The specialization of work consists in the assignment of the different tasks of a particular production process and its activities derived in different individuals or work groups according to their characteristics, skills or resources.
The concept of work specialization is studied by the strategic management of companies. Companies that opt for specialized work systems design an organization chart where each task is developed by a specialist.
The growth of mass production industries and the use of economies of scale helped their expansion. The main sense of specialization is that each task is performed by people previously directed to that part of the process.
Thus, it is important academic and professional preparation for what positions, distinguishing skilled and unskilled workers.
Origin of work specialization
This concept was developed with the appearance of handicrafts. Industrialization and the creation of mass production models already settled it.
Adam Smith defined that the division of labor through the emergence of more skilled professionals involved the achievement of higher levels of efficiency and resource savings.
Following that line, Frederick W. Taylor created a system of rational organization of work, known as Taylorism, with a view to calculating the highest levels of utility. He helped himself with the industrial innovations of his time, which benefited the distribution of production stages.
This type of approach also enjoys importance at the level of nations thanks to David Ricardo. In this sense, David Ricardo pointed to the specialization in the production of goods due to comparative advantages .
Characteristics of work specialization
Among the main characteristics of the work specialization are:
- It implies the existence of professionals with specific knowledge and skills for a task due to their preparation or experience.
- This specialist plays his precise role in the company.
- It allows access to high salaries and replacement difficulty.
- It reduces errors and simplifies the production process.
The main argument in favor of specialization is that it helps to achieve higher levels of efficiency for companies, which reduce costs and time by not changing tasks, machinery, travel in an installation or learning other processes.
Hiring people with a specific preparation or training for the realization of a process allows companies to expedite the fulfillment of their commitments. Especially in more technical sectors. However, the greater the specialization of an employee, the more expensive the replacement will be for the company. Which is because it will be more difficult to find a worker of identical abilities and promote their adaptation.
For the employee to reach a high level of specialization helps him stand out from the rest. Since it is a signaling tool that would guarantee better job opportunities and less competition. Being a specialist usually goes hand in hand with access to higher salaries and better hiring.
Examples of work specialization
On an individual basis, if companies are looking for individuals who are experts in very specific tasks, such as the management of specific computer resources, management of complex technological resources, work with specific tools of a sector (construction, transport, industry …), or research and study of innovation and scientific development.
Jointly, if the company itself assumes the concept in a particular sector or activity. They develop their business by concentrating on one; for example designing specific accessories for Apple products.