Sociology and Control Shape Organization

Topics: Sociology, McDonaldization, McDonald's Pages: 3 (1029 words) Published: November 1, 2013

Assignment 3: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of McDonaldization. Discuss how parts of society have become cookie-cutter/standardized (addressing the 4 characteristics) society.

McDonaldization is the term invented by George Ritzer to describe a sociological phenomenon that exists in our society. It is the process by which the principles of efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control shape organization and decision making in the United States and around the world. In the United States, McDonaldization begun when Henry Ford pioneered with his vision of an assembly line for improving the production of automobiles. Bottom line, McDonaldization is the process of rationalization taken to extreme levels. Rationalization is a sociological term that simply means the substitution of logically consistent rules for traditional or illogical rules. One of the fundamental aspects of McDonaldization is that almost any task can and should be rationalized. The process of McDonaldization takes a task and breaks it down into smaller tasks. This is repeated until all tasks have been broken down to the smallest possible level. The resulting tasks are then rationalized to find the single most efficient method for completing each task. All other methods are then deemed inefficient and discarded. The result is an efficient, logical sequence of methods that can be completed the same way every time to produce the desired outcome. The outcome is predictable. All aspects of the process are easily controlled. Additionally, quantity or calculability becomes the measurement of good performance. However, there is a problem to this, it turns out that over-rationalizing a process in this manner has an unexpected side effect. It's called irrationality. In a sociological context that simply means that a rationalized system may result in events or outcomes that were neither anticipated or desired, and in fact, may not be so good. Take the example...
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