each step. Therefore, it becomes apparent that there are thousands of individuals whose work goes into making something as simple as a woolen coat or a chair.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Smith’s Division of Labour Essay

- Smith’s Division of Labour According to Smith, there are three reasons why the division of labour increases productivity. First, Smith attests that the division of labour increases dexterity within the workplace. By dexterity, Smith means that an individual performing one task repetitively can accomplish that task faster than an individual who attempts to accomplish all tasks by himself. Carpentry is a prime example of Smith’s division of labour. It may take an individual an entire day to complete one chair… to cut, route, and sand the boards....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Better Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Emile Durkheim's The Division of Labour in Society Essay

- Outline and discuss Durkheim’s ‘The Division of Labour in Society’ Frequently referred to as “the father of sociology”, Emile Durkheim was one of the most influential and high-ranking individuals in contemporary social thought. His work has stimulated great levels of achievement for many years amongst sociologists in terms of studying civil societies, cultural analysis and the sociology of the emotions (Emirbayer and Cohen 2003:1). Durkheim’s perspectives cover a broad range of other issues as well, from social structure to the individual and collective agency, from the state and political public sphere of economic life, and from sociological methodology to moral criticism....   [tags: Sociology, Theory, Culture, Employment]

Better Essays
2374 words (6.8 pages)

Adam Smith, David Ricardo And Thomas Malthus Essay

- Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus have all greatly influenced how people thought about modern economics, especially in areas relating to markets, in terms of the economy and whether certain things affected population rates. In this essay I will cover each of the three topic areas and how each economist interpreted these areas in order to explain why certain phenomena occur within British economics, most of which are still widely accepted today. Adam Smith was the first person to publish ideas about the markets....   [tags: Economics, Adam Smith, David Ricardo]

Better Essays
1219 words (3.5 pages)

The Division Of Labor As An Individual 's Personality Essay

- The division of labor is a process in which individuals take on specialized tasks. Over time, philosophers and economists have developed multiple views on this concept and its resulting consequences. Adam Smith claims that the division of labor leads to greater productivity due to an increase in skill and a decrease in required time. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels argue that it destroys the individual, as well as their power and creativity. Émile Durkheim agrees with Smith while addressing the negatives of specialization....   [tags: Sociology, Karl Marx, Marxism, Adam Smith]

Better Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

The Importance of Adam Smith's Work to Economic Thought Essay

- The Importance of Adam Smith's Work to Economic Thought Adam Smith is widely regarded as the father of economics as a social science, and is perhaps best known for his work The Wealth of Nations. Throughout this work Smith states and informs towards his belief that society is not at its most productive when ruled over by rules and limitations with regards to trade, and that in order for markets to maximise prosperity, a free trade environment should be made accessible. In this essay I intend to asses the way in which many of Smiths theories taken directly form his works can be applied to past and current situations, first from an economic then social, and then a political point of view....   [tags: Adam Smith Economy Economics]

Better Essays
1609 words (4.6 pages)

Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations Essay

- The pivotal second chapter of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, "Of the Principle which gives occasion to the Division of Labour," opens with the oft-cited claim that the foundation of modern political economy is the human "propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another."1 This formulation plays both an analytical and normative role. It offers an anthropological microfoundation for Smith's understanding of how modern commercial societies function as social organizations, which, in turn, provide a venue for the expression and operation of these human proclivities....   [tags: Wealth of Nations]

Better Essays
3049 words (8.7 pages)

adam smith Essays

- Adam Smith And Jean Jacques Rousseau ADAM SMITH AND JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU. Adam Smith(1723-1790) and Jean Jacques Rousseau(1712-1770) each provide their own distinctive social thought. Smith, political economist and moral philosopher, is regarded as the father of modern economics. Rousseau, a Franco-Swiss social and political philosopher, combines enlightenment and semi-romantic themes in his work. Thus Smith’s work places emphasis on the relationship between economics and society, whereas, Rousseau focuses his attention on the social inequalities within society....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
880 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis of Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith Essay examples

- Analysis of Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. Adam Smith The reasons for writing a book such as Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations are many, and Smith seems to have had several in mind. His study traces the stages in the development of the modern economic system in an attempt to explain it, maps out the origins of money, and finally tackles the issues facing the mercantile system which controlled the society he lived in....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

Essay Adam Smith

- Some say he was absent-minded or even oblivious, but I rather like to think of it as frequent states of profound thought. The man I refer to is Adam Smith and after having read the assigned excerpts and a few other passages from his The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations I not only hold him in a new light, but I have arrived at three heavily debated conclusions. First, he believed that self-interest is the singular motivation that effectively leads to public prosperity....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
819 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Adam Smith Biography

- Adam Smith was born on July 5, 1723 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. At the age of fourteen, Smith entered the University of Glasgow, where he studied moral philosophy under Francis Hutcheson. Here Smith developed his strong passion for liberty, reason, and free speech. In 1740 he was awarded the Snell Exhibition and entered Balliol College, Oxford. In 1746 Smith left Oxford. In 1748 Smith began delivering public lectures in Edinburgh under the patronage of the Lord Kames. In 1751 Smith Was appointed the Chair of Logic at University of Glasgow, the next year he was appointed the Chair of Moral Philosophy, which was the position of his old teacher Francis Hutcheson....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
369 words (1.1 pages)