Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 272
  • Published : November 26, 2002
Open Document
Text Preview
People At Work Coursework

To what extent do you consider this concept of the McDonaldization of society disturbing, expected or inevitable, for employees in the twentifirst century. Also the possible consequences for theories of human motivation and whether the concept applies equally to all jobs.

In this paper I will be analysing the effects McDonaldization has on society and the employees of the twentifirst century. I will be discussing whether McDonaldization is to be expected, accepted, rejected or is inevitable. I will also be arguing that McDonaldization does effect employee motivation, and how it fits in the numerous theories on motivation. McDonaldization as defined by George Ritzer is "the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of society". This concept originally stems from the concept of bureaucracy, which was a type of organisational structure that aimed to rationalise and standardise its products and services and the processes it took to produce them.

McDonaldization differs somewhat from bureaucracy as it concerns itself with its five main points: Efficiency, Calculatability, Predictability and Control. For the emphasis to be on these points it has an effect on employee's jobs. Often it involves the de-skilling of the employees, under McDonaldization employees do not need a wide range of skills, In fact just to be productive they only need to know how to complete a single task. This has numerous benefits for the organisation, primarily it cuts down on training costs as it does not cost much to train for low skilled jobs, and as these jobs are so low skilled employees can be paid minimum wage. It also leaves employees with little bargaining power as staff can be replaced so easily. Jobs often become standardised and continually repetitive and leave room for little or free thinking or initiative to be employed. Staff are often replaced or governed by technological changes.

However it is argued that the effects McDonaldization has on employees depends on the many variables surrounding your job i.e. public or private, Blue collar (professional) or white collar (menial) jobs or simply the type of industry retail, service or tertiary. Public sector jobs tend to be as less affected by McDonaldization than private sector jobs, this is primarily because most public sector organisations are run primarily to benefit the nation rather than to make profit. The public sector is seen to be more customer orientated than most private organisations which are profit orientated, and therefore will look upon employees as being more valuable tend to prefer not to have high levels of staff turnover. Although some effects of McDonaldization still effect employees in the public sector such as the de-skilling of workers due to the introduction of new and improved technologies.

McDonaldization is less likely to effect those in professional positions because in most cases professionals tend to have more creative control, as their assets tend to be in their knowledge or creative thinking, rather then a more menial job which include working with your hands and in most cases require less skills. As most menial jobs have had many introductions of new technology making human employees obsolete and thus standardising the work of many white collar workers.

Among the different industries none have seen the effects of McDonaldization as much as the service industry, which incidentally instigated the process McDonaldization. There have been radical changes in the service industry as a result of McDonaldization. This is due to the fact that in order for many organisations in the service to remain competitive they must employ some form of rationalisation into their structure in order to achieve maximum profit minimum waste. This is evident when we look at catering, the fast-food restaurant, the drive-through, set meals etc or for example if...
tracking img