McDonaldization is the process where the concepts of the junk food industry have come to dominate an increasing variety of organizations in society. This idea is the central thesis of this McDonaldization of Modern culture 5, a e book by George Ritzer. George Ritzer is an extremely revered sociologist well-known for his works exploring the result of McDonalization on society. While the effects of McDonaldization can be seen all over, people disagree on if they are good or bad. Although McDonaldization has benefits and drawbacks, I assume that the results that it has already established on contemporary society outweigh the negative effects.
The theory of Mcdonaldization identifies four primary concepts which govern the actions of McDonaldized organizations; efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control. Efficiency identifies an organization’s capability to perform its various functions as quickly, and for the cheapest cost, as possible. A few examples of organization’s makes an attempt to increase efficiency include ATMs, self-checkout stands at the grocery store, and fast food drive-thru house windows. Although efficiency is often promoted as an advantage to the buyer, and sometimes is, it can lead to several downsides. ATMs and self-checkout stands may take much longer than traditional systems and force customers to perform work that was formerly performed for them.
Calculability refers to the element of McDonaldization by which everything within an business is quantifiable. This often leads to quantity as an alternative for quality. This is seen in junk food commercials which concentrate on the top size and small cost of hamburgers rather than the taste. It also has ties to efficiency (it is much easier to identify productive or inefficient procedures if they are quantifiable) and predictability. Predictability is the process by which organizations eliminate any surprising or unwanted benefits, as well as any shock or variability at all, in products and services. An example of this is the fact any mall in a given physical region generally has the same retailers and a similar layout as compared with other shopping mall in the given region.
The final basic principle of McDonaldized organizations is control. This generally identifies the control of humans through nonhuman systems. Nonhuman technologies are technology, such as barcode scanners, pcs, or even rules and regulations, which remove individual variability from procedures and control people. Obviously this has a strong connection to predictability as well (Ritzer, 2008).
What different perspectives can we use to investigate McDonaldization?
In the booklet Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, the authors, Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Package, suggest using structures to analyze the consequences of socological phenomenons, such as McDonaldization, on population. Structures are essentially different perspectives which individuals may use to interpret situations, make judgements, analyze organizations, ect. The author suggests four casings: the structutal shape, human resource body, symbolic body, and the political frame. I feel that the structural, human being source, and symbolic body are useful in studying McDonaldization.
The structural framework is highly goal-oriented and systematic. It targets tasks, facts, and logic. This is obviously the most pervasive body used by market leaders such as Ray Kroc and those at other McDonaldized establishments. The four cornerstones of McDonaldization, efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control, are a significant consequence of this almost solely structural perspective of the organization. After all, the primary metaphor for organizations under the structural body is that of a machine or stock. One could claim that the characteristics respected in machines or factories are the very same characteristics that culminate in the four cornerstones of McDonaldization. Furthermore, the structural point of view is heavily worried about rules, plans and technology, another attractive similarity to McDonaldization which uses strict rules and methods and depends on nonhuman technology to accomplish its goals of predictability and efficiency (Bolman & Deal, 2008).
Another attribute of McDonaldization and market leaders in McDonaldized organizations which took place if you ask me while exploring Ritzer’s theory is their equivalence to systemizers. Systemizers see organizations via a structural body and rely on statistics and calculations to analyze organizations. They don’t give attention to the human facet of organizations (Leavitt, 2007). I feel that McDonaldized organizations promote the same point of view as systemizers and encourage the development of systemizers within themselves. Not only are employs treated in a theory X, systemizing manner but so can be customers. Customers are herded in, processed, and shipped out like cattle in a slaughter house.
At this point I would like to briefly discuss the selection of the word McDonaldization to describe this societal phenomenon. I understand that McDonaldization is merely a term used to describe the pass on of characteristics appreciated by many modern organizations, and I’ll say that it is a creative one, however McDonalds was definately not the first corporation to execute this very structural system concentrating on factors such as efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control. Earlier results, such as Fredrick Taylor and Henry Ford, integrated these characteristics a long time before Ray Kroc and McDonalds. Perhaps the subject of Ritzer’s central theory must have been Taylorization or Fordization.
The human tool frame shows that organizations exist to satisfy the human needs of consumers and employees equally. I feel that the real human resource frame undoubtedly gets the weakest representation within McDonaldized organizations and the limited implementation from it which we do see is very superficial. The human resource frame views organizations as a protracted family that can be involved with people, romantic relationships, skills, and empowerment (Bolman & Package, 2008). These elements clash with the key points of efficiency, predictability, control, and calculability so they are all but removed. This is part of the reason that McDonalds will higher teenagers or young, uneducated people. These people are much easier to control and even more willingly accept the mind-numbing, repetitive duties associated with McDonaldized careers.
If McDonalds truly have value people we’d see them treat their workers differently. There’s a strong theory X method of management in McDonaldized organizations. The principles of McDonaldized organizations provide themselves to the type of way. I really do not feel that the problem has been their ultimate goals, that i would claim are efficiency and predictability, I think the problem has been their methods to obtaining these goals, calculability and control. Because McDonalds treats their workers in a theory X manner they must rely on calculability and control to attain their goals (Bolman & Deal, 2008).
I think it is important that McDonaldized organizations reframe in order to bring some humanity back again to their work place. One suggestion I would make to help reframe these organizations is to get away from the idea X procedure and move to a theory Y approach of management (Bolman & Deal, 2008). By empowering employees, cultivating their skills, and using positive motivational techniques they can reach their goals without relying so closely on control and calculability. Reductions in the amount of control and calculability allows for more autonomy within the work environment and increased humanization.
The symbolic shape looks at the value and significance of symbols, procedures, rituals, and customs of a particular company. McDonaldized organizations have started exploiting the symbolic framework in an attempt to persuade contemporary society that they are compassionate organizations. Using McDonalds as an example we can easily see a multitude of cultural transmitters. The Ronald McDonald House charity, Happy Meals playthings, the Happy Foods themselves, Playgrounds, the “I’m caring it” slogan, Ronald McDonald (and other character types), the fantastic arches, etc. can all be seen as ethnic transmitters. These transmitters are designed to portray the primary meaning and prices which McDonald’s desires the public to believe it embraces (Bolman & Package, 2008). The playgrounds and Ronald McDonald House charity, for example, are meant to portray McDonalds as a carrying group which values the wellbeing of your loved ones and the areas they operate in.
I think that McDonald’s exploitation of the symbolic frame goes back with their very weak software of the individuals resource frame. As the ideals of the human being resource structure clash so greatly with the basic principle of McDonaldized organizations they need to portray an atmosphere of caring and compassion through substitute means. That is why they dedicate so enough time to expanding cultural transmitters and exploiting the symbolic frame. This poses a very serious ethical problem. The practice of organizations portraying values and values that they do not actually maintain is deceptive and dishonest. In the long run it could do more harm to the organization than it can good (Bolman & Offer, 2008).
Although I am not heading to focus on Bolman and Deal’s politics frame, Personally i think that it is important to briefly mention here. Folks have begun realizing that McDonaldized organizations are portraying bogus images and the organizations have received bad press. In response, they started out using political ways to build coalitions and gain support within world. Also, Personally i think that McDonaldized organizations view the market place as a jungle and are struggling with for their talk about of the scarce resources or money (Bolman & Deal, 2008).
Advantages and Disadvantages of McDonaldization
Much of the books on McDonaldization entirely focuses on the “negative” aspects of the occurrence and will not make a strong differentiation between employees and consumer in McDonaldized systems. Authors inform the terrors of the McDonaldized loss of life, McDonaldized systems ravaging the environment, the mind-numbing tasks associated with McDonaldized jobs, and the frustrations of participating a McDonaldized educational establishment. Admittedly, even I’ve focused mainly on the negative aspects of McDonaldization up to this point, but what are the features of McDonaldization and from whose perspective? For me, Ritzer while others do a very lack luster job of plainly identifying the advantages associated with McDonaldization for consumers. I am not disputing that we now have negatives associated with McDonaldization or even declaring that advantages outweigh cons or vice versa. I simply feel that in order to analyze any situation effectively we must consider the professionals and disadvantages from all perspectives and through all frames or perspectives.
Two primary benefits of McDonaldization are convience and afforadability. Modern US contemporary society can be an on-the-go, overly busy environment which values convenience. I am no exception to this phenomenon. WHILE I go to Wal-Mart I just need to get my toothpaste, or whatever item I came up for, and go. I am not looking to create personal romantic relationships with the people that provide me my food or ring up my groceries. Between my coworkers, peers at college, bosses, professors, family, friends, and my boyfriend I already feel as though I am downing in personal romantic relationships. The capability to ideally and quickly complete daily duties affords me more time to do the items I care about. For instance I could even manage my own bank account or check my email in the middle of the night. This would probably not be possible without some degree of McDonaldization.
Affordability is another major benefit of McDonaldization. McDonaldization has allowed regular, middle income people to manage luxuries that even the richest men cannot have imagined many years in the past. While relaxing in the BEANS not long ago I noticed a homeless man browsing the web and participating in a DVD on his portable computer. McDonaldized systems have made this possible. Many products that have been once very costly are actually accessible to everyone in developed countries. The wealth of information offered by the internet, as well as many products and services which were likely permitted by McDonaldization, cannot be over looked or downplayed when examining the effects of McDonaldization on population.
How can we offer with McDonaldization?
Some people have explained McDonaldization as a cage. The image of your iron cage represents society as a whole surrounded by a rationalization system (Ritzer, 2003). Perhaps for the reason that I am something of a McDonaldized population, but I certainly wouldn’t normally use the metaphor of an cage to describe McDonaldization. “Even though cage-like image may fit to a certain degree, it is certainly not an flat iron cage because break free remains a simple option for many people (Ritzer, 2003). ” McDonaldization only dominates our lives to the magnitude which we let it dominate our lives. I exploit McDonaldization to obtain the advantages discussed in this newspaper and by no means does McDonaldization take good thing about me. For this reason, I think explaining McDonaldization as a cage is a narrow-minded, deceptive portrayal.
That being said, Personally i think there are several easy steps that those who do not favor McDonaldized systems may take to cope with McDonaldization. Consumers, especially, have a great deal of freedom with the way they take care of McDonaldization. In the end, the ultimate choice is theirs. If they have a higher degree of distain for McDonaldized organizations they can simply desist from patronizing them. In my own personal opinion, the most crucial step is to avoid the invasion of McDonaldization into one’s personal life. My very own family has done things such as preventing McDonaldized foods and outings. I think it has helped us to cultivate strong, healthy relationships inside our personal lives.
Employees of McDonaldized systems, on the other side, employ a limited amount of liberty when it comes to working with McDonaldization. Those in managerial position can subtly resist by doing things such as employing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and a theory Y management procedure (Bolman & Package, 2008). OBVIOUSLY this only works to the degree that their bosses and can continue. I’m reluctant that lower level employees are just afforded one option for working with McDonaldization (but it is probably the most suitable choice), Education. McDonaldized organizations, and their mind-numbing, mundane careers, are here to stay. For most the last type of defense is education. I myself will school for this specific reason. However, those employed in McDonaldized jobs are armed with bit more than their imagination and critical thinking skills to survive for the time being.
McDonaldization is the techniques through which the rules of the fast food industry, efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control, have come to dominate an increasing volume of organizations in modern society (Ritzer, 2008). McDonaldization can lead to several cons, such as dehumanized careers and services, and several advantages, such as convenience and affordability. These benefits and drawbacks are proliferated generally through a stringent application of Bolman and Deal’s (2008) structural structure and use of the systemizer perspective (Leavitt, 2007).
Although McDonaldized organizations use the symbolic body to produce the conception that they care about their employees, areas, and customers, it is basically superficial. For example, McDonalds uses symbols like the Ronald McDonald House charity, playgrounds, and friendly people (such as Ronald McDonald) to provide the illusion that they truly value people. If indeed they truly did value people we would see a more powerful implementation of the individual resource frame of their firm. One possible approach to this problem would be for them to use a theory Y method of achieve their goals of efficiency and predictability and reduce their dependence on calculability and control (Bolman & Deal, 2008).
Consumers who do not like McDonaldization can simply avoid patronizing McDonaldized organizations whenever you can. Employees of McDonaldized organizations, on the other side, will probably have to count on education to help them obtain better, less McDonalized careers. Probably McDonaldized group will be around for quite some time to come. McDonaldization has invaded nearly every aspect of contemporary society. Even George Ritzer’s reserve, The McDonaldization of Contemporary society 5, which denounces the evils of McDonaldization is itself McDonaldized. It is highly structured, recurring, and predictable at times. He even includes a instructor’s CD ROM with suggested article questions for teachers, thus assisting in McDonaldizing the educational process. People should stop struggling with McDonaldization and figure out how to exploit it. In the end, McDonaldization can only dominate our lives to the level that we let it. As a occupied college student, I feel that Mcdonaldization is a superb thing, if you utilize it cautiously. University students often run short on time especially because they may have so many things going on. Classes on the web, Internet databases, and collaborative websites such as Google Docs, all of which were made possible at least partially anticipated to McDonaldization, make the school experience more accessible and workable. Instead of permitting McDonaldization take benefit of us we must use McDonaldization to our own gain.