Scale of Production


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about the scale of production. Enjoy the class!

Scale of Production

Scale of Production

At the end of the lesson, you should be able to;

  • Analyse Scale of Production with examples
  • Identify the characteristics of Scale of Production
  • Outline and explain the advantages and disadvantages of Scale of Production


It simply means the size of a firm’s productive capacity. It is also called economies of scale. The major aim of setting up a firm is to make a profit at the lowest possible cost. It also refers to the size of operation adopted by a firm.

The scale of production can be:

  1. Large
  2. Small
  3. Medium

Small and large scale of production

One man business is usually a small business while the corporation or joint-stock companies, on the other hand, are usually large scale operations. Small firms sometimes have no intention of changing their sizes. The major characteristics that differentiate a small firm from a large one are tabulated below:

Characteristics Small firms Large firms
Employment Have few workers Have large workers e.g. Experts
Capital only small Capital Require large capital
Market Have small markets subject to changes in demand. Have extensive market where demand is high
Product or service Produce flexible product design and can provide personal attention to customers Practice standardization of products with no personal attention to individuals
Technique of Production Employ simple techniques Use techniques requiring heavy equipment
Economies of scale Cannot easily take advantage of economies of scale Can benefit from both internal and external economies of scale
Research and Publicity May not have resources for research and advertisement Undertake expensive research which permits further expansion

Economies of scale

By economies of scale, we refer to the growth of a firm or an industry resulting from the expansion of the scale of productive capacity which leads to increase in output and decrease in the cost of production per unit of output. The two types are;

  1. internal economies and diseconomies
  2. external economies and Diseconomies


  1. What is economies of scale?
  2. Differentiate between small scale and large scale.
 Internal economies and diseconomies

These are the advantages a firm derives from the expansion of its scale of production as a result of its own single efforts. As the size of the firm increases, there will be greater efficiency resulting in the fall per unit cost of output. This is also known as economies of a large scale of production.

On the other hand, when the firm’s expansion leads to less efficiency and an increase in the cost per unit of output, then the firm is suffering from internal diseconomies.

 Internal economies of scale or the advantages a large firm has over small firms.
  1. Technical / Technological Economies
  2. Financial Economies
  3. Marketing Economies
  4. Welfare Economies
  5. Training Economies
  6. Research Economies
  7. Managerial/ Administrative Economies
 Disadvantages of large firms 
  1. Small scale firms require little capital than large firms that requires huge capital
  2. Small scale firms can easily adapt to changes in economies conditions than large firms
  3. Delay in policymaking and management decision are frequent in large firms
  4. Control and supervision is easier in small scale firms than in large scale firms
  5. A large scale firm suffers from the bureaucracy which affects the production process than a small firm


  1. State five advantages of internal economies of scale
  2. List four disadvantages of internal economies of scale.
External economies and diseconomies

External economies- are the advantages a firm derives from an increase in its output and decrease in costs due to the helps the firm receives from other firms around its area of location, especially in the use of their products. External economies are more common in industrial estates.

External diseconomies, on the other hand, are the increased costs a firm will experience as a result of increasing its output resulting from external effects.

Advantages of interdependence/clustering of firms
  1. Interdependence of industries
  2. Creation of employment opportunities
  3. Provision of social amenities
  4. It leads to Innovation and Invention.
  5. More research is encouraged.
  6. There is a healthy competition.
  7. There is a development of organized markets.
Disadvantages of concentration of firms in a location
  1. There is congestion
  2. There is a shortage of social amenities
  3. It causes uneven development
  4. It causes pollution
  5. It causes migration
 Limitations to the growth of a firm
  1. Size of the market.
  2. Availability of raw material.
  3. The nature of the firm’s product.
  4. Efficiency of the factors of production.
  5. The technical know-how.
  6. Managerial constraint
  7. Risk – bearing constraint


  1. What are the advantages that a large firm has over small firms?
  2. What are the disadvantages of external economies of scale?

Reading assignment

Amplified and Simplified Economics for SSS by Femi Longe chapter 5 pages 56-63

Comprehensive Economics for SSS by J.U. Anywele Chapter 5 Paes 52 – 53

General evaluation
  1. What are measures of central tendencies?
  2. Give three examples of measures of dispersion.
  3. Highlight the importance of a table.
  4. Define efficiency in economics
  5. Define economics. 
  6. Describe External Economies of scale
  7. Write short note on the following;
  • Marketing economies
  • Training economies
  • Welfare economies
  • Research Economies


In our next class, we will be talking about Firm and Industry.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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