Engineering and labor specialization during the industrial revolution
This paper explores how technological changes affected labor allocations within the U.S. Navy. During the latter nineteenth century, the officer corps was highly specialized, split between groups of line and staff officers. Developments in general purpose technologies created a dilemma for the organization, as it balanced between the benefits of a specialized workforce implementing increasingly complex technologies with rising communication and coordination costs. We first document the nature and extent of labor specialization in the mid-nineteenth-century Navy—engineers worked more with newer and larger vessels, while line officers worked more with unskilled personnel. The Navy endeavored to destroy this distinction, forcing generalized training and tasks for all officers. We suggest that the Navy’s phased-in approach was an effective strategy, helping the U.S. to become a world-class naval power.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 8 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.cliometrie.org|
More information through EDIRC