Specialisation is when production is concentrated on particular goods and services. It has led to increased standards of living. Countries which are specialised can trade their goods/services with those of other countries.
The Division of Labour is a type of specialisation in which the production of a good is broken up into tasks carried out by different workers.
- Workers become highly skilled at their particular task – increased efficiency.
- No time is wasted moving from one job to another.
- Capital machinery can be used continuously throughout the production process (e.g. production line) – greater mechanisation.
- Less time spent training workers for specific tasks.
- More choice – workers can specialise in a job they are most suited to.
- Higher output/increased quality – increased variety.
- Saving of equipment – each worker doesn’t need a full set of tools.
- Repetition creates monotony/boredom – decreased motivation and efficiency.
- High turnover of staff – recruitment/selection costs.
- Easier to replace workers with machines – increased structural unemployment.
- Interdependence – if one sector collapses it could affect an entire industry.
- Less flexibility – difficult for workers to switch to performing other tasks when there is a need to cover for other workers or when demand changes.
- Loss of skills – tasks are simple and mechanised.
- Increased risk of unemployment – workers have limited skills – change in demand could mean that their skills aren’t needed ® unemployment.