In this post, we’ll define specialization and generalization. Once you understand these terms, you can hire the right employees to grow your business.
What is Specialization?Specialization's definition is the “segmenting of large, labor-intensive tasks into workable subtasks that may be done by different workers.” Whatever the industry or business, every project is made up of many, smaller subtasks. For example, let’s say you’re building a hotel on vacant land. You need to:
- Obtain approval from the local government.
- Survey and grade the construction site.
- Pour a foundation.
- Frame the building.
- Install electricity, plumbing, etc.
Improving Perceived ValueBusiness Dictionary defines perceived value as “a customer’s opinion of a product’s value to him or her.” The definition also says that perceived value is based on the “product’s ability to satisfy his or her needs.” By hiring specialists or specializing in certain products, you can improve your goods or services. As a result, your product or service will become more desirable, allowing you to extract more value from customers. You can do this by raising prices or changing payment terms.
What Is Generalization?Generalization, as it relates to staff, is having basic skills in various areas. For example, project managers are often generalists. They may have basic proficiency in using certain technology, communicating, organizing, and analyzing. Other examples of roles that often have a high degree of generalization include:
- General contractors
- Real estate agents
- Retail associates
Encouraging Economic DiversitySince generalist roles can be filled by people with diverse economic backgrounds, your company gains access to new perspectives. With specialization, advanced education or degrees are often needed. For those unable to pay for advanced education, generalization is the only way into the job market. By focusing your hiring on generalization, you open the door for great potential employees overlooked by the job market. In today’s competitive market, innovation is the lifeblood of business. So, generalization is key to establishing a competitive advantage.
Which Is Better For Your Business?Choosing to focus on specialization rather than generalization or vice versa depends on:
- The biggest obstacles your business is facing.
- How complicated those obstacles are.
- What you can afford.