Organization of Production

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Organization of Production


the set of measures directed toward a rational synthesis of the processes of labor with the physical elements of production in space and time for the purpose of raising efficiency. The organization of production is concerned with the achievement of assigned goals as rapidly as possible with optimal utilization of production resources.

At a socialist enterprise, the organization of production should ensure a steady increase in the volume of goods of adequate quality needed by the national economy. It must also provide for improvement in the design, models, and brands of articles; for growth in labor productivity and reduction of production costs; and for improvement in working conditions and in the cultural and technical level of the workers. As production becomes more machine-intensive the rational use of machinery, including prompt and accurate repairs when needed, becomes a major aim of the organization of production. Other tasks include preparing for the production of new types of articles and modernizing articles currently in production, improving the manufacturing processes involved, and ongoing regulation and monitoring of the performance of production units. Encompassing all stages in the manufacturing process, the organization of production implies a systems approach and the subordination of all partial goals to the main task: maximum satisfaction of the needs of society.

The chief requirements that the organization of production must satisfy are continuity in production processes, balance in the work of all units, and evenness in the flow of production. Continuity involves the use of the instruments of labor with minimal time losses and the uninterrupted movement of the objects of labor through all stages of production. The achievement of balance requires a correspondence in the capacities of related production sections that makes it possible to use their productive capacities fully. Evenness in the flow of production entails steadiness of output and performance of equal volumes of work in equal periods of time. The organization of production encompasses primary and auxiliary production, supporting services, and the processes of administration as coordinated elements in a unified manufacturing process. The major trends in production organization are industrial specialization, concentration, and integration.

Among the conditions for a rational organization of production is a reduction in the diversity of jobs performed in each section, brought about by standardization of the products and their subassemblies. Other conditions include the introduction of standardized industrial processes, the achievement of optimal volume in partial production processes, the performance in parallel of different stages of product manufacture, and the creation of conditions that allow for the comprehensive use of raw and processed materials. Production organization assumes systematic improvements in the physical elements of production (raw and processed materials, equipment, finished goods) and a rise in the skill and qualifications of workers. Scientific and technological progress creates new tasks for the organization of production related to the changing objectives and conditions of production. The use of specialized high-output technology makes continuity in production more important because each hour of equipment downtime causes considerable losses.

The most important methods of production organization are the flow, batch, and unit methods. The most progressive is the flow method, which provides for the assignment of a limited list of jobs and for the arrangement of work positions and production sections according to the path dictated by the stages in a product’s manufacture. In the most highly refined forms of flow production the work of related sections is synchronized. Flow methods of production organization are used effectively in the mass production of uniform products; they are also effective in lot production. The unit method allows for modification according to the nature of the products produced, with individual production sections being set up to perform specialized tasks. The batch method is employed in lot production. It combines elements of unit and flow organization, resembling the latter most closely. It is characterized by the arrangement of equipment in groups of uniform machines and machine tools, assignment of a broad list of jobs to individual production units, limited use of specialized equipment and tools, and broad specialization among workers. The organization of experimental production has its own distinctive features. It is characterized by the absence of proven technology, by norms that are only tentative, by modification of products or parts of products, and by readjustments in production engineering.

The central problem of production organization with respect to time is planning the length of the production cycle, that is, the time from the moment that materials enter into production until the finished product emerges. The length of the production cycle is reduced by improving technology and employing highly productive machinery, by changing numerous natural processes into technological ones, by combining the time taken by transport and product-control operations with basic production time, and by using progressive methods for combining operations. Mathematical methods and modern computer equipment are used in working out measures for the organization of production.

Efficient organization of production is reflected in an increase in the productivity of social labor, improvement in the use of fixed productive funds, decreased losses of raw and processed materials, and lower production costs. An overall index of the efficiency of production organization is the increase in the value of output sold per ruble of capital invested by the state in the work of the particular production unit.

Under socialism production is organized in the interests of the working people and with their active participation.

Under capitalism the organization of production has the aim of extracting maximum profit for the owners of the means of production. Capitalist methods of organizing production are associated with excessive intensification of labor and inadequate safety standards and procedures. These negative qualities are all found, for example, in the manual-assembly conveyors used extensively in the capitalist countries. The exploitative essence of the capitalist organization of production is camouflaged by modern scientific methods. For example, the introduction of performance standards based on micromotion studies without corresponding changes in working conditions leads to an intensification of labor in the capitalist countries. Under capitalism the implements and objects of labor are improved only when improvement means increased profit. Nonetheless, many of these scientific methods of organizing production may, after critical scrutiny, be found suitable for use in socialist enterprises. Such methods include techniques for specializing work positions, for setting up supporting services, and for planning the division and cooperation of labor at work positions.


Kheinman, S. A. Ekonomicheskie problemy organizatsii promyshlennogo proizvodstva. Moscow, 1961.
Organizatsiia i planirovanie proizvodstva na mashinostroitel’nom predpriiatii. Edited by V. A. Letenko. Moscow, 1972.


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