10 Examples of the Division of Labor

Mar 10, 2023

The division of labour is a way of breaking down a complex task or process into smaller, more specific tasks that can be carried out by a number of different people.

This can increase efficiency and productivity by allowing each person or group of people to focus on a specific area of expertise or skill.

By dividing up the work, people can become more proficient at their specialised tasks, which can lead to an improvement in the quality and speed with which the overall task is carried out.

For example, on an aircraft assembly line, each worker can be assigned a specific task, such as the installation of a particular part or the attachment of a particular component.

This allows the aircraft to be built more efficiently and in less time than if each worker needed to build an entire aircraft from start to finish.

Division of labour can also be the catalyst for the development of new technologies and innovations that can further improve efficiency and productivity.

Let's take a look at 10 examples to help us understand how the division of labour is applied in different disciplines:

1. Production of yogurt

The yogurt production chain consists of a number of steps in the processing and packaging of the final product. Each step requires specialized personnel. The successful completion of each step is essential to ensure that the final product is of high quality and safe for consumption.

Milk treatment

Milks undergo pasteurization to eliminate harmful bacteria and homogenization to ensure consistent texture and consistency.

Culture preparation

Yogurt cultures are prepared separately by mixing milk with specific strains of bacteria. This mixture is incubated for the development of the bacterial culture.


Once the yogurt culture is ready, it is mixed with the pasteurized and homogenized milk to create the yogurt mix.


Incubation of the yoghurt mixture at a specific temperature and time allows the bacteria to ferment the milk and create the yoghurt's distinctive tart taste and thick consistency.


After being incubated, the yogurt is chilled to stop the fermentation process and achieve the desired texture.


Specialized equipment is used to package yogurt into cups, bottles or bags. The packaging process may also include the addition of fruit, flavors, or other ingredients to create a wide variety of yogurt products.

Quality Control

Throughout the manufacturing process, the various components and systems are inspected and tested by quality control personnel to ensure that they meet the required specifications and standards.

Storing and distributing

Finished yogurt products are temperature-controlled and shipped to retailers, distributors or customers.

2. Shoe making

Shoe Designer

Often uses design software to design and create sketches or drawings of shoes.

Pattern Maker

Conversion of the designer's sketch, often creating a prototype from a material such as cardboard or foam.


Cuts leather or other materials in accordance with the pattern maker's design.


Uses a sewing machine or hand sewing techniques to join the various pieces of leather or other materials.

Last Maker

Creates the "last," which is a model of the foot used to shape the shoe. The last maker may also modify existing lasts to add specific design elements or fit requirements.


Assembles shoe components, such as the sole, upper and lining, onto the last to create the finished product.


Assists customers in the selection of the perfect pair of shoes and may also be responsible for the fitting, repair or adjustment of shoes.

3. Manufacturing a sofa

A sofa is made in a series of stages. Each stage depends on the success of the previous one.

Design and engineering

The design staff creates the initial concept for the furniture. They design the furniture and determine the materials and manufacturing processes to be used.


Specialized woodworking machines and processes such as sawing, routing, sanding and joining are used to create the piece of furniture.


For pieces of furniture that require upholstery, specialized personnel use machines and processes to cut and shape the upholstery material, attach it to the frame of the furniture, and add foam padding and other materials.


The sofa is finished using a variety of specialized techniques to achieve the desired look and feel. This may include staining, painting, lacquering, or applying other finishes.


Assembly is the process by which the various components of a piece of furniture are joined into a finished product. This may include adding legs, hardware or other components.


The finished sofas are packaged and labeled in preparation for distribution to retailers, distributors, or customers.

4. Production of a face cream

Research and Development Team

Develops new formulas for face creams and tests them for efficacy and safety.

Formulation Chemist

Considering the desired texture, consistency and ingredients, formulates the face cream formula.

Quality Control

Checks the purity, consistency and stability of the face cream to ensure it meets quality standards.

Manufacturing Technician

Operates the machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing process. Examples include mixing tanks, filling machines, and labeling machines.


Fills and packages face cream into jars, tubes or other containers, ensuring proper labeling and sealing.

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Ensures face cream meets all relevant regulations and requirements, including those for safety, labeling and marketing.

Marketing and Sales

Develops marketing strategies and materials to promote the face cream and assists in the sale of the product to distributors, retailers, and consumers.

5. Manufacturing of mobile phones

Research and Development Department

This department is responsible for the design and development of the product concept, the determination of features and specifications, and the testing of product prototypes.

Design and Engineering Department

This department is responsible for the creation of the physical design of the mobile phone as well as the engineering of the various components such as the processor, the display and the camera.

Supply Chain Management Department

This department is responsible for managing the logistics and distribution of the finished product, as well as procuring the raw materials and components needed to manufacture the handset.

Manufacturing Department

Assembling the mobile components into a finished product, including testing and quality control, is the responsibility of this department.

Marketing Department

This department is responsible for the creation of a marketing strategy for the mobile phone, the definition of the target audience and the promotion of the product through various channels.

Sales Department

This department is responsible for the sale of the mobile phone through a variety of channels, such as online stores, retail stores, and carrier partnerships.

Customer Support

This department is responsible for providing support and service to the users of the handset, including troubleshooting, repairing and replacing the handset.

6. Building a home


Designs the layout and overall appearance of the home, taking into account the needs and preferences of the client, as well as building codes and standards.

Structural Engineer

Ensures that the home is safe and strong by determining the best structural design and materials.


Oversees the entire construction process. This includes hiring subcontractors, scheduling work, and making sure the project stays within budget.


Installs the home's electrical wiring, fixtures and appliances, making sure they are safe and in compliance with local building codes.


Installs the home's plumbing system, including pipes, fixtures and appliances such as sinks, toilets and showers.


Builds the structure of the home, including the walls, floors, and roof, and may also install cabinetry and other finish carpentry work.


Applies paint or other finishes, ensuring that the colors and textures meet the client's specifications, to the interior and exterior surfaces of the home.


Designs and installs the landscaping around the home, including the trees, shrubs, flowers, and other outdoor features.

Interior Designer

Assists the client in the selection of furnishings, fixtures and decor for the interior of the home, ensuring that the design is functional and aesthetically pleasing.

men building a home Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

7. The production of a bicycle

This is an example of the chain of operations in the manufacture of a bicycle:


The materials and manufacturing processes to be used are determined and the initial concept of the bicycle frame is created.

Making the frame
The brazing or laminating of carbon fiber is done by a group of people.


Components such as wheels, brakes, handlebars, and drivetrain components are manufactured by companies that specialize in each of these components.


Everything is assembled to create the final product. This includes the installation of the frame, the wheels, the brakes, the handlebars, the drivetrain and other components.

Painting and Finishing

To achieve the desired visual effect, the frame and other parts are painted and finished.


The finished bicycles are packaged and labeled in preparation for distribution to retailers, distributors, or customers.

8. Making a pizza

Pizza chef

Oversees the entire pizza making process. Responsible for ensuring that each pizza is made to the highest quality standards.

Pizza Dough Maker

Prepares the dough for the pizza by mixing the ingredients together and kneading the dough to the right consistency.


Uses a rolling pin or machine to spread the pizza dough into a thin, even crust.

Sauce maker

Prepares the pizza sauce, often using a combination of tomato sauce, herbs, and seasoning.

Topping Assistant

Prepares and cuts the various ingredients for the pizza. These ingredients include cheese, vegetables, meat, and herbs.

Pizza Assembler

Assembles the pizza by spreading the sauce on top of the dough, adding the cheese and toppings, and arranging everything in an aesthetically pleasing manner.


Cooking the pizza in an oven or on a pizza stone, ensuring that the pizza is cooked evenly and crisp.


Cuts the pizza into individual slices using a pizza cutter or a knife.

Delivery Person

Delivers the pizza to the customer and may also be responsible for taking orders, payments and other customer service tasks.

9. Creation of a shirt

Design and construction of the shirt

The design team creates the first prototype of the shirt. They design the pattern and determine the size and fit of the garment.

Cut the material

The fabric is cut according to the pattern designed by the previous team, making sure that each piece is cut and shaped to fit.


Another group of people is responsible for sewing the pieces of the shirt together. They use different types of stitches, such as straight or zigzag stitches.

Assembling the collar and cuffs

The collar and cuffs are made separately. They are then attached to the shirt.

Adding buttons and buttonholes

The buttons and button holes are added to the shirt.

Pressing and Finishing

The shirt is pressed and finished to make sure that it is free of wrinkles and other imperfections.

10. Making a book


The author writes the manuscript. The manuscript is then edited for content, grammar, and style.

Design and Layout

In the design department, the layout of the book is created, including the page size, font, margins, and other design elements.


The product is converted to a digital format using design software to create the final layout of the book.


The book is printed in the printing department, which creates the hardcover, paperback, or large-format books.


The printed pages are bound together, with a variety of binding methods being used for the different types of books.


Once the books are finished, they are shipped to the retailers, distributors, or to the customers.

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