Summaries of Images of Organizations

Topics: Management, Organization, Formal organization Pages: 17 (4765 words) Published: May 13, 2012
Social Science Portfolio
Images of Organizations

Robert Quartey
Date: 20th Dec 2012



“What is an organization”
In my opinion, an organization is basically members of a working group that are structured and allocated various tasks with the aim of achieving a common goal.

“A visit to Mcdonald’s”
Q.1 In what ways does a Mcdonald’s retail outlet resemble a machine? Mcdonalds resembles a machine in the following ways:
* A machine usually consists of different parts achieving a common goal. For instance, a car engine would consist of different parts such the alternator, cylinders, injection system, spark plugs e.t.c , working together to achieve movement of the whole vehicle from one place to another. This scenario is similar in the case of Mcdonalds. The employees are divided into different stations to perform different tasks with the aim of achieving a common goal such of satisfying their customers’ needs.

* The staff of Mcdonald’s have standard procedures that have been set and are followed precisely. These procedures covers every little aspect of operating the business and thus gives no room for errors or creativity. There is less thinking or no thinking involved in the operation of the place. All methods,decisions on preparing the food has been written and must be implemented. The staff are there to just follow these procedures like a computer does as it’s programming tell it to.

* Just like machines, Mcdonalds’s produces standard products. Two “Big Macs” from Mcdonalds would look and taste the same unlike if they were made in a normal restaurant were cooks have freedom in the method of cooking. There is little or no differentiation in the products offered on their menus.

Q.2 Why do you think the firm has been so successful?
Mcdonald’s has been successful due to the following reasons: * Since it’s a franchise, most people expect the same products and quality wherever a Mcdonald’s is located. The firm’s use of standard methods and procedures makes sure that these standards are met in every Mcdonald’s.

* Mcdonald’s being operated as a machine ensures efficiency and effectiveness. The result of the routines and procedures ensures predetermined outcomes in the quality and quantity of their products.

* Since all tasks are predetermined and routine, there are less or no human errors. The staff of Mcdonald’s do not have to make decisions but just follow procedures from their training and manuals and this limits the chances of mistakes.

Q.3 Are there any similarities in organization between Mcdonald’s and other successful franchising systems? If so, what are they? Can we begin to generalize the principles of franchise design? Other Franchise examples: KFC, Burger King, Starbucks

* Standard quantity and quality of products in different locations. * Aggressive promotion. E.g : they spend lots of resources in bold advertising to gain direct access to their targets(big billboards). * Standard procedures implemented in firms.

From above, it is possible to generalize the principles of the franchise design since other franchises also adopt similar organizational strategies such as H&M, car franchise dealerships.

“3 questions on Organizations as machines”
* What happens when one part of the machine is defective? : I would like to know how what happens when for instance a part (employee) of the organization is not able to perform due to illness or laziness as expected. Does the organization fall apart and if not; how does the theory of organizations being machines solve this problem.

* Can cross culture be factored in this theory of organizations being machines? : In modern times, there are a lot of emerging international companies and as a result different people from...

References: * Morgan,G. (1998).Interest, Conflict and Power: Organizations as Political Systems. In: Images of Organization. California: Sage Publications, Inc, Executive Edition p147 – 179
* Website: [Accessed 19 December 2011].
Morgan,G. (1998). Exploring Plato’s cave; Organizations as Psychic Prisons. In: Images of Organization. California: Sage Publications, Inc, Executive Edition p181 – 206.
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