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Chapter

Over the Counter


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Mc Kinon

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OVER THE COUNTER MCDONALDS
Robin Leidner
All organizations hope to make people want to do what the organization needs
done.
Organization choose strategies that rely on socialization and social control varying
mixtures that are determined by the aims of the organization, the constraints set by
the organizational environment and the nature of the work, and the interests and
resources of the parties involved.
In service-providing organizations, upper-level management must concern itself with
the wishes and behavior of service recipients and various groups of workers.
Organizations that routinized work exert control primarily by closing off choices.
Even when routines radically constrain choice, organizations still must socialize
participants and set up systems of incentives and disincentives to ensure the
compliance of workers and customers.
McDonalds takes routinization to extremes including predetermination of action
and transformation of character.
At McDonalds the routines sharply limit the workers autonomy without giving
them much leverage over customers.
McDonalds
The heart of McDonalds success is its uniformity and predictability.
Its strategy for meeting that challenge draws on scientific managements most basic
tenets: Find the One Best Way to do every task and see that the work is conducted
accordingly.
To ensure that all McDonalds restaurants serve products of uniform quality, the
company uses centralized planning, centrally designed training programs, centrally
approved and supervised suppliers, automated machinery and other specially
designed equipment, meticulous specifications, and systematic inspections.
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You Deserve a Break Today: Conditions of Employment
All McDonalds hourly employees are officially part-time workers, in that no one is
guaranteed a full work week.
McDonalds employee-turnover rates are extremely high.
Quality, service, and cleanliness are the ends that the company’s thousands of rules
and specifications are intended to achieve.
Taking Hamburgers Seriously: Training Managers
The full training program is required of everyone who wishes to own a McDonalds
store, and it is strongly recommended for all store managers.
Their training focuses as much on building commitment and motivation as on
extending knowledge of company procedures.
In teaching management skills, McDonalds also works on the personalities of its
managers, encouraging both rigid adherence to routines and, somewhat
paradoxically, personal flexibility.
Flexibility is presented as a virtue both because the company wants to minimize
resistance to adopting McDonalds ways of doing things and to frequent revision of
procedures, and because managers must provide whatever responsiveness to special
circumstances the system has, since crew people are allowed virtually no discretion.
Most classes at Hamburger University included only one or two women, but women
now comprise 40-60 percent of the students, and women and minorities now make
up 54 percent of McDonalds franchises.
In the labs, trainees learn the mechanics of ensuring that McDonalds food is of
consistent quality and its stores in good working order. They learn to check the
equipment and maintain it properly so that fries cook at precisely the right
temperature, shakes are mixed to just the right consistency, and ice cubes are
uniform.
Taste of Quality labs reinforce McDonalds standards for food quality.
The importance of serving only food that meets McDonalds standards is constantly
emphasized and, a trainer pointed out, McDonalds as standards for everything,
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