A task is the name or identification of a simple work or a complex project that can have sub-tasks or strings of works attached to it (Anderson 1999). Going by this it is a representation of a structure of activities. Such activities, in an industrial or a production context could mean involvement of both men and machines for its execution or implementation.
The task in the earlier days was entirely conducted by men and was thus people oriented and they used a few tools in order to organize the task or ease its progress. These tools could be said to be simple form of machines and were invented or improvised by people to facilitate the conduct of their work for carrying out the task to their satisfaction.
With advance in civilization and knowledge people invented machines first to simplify their tasks and later to provide assistance in their task. In modern times there a many tasks that are carried out with the use of machines only requiring no human intervention which make the task almost entirely machine oriented.
It can be seen that tasks have become more complex with the advent of time but the two ends of the spectrum have remained people and machines. Apparently one cannot do without the other and this raises the questions of importance, relevance, priorities and hierarchy that are manifest in the topic “Who does the task? People or machines”.
Before the Industrial Revolution work was generally people oriented. The worker was the one who planned work and executed it, using and manipulating various tools of his trade to assist him in increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing costs. With introduction of mechanization in the late 18th century the concept of division of labor became an important feature that took away the characteristic of ownership of the work from a person to several persons. This was generally the time when Adam Smith in his book Wealth of Nations (1776) stated that labor [meaning

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