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The Division of Labour under Uncertainty


  • Nigel Wadeson


Reductions in the division of labour are a significant feature of modern developments in work organisation. It has been recognised that a reduced division of labour can have the advantages of job enrichment and lower coordination costs. In this paper it is shown how advantages from a lesser division of labour can stem from the flow of work between different sets of resources where the work rates of individual production stages are subject to uncertainties. Both process- and project-based work are considered. Implications for the boundaries of the firm and for innovation processes are noted.

Suggested Citation

  • Nigel Wadeson, 2013. "The Division of Labour under Uncertainty," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(2), pages 253-274, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201306)169:2_253:tdoluu_2.0.tx_2-0
    DOI: 10.1628/093245613X13620416111326

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
    2. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.
    3. Nicolai J. Foss, 1999. "The Use of Knowledge in Firms," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(3), pages 458-458, September.
    4. Richard L. Daniels & Joseph B. Mazzola & Dailun Shi, 2004. "Flow Shop Scheduling with Partial Resource Flexibility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(5), pages 658-669, May.
    5. Cheng, Wenli & Yang, Xiaokai, 2004. "Inframarginal analysis of division of labor: A survey," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 137-174, October.
    6. Hammer, Michael & Champy, James, 1993. "Reengineering the corporation: A manifesto for business revolution," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 90-91.
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    8. Brusoni, Stefano & Prencipe, Andrea, 2001. "Unpacking the Black Box of Modularity: Technologies, Products and Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 179-205, March.
    9. G. M. Buxey, 1974. "Assembly Line Balancing with Multiple Stations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(6), pages 1010-1021, February.
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    11. Maurice D. Kilbridge, 1960. "Reduced Costs Through Job Enlargement: A Case," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33, pages 357-357.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eichhorst, Werner & Kendzia, Michael J. & Schneider, Hilmar & Buhlmann, Florian, 2013. "Neue Anforderungen durch den Wandel der Arbeitswelt," IZA Research Reports 51, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    JEL classification:

    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General


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