DP1825 The Division of Labour Within Firms

Author(s): Assar Lindbeck, Dennis J. Snower
Publication Date: March 1998
Keyword(s): division of labour, Information Flows, multi-tasking, organization of work, Specialization, Technological Change
JEL(s): J23, J24, L23, M12, O33
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=1825

The paper examines the determinants of the division of labour within firms. It provides an explanation of the pervasive change in work organization away from the traditional functional departments and towards multi-tasking and job rotation. Whereas the existing literature on the division of labour within firms emphasizes the returns from specialization and the need for coordination of the work of different workers, the present analysis focuses on the returns from multi-tasking, which is shown to arise from informational and technological complementarities among tasks as well as from the exploitation of the versatility of human capital.