In the ordinary speech, the term labour means a mass of unskilled labour. But in Economics it is used in a wider sense. Any work. whether manual or mental. which is undertaken for a monetary consideration. is called labour in Economics. Any work done for the sake of pleasure or love does not fall under labour in the economic sense. In Marshall’s words. Any exertion of mind or body undergone partly or wholly with a view to some good other than the pleasure derived directly from the work, is called labour.
These peculiarities of labour have an intimate bearing on the determination of wages.
That labour should be treated differently from a commodity is a social rather than an economic question.
Factors Determining Efficiency of Labour
The following are some of the main factors which affect labour efficiency:
(i) Racial Qualities, Labour efficiency largely depends on heredity and the racial stock to which a worker belongs.
(ii) Coma Factors. A cool bracing climate is conduce to hard work. whereas the tropical climate is enervating.
(iii) Education. Efficiency also depends on education. both general and technical. Personal Qualities. A worker’s efficiency also depends upon his personal qualities, e.g . physique, mental alertness, intelligence, resourcefulness and initiative etc.
(iv) Industrial Organisation and Equipment. The level of organisation and the nature of equipment supplied to the workers, 100, determine their efficiency.
(v) factory environment Cramped and ventilated factories, situated in crowded and insanitary surroundings, are not conductive to efficiency.
(vi)Working Hours. Long hours impair labour efficiency.
(vii) Fair and Prompt Payment. A well-paid worker is generally contented and puts his heart into the job.
(viii) Organisation. An organised effort is always e effective.
(ix) Social and Political Factors. Social security Ernest guaranteeing freedom from want and fear, and which remove the dread of unemployment that always over their head like Damocles’ sword, are bound o labour with dignity and respect and add to efficiency.
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