Question: Evaluate the benefits of the division of labour in the car manufacturing industry.
Let’s take the example of Ford using the division of labour. A major benefit to Ford is that their workers repeat their specific tasks over and over again, so they become more efficient. Ford’s workers will gain skills in a narrow range of activities so they become experts in their own roles. This will allow Ford to produce more cars and lower their average
costs, so their profits rise.
But, labourers may become bored if they find the work to be repetitive and monotonous, workers then begin to make mistakes. For instance, one worker may have to screw a bonnet in to place hundreds of times a day for weeks and months, this can easily become monotonous and lead to errors.
Additionally, the division of labour will make it cheap and easy for Ford to provide workers with specialist machinery. Again, this will help improve efficiency. Also, it may allow Ford to keep up-to date with new production techniques and innovations in the car market.
Although, Ford’s factory may become too dependent on individual workers and/or machinery. If a machine breaks down or a worker is off ill then the assembly line may have to stop and production stops.
Another possible benefit for Ford is that car quality can increase because goods are made by those with the best skills to make them. This will allow Ford to, for instance, produce a better quality Mustang that can compete with its German rivals BMW and Mercedes in the demanding European car market.
However, market size may limit the scope for specialisation. Only if the market size is large enough is it beneficial to produce a lot of cars at a low unit cost.