Departmentalization vs. Specialization: Key Differences

Job specialization is the degree to which the overall task of the organization is broken down into smaller component parts. Departmentalization, on the other hand, is the grouping of jobs according to some logical arrangement. What is the difference between specialization and interdependence? increasing the quantity and variety of goods examples.

What is the difference between specialization and departmentalization?

Organization Structure – Types of Departmentalization

Advantages of departmentalization

A major advantage of departmentalization is its ability to allow organizations to grow. When a company reaches a certain size, operations become too big for one person to supervise. Creating separate departments allows for multiple managers to oversee their tasks and coordinate with each other.

Departmentalization also improves the ability to appraise the efficiency of particular parts of a company. If you work at a company that has departments based on geography, you may determine that the employees in your east coast division are more efficient than those on the west coast. This allows you to compare the two departments and determine how to improve the west coasts efficiency.

What is departmentalization?

Departmentalization is an organizational framework that groups multiple small tasks together into a single unit based on a shared set of criteria. These departments have a manager or management team that oversees the tasks in their area and communicates with management from other teams. There are several ways to categorize a workplace by department, such as:

A company can use multiple types of departmentalization for its employees. For example, it may organize the overarching branches by function, but divide employees within those branches by geography.

What is specialization?

Work specialization, also known as division of labor, is the act of separating a job into smaller and simpler individual tasks. For example, if youre building a doghouse with your friends, you can cut the wood, ask one of your friends to nail the wood together and let another friend paint the doghouse. Specialization allows you to save time since different people can perform multiple steps of a project at the same time.

Advantages of specialization

Specialization is useful because it can simplify jobs and decrease the time it takes to complete them. Separating tasks allows you to perform all the steps in a large project simultaneously, increasing efficiency. Specialization also lets you assign easier or harder tasks to team members with relevant experience. If a company makes televisions, dividing the labor means a professional engineer can develop the circuitry inside the TV, while a less experienced person can put the pieces together.

Departmentalization vs. specialization

Both departmentalization and specialization are ways to divide labor and make organizations more efficient. However, these two organizational structures differ in some key ways. These are some differences between departmentalization and specialization:


While departmentalization and specialization address the same goal of improving efficiency, they work by using opposing methods. The function of specialization is to separate a bigger assignment into more manageable pieces. Departmentalizations function is to gather smaller tasks together and categorize them according to a theme.


Both departmentalization and specialization organize a task or series of tasks by using a particular process. Specialization only divides a job into simpler objectives. Departmentalization can categorize its departments in multiple ways, such as product or process. This makes departmentalization a more versatile organizational system since you can execute the process in different ways.


While work specialization focuses on simplifying a single objective into simpler tasks, departmentalization organizes multiple different objectives into separate categories. Specialization often works on a smaller scale than departmentalization. Specialization increases the efficiency of one project at a time, while departmentalization can affect several projects at once.


Organizations often use specialization and departmentalization together, in a specific sequence. First, they use specialization to divide large projects into smaller individual tasks. Then they group tasks together by criteria, such as function or geography, to form departments. Typically, specialization occurs before departmentalization.


When using departmentalization, teams usually work together on a similar product, geography or customer base. While theres usually a command structure, members of the same team often collaborate to solve problems or complete projects. The structure of specialization is more linear. One person completes an assigned task, then sends the project to a different person who completes their assigned task. Theres a direct connection between the employees actions but less collaboration.


As an organization grows, it can add departments to increase efficiency. Theoretically, theres no limit to how many times you can use departmentalization. Once you break a job down to its most basic tasks, theres no more need to specialize. Specialization is most effective when used sparingly, while departmentalization becomes increasingly necessary the more complex an organization is.


What is specialization in organizational structure?

Specialization refers to individuals and organizations focusing on the limited range of production tasks they perform best. This specialization requires workers to give up performing other tasks at which they are not as skilled, leaving those jobs to others who are better suited for them.

How specialization and departmentalization help an organization achieve its goals?

describe how specialization and departmentalization help an organization achieve its goals. Specialization—the divisions of labor into small, specialized tasks than the assignment of single tasks to employees. Minimizes the time lost when workers shift from job to job.

What is the difference between departmentalization and division of labor?

Departmentalization (or departmentalisation) refers to the process of grouping activities into departments. Division of labour creates specialists who need coordination. This coordination is facilitated by grouping specialists together in departments.

What are the five types of departmentalization?

The five types of departmentalization are discussed and listed as follows: a) Functional departmentalization b) Product departmentalization c) Customer departmentalization d) Geographical and process. e) Matrix departmentalization a) Functional…show more content…

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