Durkheim And Marx: The Division Of Labor Sample Assignment

The division of labor can be described as the process of separating tasks in an economic system so that individuals can specialize based on their specific competencies. The concept was popularized by Adam Smith when he noted that productivity increases when workers are divided and assigned different roles. Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx are two sociologists whose contributions on the concept advanced sociological theories significantly. They held varied ideologies regarding the theory, as well as its effects on society.

Durkheim described the division of labor as the establishment of specified jobs for certain people, centered on their skills. He saw it as vital because it increases the productivity potential of processes and sharpens the skills of workers. Moreover, it leads to the creation of solidarity, which can be either organic or mechanical. However, he noted that the concepts supersedes economic gain as it inaugurates social and moral order in society. It brings social integration and promotes organic solidarity. In contrast, Marx did not give a proper definition of the term. However, he affirmed that it is the main means of production within the capitalistic system. Unlike Durkheim, Marx did not limit his explication of the concept to its contribution toward enhancing productivity. He argued that specialization turns to commodity production only if the products of two autonomous individuals can be exchanged based on their intrinsic values. According to him, division transforms labor into a commodity that can be bought or sold in the marketplace. Marx believed that division of labor translates into a mechanism of producing commodities once products leave the site of production. On the contrary, Durkheim taught that cooperation between workers and their interdependence are the hallmarks of the division of labor.

Durkheim also believed that the division of labor resulted from increases in population density. The growth of the concept leads to the emergence of organic solidarity. This phenomenon can be observed in the modern industrial societies where social solidarity is rampant. It makes people interdependent and it initiates social integration. In that regard, Durkheim conceived division of labor as a social institution. In contrast, Marx studied the concept as an economic institution. He argued that the value of productive labor is hidden, and its measure is directly proportional to the time needed to produce a commodity. Therefore, it is not determined socially as Durkheim suggested. People disregard the relationship between products and the social aspects of their production. Therefore, a certain form of division of labor within the capitalistic system inflates the value of commodities. This is so because division within and outside the workplace allows work to be viewed as value and as a commodity, thus the commodification of human’s product. Marx believed that the division of labor led to the dehumanization of the work force as workers are reduced to mechanical beings that lack creativity.

Durkheim did not anticipate the emergence of a different type of society from the industrial capitalist’s approach to division of labor. He viewed chaos, conflict, and disorder as uncontrolled phenomena that affect the modern society. In contrast, Marx cited class conflict as a key component of modern society. He believed that the division of labor was not a facilitator of social solidarity, but an ideology that was imposed on workers for the benefit of the capitalists. They both cited different consequences of the division of labor. Durkheim argued that it establishes equilibrium in society while Marx claimed that it divides society into classes based on who owns the means of production. In modern society, the concept renders it necessary for capitalists to have a higher number of workers under their control. This ensures that the capitalist’s capital grows exponentially. Therefore, capitalists benefit at the expense of the workers.

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Coca-Cola Macroeconomic Factors Analysis

Macroeconomic conditions are concerned with the features within the external environment in which a business operates. These factors include the general economic situations, political, legal, and regulatory factors, technological influences, socioeconomic aspects, and the natural environment. The macroeconomic elements of a firm guide its strategic course and decisions. The paper aims to evaluate the macroeconomic factors affecting the Coca-Cola Company and demonstrate how these factors influences its business strategies.

General Economic Conditions

The Inflation Rate

Inflation rates can have debilitating effects on firms; they can negatively affect a consumer’s purchasing power, inventory costs, investments, borrowing, and foreign exchange. Coca-Cola has to consider ways of minimizing foreign expenses. Additionally, due to its supply chain’s complexity across subsidiary companies, it is nearly impossible for the industry to shift from foreign to domestic suppliers in a short span. The Company responds to inflation rates by increasing commodity costs to handle the surging prices of raw materials. For example, following the import tariffs imposed by the government, Coca-Cola raised its prices to handle the soaring prices of aluminum (Tobin, 2018). Since the dollar depreciates relative to other currencies during inflation, the organization can sustain significant losses from importing raw materials. Therefore, it has to constantly adjust its strategies to deal with changes in the market.

Interest Rates and the Availability of Credit

Interest rates, foreign exchange, savings, and inflation rates influence the market aggregate demand and investment and borrowing. When businesses fall short of expenses, they always depend on loans to fill the capital gaps. When the interest rates are high, it becomes costly to repay lenders. Given that the primary goal of a business is to generate profits, companies have to consider every profit prospect. For Coca-Cola, high interest rates are a source of profit and investment returns. The amount of money the company makes from interest incomes exceeds that the amount it pays in interest expenses (Jannarone, 2015). Coca-Cola can conduct a cost-benefit analysis to predict the growth trajectory of a business.

Political, Legal, and Regulatory Influences

Friendliness or Hostility of Government Officials to a Business

Coca-Cola is active in the political and advocacy sphere to promote their business sustainability plan. The company provides financial support to campaign groups that strive for their areas of interest to be addressed effectively. For example, when the South African government posited a sugar tax on all sugar-sweetened beverages in the country, the company intervened by lobbying against the policy. Coca-Cola spends over $106 million in lobbying against the proposed tax policies (Whitman, 2015). It was later revealed that the company was sponsoring research studies that supported the notion that the lack of physical activity, and not a diet, was the leading cause of obesity; this attracted criticism and backlash. In response, the firm created an oversight and compliance department to oversee all business activities concerning public policy and sustainability.

Import Tariffs

In 2018, the U.S. government imposed a tariff on imported aluminum and steel and since most of Coca-Cola’s beverage products are available in aluminum cans, the company was significantly affected. Consequently, this move triggered a surge in the price of Coca-Cola products and other beverages throughout the country. Various economists projected that tariffs would lead to a 2% increase in soft drinks’ and beverages’ prices (Tobin, 2018). Although Coca-Cola benefitted from the tariffs, increasing a product’s charges can have negative implications. To effectively adjust to the changing market, the company strategizes on cost-expenses to maintain a viable profit margin. Smart pricing strategies used by Coca-Cola can help businesses choose key price points that can benefit both the consumer and business.

Technological Influences

Internet Retailing

Technological trends affect businesses on different levels, including production, processes, and business practices. Coca-Cola embraced eCommerce as a strategy of reaching a broader target audience; it uses innovative systems to create long-term relationships with consumers. For example, the sip & scan app allows customers to unlock gifts by scanning codes on Coca-Cola products through their mobile phones. The Coca-Cola Freestyle, a dispenser owned by the company, is Bluetooth enabled to allow consumers to retrieve nutritional information of the company’s products. By digitalizing their business activities, processes, and production, the company has succeeded in creating an innovative value chain. Retail stores can renew their inventories and schedule orders online. Additionally, restaurants featuring their products can also update menu boards based on a database available on cloud-based signage systems.

Big Data Analytics

Businesses can enhance their operating margins by harnessing the power of Big Data Analytics. Business analytic reports show that the Coca-Cola strategy and business decisions are mainly data-driven (Marr, n.d.). For example, in 2017, the organization launched a new product inspired by data collected from self-service drinks. The company also utilizes Artificial Intelligence bots to improve customers’ experiences. The business further uses AI image-recognition tools that stores information when their social media followers post or take a picture of their product. The collected data is then used by the establishment to inform their marketing strategies.

Sociocultural Influences


A community’s cultural beliefs can impact a company’s organizational culture. Consumers perception towards an organization can influence their experiences with its products. The public viewpoints that have significantly affected Coca-Cola practices and decisions are healthy living. The attention of the government and media on obesity has raised awareness on health issues on the condition. The awareness influenced consumer preference for healthy living, low-calorie foods, and natural products. To adjust to changes in lifestyle and food preferences, Coca-Cola shifted the production to healthy food options. The company introduced new low and sugar-free products such as Coke Zero, fruit juices, plant-based options, coffee, tea, and dairy (“The Coca-Cola Company,” 2019). The production of these food options shows that its strategies are responsive to consumers’ needs and preferences.

Demographic Changes

Marketing strategies need to be designed to appeal to a target population because different products attract various groups of people. Coca-Cola typically adapts to the market changes by developing new products. The main strategies used by the company are positional and niche marketing. The organization creates a niche marketplace by identifying the needs of a given population and then develops products that will attract them. For example, Coca-Cola realized that healthy-living individuals might prefer low-calorie products over their typical products. In response to the identified needs, the firm developed beverages and soft drinks with low calories to entice the grouping.

Natural Environment

Water Pollution

A glance at the Coca-Cola business sustainability report shows that its business activities are deeply rooted in the Triple Bottom Line sustainability concept. The company is committed to replenishing water sources for impoverished communities. The organization is socially obligated to partly protect the water system because it consumes a considerable amount of it to manufacture its products. The firm reported that it would launch a new water strategy in 2020 to reach more impoverished communities (“The Coca-Cola Company,” 2019). By supporting impoverished groups, the organization can build long-term relationships with customers and members within the society.

Climate Change

The company adopted technologies such as the Carbon Scenario Planner to evaluate all its business practices’ carbon footprint. The tool helps the company reduce its carbon emissions by 25% before 2030 (Coca-Cola, 2019). Each business unit and department is expected to comply with its sustainability goals. The annual sustainability reports also show information on the financial outcomes that materialized from their climate change initiatives. Through the TBL profit spectrum, the business can maximize its market competitiveness.


Coca-Cola’s business strategies are appropriately aligned with its external environmental factors. The company’s macroeconomic conditions guide its strategic course and decisions. Inflation rates influences its product pricing strategies while interest rates impact its investment decisions. The attitudes and demographic changes in the U.S population have mainly affected the organization’s marketing strategies and the type of products the industry manufactures. The business is also committed to adopting new technologies and supporting the sustainability of the natural environment.


The Coca-Cola Company (2019). Business sustainability report: Coca-Cola (2019). [PDF document]. Web.

Jannarone, J. (2015). Higher rates mean a double whammy for Coca-Cola. CNBC. Web.

‌Marr, B. (n.d.). Coca-Cola: Driving success with AI and big data. Forbes. Web.

Tobin, B. (2018). Coca-Cola cites Trump’s tariffs in raising prices on soft drinks. USA TODAY. Web.

Whitman, E. (2015). When Soda taxes fail: Coca-Cola, Pepsi spent $100M against public health initiatives, new analysis shows. International Business Times. Web.

Treating Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy

The treatment of people with a systematic condition tends to differ from common therapy. People with such health issues often have a weaker immune system or cannot receive some type of care (or medication). Cancer patients are often vulnerable due to the therapy they receive to address their health issues. Their immune system is prone to diverse infections, so dentists (as well as other healthcare professionals) have to be specifically attentive to infection prevention. Hong et al. claim that infections at the dentist’s office are rather rare (reaching up to 4% of such patients (155). However, the rate of complications linked to third molars extraction is as high as 40% among cancer patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy care (Hong et al. 155). Such a high incidence of complications suggests that these patients have special needs that need to be considered when providing dental care. The provision of care to these patients is specific in terms of the procedures implemented and medications utilized.

First, it is preferable to postpone the procedure while the patient is undergoing chemotherapy if it is possible, of course. Some minor procedures (such as caries treatment) are possible but still should be carried out with increased cautions. As for serious invasive procedures and extraction, the utilization of fluoride mouth rinses and chlorhexidine is essential (Hong et al. 155). The dentist should employ resin-modified glass ionomer cement, composite resin, as well as amalgam restorations. These measures can contribute to avoiding infections and other adverse effects during third molars extraction in cancer patients who receive chemotherapy. Clearly, the aspects mentioned above should be discussed with the patient prior to commencing therapy, and all possible hazards have to be considered. Patients should have complete information regarding the benefits and potential harm of every procedure to make the optimal decision.

Work Cited

Hong, Catherine H. L., et al. “A Systematic Review of Dental Disease Management in Cancer Patients”. Supportive Care in Cancer, vol. 26, no. 1, 2017, pp. 155-174.