In a fast-paced environment, things and behavior are almost always in flux as people adapt and adjust. Even the way we research for information has already changed–from looking in to books to searching for it in Google more often.
You see, the method of getting things done change as rapidly as trends do. From Adam Smith’s concept of Division of Labor which most companies have adapted to something even more objective-specific and usually more efficient: Welcome to The Age of Hyperspecialization.
At this day and age, jobs that have already been divided (as inspired by the division of labor), apparently, can still be further divided into smaller, more specific jobs/tasks. To translate: the jobs which the manager can do could possibly be divided into more specific tasks then be cascaded to different people–the specialists. As Thomas W. Malone (2011) would put it, hyperspecialization has the ability to get things “faster, better, cheaper.”
The world’s overpopulation is a different story but as far as the current situation of some countries where a lot of people do not have jobs because there are probably more people than the number of jobs offered there, adapting the concept of hyperspecialization COULD POSSIBLY be one method to remedy the said problem. If someone, well-educated or not, specializes in a particular knowledge or skill, then it is likely for him/her to actually get a job that requires mastery in the particular skill he/she has. And the company in which he/she will be working in will probably become happier because they need not pay one person a lot to get everything done probably slower; they have specialists whom they can pay less but can do the tasks faster and more likely than not, better.
While it is good for some organizations, it’s not-so-good for others. This generally depends on how hyperspecialization is utilized.
- If the organization is more concerned about getting the tasks done than checking the quality of the collaborative tasks done, then hyperspecialization is not good for them.
- If the organization assigns a particular task to someone and would intentionally not recognize the person’s potential (say, the person has the knowledge and skills to spearhead an account or a project but he/she is stuck in taking down minutes of the meeting), then the organization must not be ready for hyperspecialization.
At the end of the day, there has got to be someone or some people who know how to manage and put together all the contributions in such a way that the end-product is of great quality. And organizations ready for hyperspecialization should always be open to changes, still. This said “Future Work” could eventually be replaced by a future “Future Work” that is more efficient and effective.
But for this blog post, I’ll focus on the GOOD. They say “experience is the best teacher,” so I’ll be using an organization I am the most familiar with as my example. This organization may only be a college-based one but for a college-based organization, it is relatively big for having roughly 200 members this academic year (AY2011-2012). Besides, it’s the organization closest to my heart (this is my communication blog anwyay. :P) So yes, say hello, once again, to the Organizational Communication Society.
OrComSoc: A hyperspecialized organization in a good way.