Mass production refers to the making of large quantities of standardized products. The process involves division of labour and each worker specializes in one or two tasks, doing repetitive work. On the other hand, the craftsman is the expert who is solely responsible for all the steps involved in producing the product. There is assumption that the craftsman is the master who has skill, and expertise to ensure that all his products are of a good quality. Whether mass production will inevitably lead to a loss of quality and craftsmanship will depend on the nature of mass production, the adaptability of the craftsman and our definition of quality.
Mass production could be the end of craftsmanship and quality under certain circumstances. Take Vertu Corp. and Nokia Corp. as an example. Vertu Corp. is a British-based manufacturer and retailer of luxury mobile phones of high quality standards and fine, elaborated details. In contrast, Nokia Corp. is a Finnish multinational communications corporation, engaged in manufacturing of mobile devices and is easily the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones. Despite the fact that both Vertu Corp. and Nokia Corp. are manufacturers of mobile phones, however, we observe that Vertu Corp. targets the crème de la crop of the society and emphasizes on the quality and craftsmanship; Nokia Corp. meets the needs of the general public and focuses on the quantity instead. Thus, under the circumstances to meet the raising demands of mobile phones from the society, Nokia Corp. forsakes quality and craftsmanship in order to meet the quantity needed, unlike Vertu Corp. opts for superior craftsmanship of each individualized mobile phones rather than mass-producing them.
However, poor quality is not necessarily the result of assembly line. Operating on the assembly lines, each worker is only in charge of a particular part of the product, which intention is to allow fewer mistakes to be made and in turn produce higher quality...
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