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Chapter

MSL Reading #42 -- Over the Counter: McDonald's


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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Over the Counter: McDonald’s
Reading #42: pg 474-488
Robin Leidner
Introduction to Organizations (general)
-Organizations choose strategies that rely on socialization and social control in
varying mixtures that are determined by the aims of the organization, the
constraints set by the organizational environment, the nature of the work and the
interests and resources of the parties involved
-Service organizations try to find the most effective and least costly ways to get
people to act in the organization’s interests
-Organizations that routinize work exert primarily by closing off choices (by their
workers, customers, etc.), leaving little room for variation
McDonald’s
-McDonald’s success is due to its uniformity and predictability all around the
globe (ex: BigMacs taste the same in every country)
-Its strategy of meeting their high standards is depicted based on scientific
managements principles:
oFind the One Best Way to do every task and see that the word is
conducted accordingly
-the company used centralized planning, centrally designed training, centrally
approved and supervised suppliers, automated machinery, and other specially
designed equipment, meticulous specifications, and systematic inspections
-the implemented friendliness and diligence through a variety of socialization and
social control techniques
McFacts
-McDonald’s employs about half a million people, 7% of all current US workers
have worked at McDonald’s at some time
-The extreame standardization of McDonald’s products, and its workersm is
closely tied to its marketing (spending a whopping $1.1 billion in 1989)
-Highly specialized technology – such as self operating fryers and touch screen
computers have made human decisions limited (the computer system takes care of
each employee’s sales and mishaps as well as keeps track of inventory)
You Deserve a Break Today: Conditions of Employment
-almost half of McDonald’s employees are under the age of 20 – flexible schedules
at minimum wage for part time work; seniors and housewives are also a great deal
of the working force
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