Brigade, Production

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Brigade, Production


a collective of workers of the same or of various occupations who jointly carry out a single production assignment and bear total responsibility for the results of the work. Brigade organization of labor is used when fulfillment of a production task requires the simultaneous participation of several workers. The following conditions are observed in setting up the brigades and organizing their work: the brigade must be composed of workers whose joint work will produce a finished product or part of it; the results of the brigade’s work must be subjected to precise accounting and evaluation; and the division of labor and cooperation within the brigade must be organized in such a way that, along with the results of the work of the brigade as a whole, the results of the labor of each participant can be shown.

A production brigade may be specialized or complex, depending on the type of labor division and cooperation and also on the professional composition of the workers.

A specialized production brigade consists of workers of the same trade performing similar technological processes (such as a brigade of molders in a foundry shop or a brigade of assemblers in an assembly shop).

A complex production brigade is organized from workers of various trades who perform a complex of technologically varied tasks and are united by the common object of their labor or its equipment. Specialized sections of certain processes or operations may also be included in the composition of complex production brigades.

Production brigades may be classified, depending on the work schedule of the enterprise, into two types: shift, if they are composed of workers of the same shift, or continuous, if composed of workers occupied during several shifts. A brigadier designated from among the more experienced workers leads the brigade. As a rule, he is not freed from his principal production work. The brigadier, in collaboration with the foreman, work superintendent, or crew chief, distributes work among the members of the brigade, places workers at their posts, and instructs workers. The number of workers in a brigade depends on the volume of work, the period in which it is to be done, the degree of mechanization and automatization of the work, the labor intensity of the operations performed, and the level of productivity of the labor. The professional and skills composition of the brigade is determined by the content and complexity of the tasks performed. More equitable distribution of work among members of the brigade and more rational use of work time on their part may be secured by combining trades or tasks.

The most widespread form of remuneration of labor on work brigades in Soviet enterprises is brigade piece-work wages, distributed among the members of the brigade according to the time put in by each worker and his wage category. A working brigadier receives a supplement of about 10 to 15 percent of his base pay for leading the brigade.


The production brigade in agriculture is the basic form of organization of labor and the primary production unit. In kolkhozes the production brigade as a form of organization of labor began in 1929. At first, temporary brigades were formed for performance of definite phases of work (such as plowing, sowing, and threshing), upon completion of which they disbanded. The present-day production brigade on the kolkhoz or sovkhoz is a permanent collective of workers performing all tasks of production on a particular parcel of land under a single leadership, on the basis of cooperation and division of labor.

A distinction is made between specialized and complex production brigades. Specialized production brigades are associated with certain branches of agriculture, such as field-crop cultivation, vegetable growing, cultivation of orchards, hog raising, sheep raising, or sheepherding. Such brigades may have even more narrow specialties, such as growing one agricultural crop (hemp, cotton, grapes, etc.) or serving one herd of livestock. On many farms brigades for fodder production, seed raising, construction, transport, and the like have been organized. If tractors and agricultural machines are attached to a production brigade, it is called a tractor-production, or mechanized, brigade. This is the most progressive form of brigade. Such brigades may be specialized (for example, tractor-husbandry, tractor-vegetable-raising) or complex. Tractor-production brigades include machine operators and workers who perform jobs with horses and by hand.

The administration of a kolkhoz (or directorate of a sovkhoz) assigns a parcel of land, technical equipment, a herd of livestock, buildings, tools, and other means of production to a production brigade for an extended term. The size of a production brigade depends on the specialization of the kolkhoz or sovkhoz; it varies sharply according to regions and may often differ widely even from that of others in neighboring farms.

A production brigade is headed by a brigadier appointed by the administration of a kolkhoz (or directorate of a sovkhoz). Agricultural specialists and the best-qualified kolkhoz workers are promoted to the job of brigadier. On Apr. 1, 1969, 15.6 percent of brigadiers in the kolkhozes and 23 percent in sovkhozes had higher or specialized secondary education. The brigadier is fully responsible for the work of the brigade and for the care and proper use of technical equipment and other property. He keeps an account of work and checks on quality and production time. In large complex brigades there are accountants and assistants to the brigadier. The production brigade organizes its work on the basis of the annual production assignment confirmed by the administration of the kolkhoz (or directorate of a sovkhoz). Members of the brigade participate in working out the assignment. On many farms, soviets of brigades have been formed; these examine problems of production activity of the brigades.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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