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Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University Seminar Papers, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University

No 628:
The Division of Labor Within Firms

Assar Lindbeck ()

Abstract: The paper examines the determinants of the division of labor 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 labor 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.

Keywords: Division of labor; specialization; multi-tasking; organization of work; technological change; information flows; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J23; J24; L23; M12; O33; (follow links to similar papers)

11 pages, October 30, 1997

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