This paper introduces
a major historical figure in the study of management that has contributed
greatly to the evolution of management concepts and practices, Adam Smith. This
paper will cover a historical background on Smith, why Smith’s work is
important to the study of management today and how we involve his contributions
into our practice of management. The highlighted concept in this paper is
Smith’s study of job specialization and the division of labor. This concept has
contributed to major improvements in many different industries. This paper will
utilize a multitude of sources as well as information provided in class to
fully understand the major contribution of job specialization that Adam Smith
was able to provide.
Adam Smith is
known today as the father of Economics and a key figure in the Scottish
Enlightenment. He has a multitude of studies and theories that have been very
influential. His importance to the
field of economics is pronounced but his work flowed into the field of
management. Smith was the principal sponsor of improving productivity through
the use of job specialization and the division of labor in any industry. Job
specialization is the process of taking one process and breaking it down into
several specialized positions. Henry Ford’s assembly line is a prime example of
how beneficial this idea is. This idea is still in place today and this is why
it is important. Smith’s work and ideas became vastly important in the study of
management and really revolutionized the management field.
Adam Smith was
born in 1723 in Scotland where he would become a prominent economist,
philosopher, and professor. Smith was educated at the University of Glasgow
attending on a scholarship at only the age of 14 studying mostly philosophy.
Smith would later become a professor at that university in 1751 and then became
the chair of philosophy in 1752. His study of the division of labor began at a
French pin factory observing individual workers working alone making each
entire pin on their own. The entire process was then dissected and broken down
into sections. He would then have separate employees working on each section.
By doing this, production of the pins, as in pins per day, improved by about
240 times the original rate. This process allowed each worker to become
specialized in one area of the process and this improved efficiency and
effectiveness. Smith also notes how with this increased output and
specialization that employees are able to earn higher wages than before and
companies will see greater profits.
work has vast importance to the field of management in many ways. With managers
implementing this new concept, they will have high outputs, increased
productivity, highly motivated employees as well as higher effectiveness and
efficiency, which is a core goal of management. This idea and all of Smith’s
thoughts and work have had a great impact throughout history. This idea became
widely used such as in Henry Ford’s automobile production and continues to be a
major part of management strategies today. Our society has been able to greatly
improve across all industries with the help of implementing these ideas.
Adam Smith being the first to identify and study the benefits of job
specialization, he left a lasting impact in the field of management. He created
a strong way for managers to organize their employees to achieve their
organizational goals effectively and efficiently. His work was of vast
importance and contributed greatly to the economic success and improvement
throughout the world. His work is stilled widely used by successful managers
everywhere. Any manager who implements these ideals set in play by Smith will
see a great increase in their companies effectiveness and efficiency.