Monday, September 26, 2011

Organization Theory - 11

In the last blog, we discussed about "division of labor". In today's blog, we discuss about the concept of "specialization".

Specialization could be understood as - particular grouping of activities performed by an individual. If we have a second look at the way we have understood this, it becomes clear that we can have a specialization based on the task performed or based on the skills of the individuals. Thus, we can call them as:
  • Functional Specialization
  • Social Specialization

It is pretty clear that when we begin to divide the task into multiple smaller tasks which are simpler and repetitive in nature. Thus we could call it again as "division of labor". It would be interesting to note that. "Division of labor" creates a sort of substitutability amongst the various employees and helps the management easily replace them.

If the individual is "specialized" instead of the work that is being performed, we call it "social specialization" - e.g. Engineers, nuclear physicists etc. The only way to achieve such social specialization for the organization is hiring these professionals!

With an increase in the specialization, it follows that the amount of coordination and control between the various specializations adds up - thus it would increase the "complexity" of the organization compared to the single person doing everything!

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