McDonaldization Essay

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There are four dimensions or rational principles that lead to the great success of McDonaldization. It offers both workers and consumers the principle of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control.George (2000) found, “Efficiency means choosing the optimum means to give an end.”(p.

40) Workers are regulated by rules, in order to enhance their efficiency in providing services. Division of labour is adopted to ensure the efficiency. Different workers correspond to different process in a special task and keep repeating a particular task. Consumers are served quickly; therefore, they can satisfy hunger efficiently.According to George (2000), “Calculability is an emphasis on the quantitative aspects of products sold (portion size, cost) and services offered (the time it takes to get the product)”(P.

12) In McDonaldized systems, there are numerical and quantifiable objects. Both products (e.g. the size of hamburger) and services (e.g.

the performance of employees) are counted, in order to maximize the profits. Moreover, in McDonald’s world, quantity means quality. McDonald’s develop the culture of “bigger is better”.George (2000) noted, “Predictability is the assurance that products and services will be the same over time and in all locals.”(P.13) In other words, predictability means formalization, routinization and standardization.

Workers are trained to follow the same standard. Both work and services are free from individual influence. As the tasks are predictable, it becomes easier for employees to finish it without errors. Besides, all the McDonald’s in the world provide the food with the same standard.

Thus, consumers can predict the products and services at most time, no matter which McDonald’s they go to.George (2000) has reported, “Increased control through the replacement of human with non-human technology.” (P.104) Human behaviours are under-controlled, in order to minimize the individual uniqueness.

Labours are more or less the same as machines. In addition, McDonald’s use a large amount of machines. As the workers act like robots, non-human technology can be used to replace man power.The success of McDonald’s has been copied by many companies in the whole world.

In fact, George(2000) stated, “McDonaldization affects not only the restaurant business but also education, work, health care, travel, leisure, dieting, politics, the family, and virtually every other aspect of society…The process by which the principles of fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world.” (p.1 & 2) I would like to apply McDonaldization to explain the following examples in daily life.Application – HKCCHKCC can be seen as an example of McDonaldization.It fits the principle of efficiency, as division of labour can be found in HKCC.

The director and deputy directors need to deal with the administrative problems. The responsibility of lecturers is teaching students. The I.T.

assistances help to solve the technical problem. The staffs in the reception center receive calls and application forms. The staffs in the canteen help to provide food and drinks for people.There is also calculability. The performance of the lecturers is quantified.

In the SFQ, the lecturers are given marks (from one to five), instead of asking open-ended questions, to reflect their performances. In other words, the performances of the lecturers are showed in a countable way. Besides, students’ academic performances are showed by their GPA, which are quantifiable results.Predictability can also be found. In order to standardize the quality of lecturing, the lecture notes are exactly the same among different classes.

Students can predict that the materials of teaching they received are no difference from the other classes.There is also control in HKCC. The multiple questions can be marked by computers, instead of lecturers. Man power is replaced by machines in this way.Application – The system of public medical treatmentThe system of public medical treatment is another example of McDonaldization.

The priciple of efficiency can be observed, as there is specialization. Different doctors from different department have different responsibility. Experienced nurses would help to determine the emergencyof treatment. The specially trained nurses would help the clients with special needs.

The cleaner would help to clean the enviroment in the hospital.Calculability can obviously seen in the time of treatment. Rules are set up to limit the time of treating each patient (e.g. maxmimum 5 minutes for a patient). It would be the quantifiable object of the system.

Thus, doctors can see much more patients within a day, in order to maximize the profit and lower the cost.Globalization and Localization? Glocalizaton!Those four principles are the rational aspects of McDonaldization and it results in a great success in McDonald’s business, even to the extent that it leads to the extension of McDonald’s business.McDonald’s shows a globalize pattern and that is globalization. Nowadays, you can find a McDonald’s, no matter which country you go to. In fact, McDonald’s does business in 117 countries around the world.

McDonald’s is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 local restaurants serving more than 60 million people each day. (“Our Company – About McDonald’s”, 2010)However, as globalization and localization are inter-active, someone create the new term “Glocalization.” In order to achieve globalization, local features are added to help the company to develop in a local place. It fits “Think global, act local”.McDonald’s, nowadays, aims at providing something more than food. It could be firstly observed by their meuns.

The food is provided with different flavor in different places. For example, because of the local religious, McDonald’s in India provides some hamburgers that are not made by beef. In Hong Kong, when there is Cheung Chau Bun Festival, McDonald’s in Cheung Chau would also provide the vegetarian burgers, in order to fit the local culture. In Japan, there is also Bacon Lettuce Egg Wrap and Shrimp Fillet-O provided to fit the taste of Japanese.

(“The Japanese McDonald’s Menu”, 2008)It could also be seen in the environment. In the Western cities, people eat fast food mainly because they want to satisfy their hunger as soon as possible. Therefore, the dinnig environment is not so comfortable.The McDonald’s in Asia provide a much better environment. It is obvious that McDonald’s in Asia are changed to serve as public areas(e.

g. birthday party, having revision), in order to satisfy the need of public areas in the local culture.The paradox of rationality – DehumanizationEven though McDonaldization enhances efficiency, predictability, calculability and control, it also leads to some serious drawbacks. That’s the irrationality of rationality, in particular McDonaldization.

This is the paradox of rationality. Some say that it is the fifth dimensions of McDonaldization. They are inefficiency, high cost, the illusion of fun, the illusion of reality, false friendliness, disenchantment, health and environment hazards, homogenization and dehumanization.According to Weber’s theory (symbolic interaction), rationalization is a dehumanizing process that places human beings in an ‘iron cage’. Thus, I would mainly focus on one of the drawbacks, perhaps the most controversial one, and further elaborate it. It is dehumanization.

There is a lack of interactions among staffs, or even customers. Since nearly all of the employees are part time workers, they have just a little time to develop personal relationships with others. That is a reason why the turnover rate is so high.In another way, the employees have totally no idea about the customers.

When the customers need to order the food, it would be the only moment for staffs and customers to have interactions. Besides, the workers are trained like machines, customers may think that they are talking to a machines, rather than human beings.Alienation would be another possible problem, on the grouds of a lack of interaction.“Mcjob” is the low paid ob that require little skill.

Refering to George (2000), “employees are seldom allowed to use anything approaching all their skills, are not allowed to be creative on the job.” Individual creative and imagination are minimized is this way. Employees may not achieve any satisfaction or stability. It would be another reason that leads to turnover.

As the job is easy and the workers are lowly paid. Although the turnover rate is so high, it is easy for McDonald to replace the leave ones, even to the extent that they could be easily replaced by machines.McDonald’s could gain more from the potential of its employees. But, they are limited to repeat doing the low-skilled jobs. In other words, it is fail to use its workers in the most effective way.Moreover, customers are also dehumanized.

Eating on a sort of assembly line, diners are forced to finish their meal as quick as possible. Even though the hunger can be satisfied quickly, they are fed like livestock. The diners have a low level of grafitifaction after eating in McDonald’s.The Importance of Corporate Social RespinsibilitySince the dimensions of McDonaldization has been copies by the other compacnies, especially the fast food restaurants (e.

g. KFC, Burger King), the fifth demension would also appear in the other business. This demension is no longer the hidden part of the society. More and more people notice the duhumaning part of McDonaldization.

As a result, some people feel discontent of McDonld’s business, even to the extent that they refuse to have meals in McDonald’s.The public, nowadys, is more likely to talk about the corporate social responsibility (CSR) According to Carroll and Buchholtz (2003) , “Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be defined as the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary expectations that society has of organizations at a given point in time” (P.36). CSR requires entities to adopt a broader view of its responsibilities that includes not only stockholders, but also the employees, suppliers, customers, the local community, etc.

The system or the business would be fragile, if it only aims at rationalization, which means that it it profit-oriented. So as to maintain the substainable development, CSR may be a solution of minimizing the dehumanization. For example, the entities should consider the welfare and rights of the employees and customers.Taking everything into account, McDonaldization would be a typical example of rationality and it affects lots of things in our daily life, because of glocalization However, rationality involves irrationality.

However, the public try to resist it after noticing the dehumaning dimension. It leads to the concept of corporate social responsibility.

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