Is the World becoming McDonaldized?
American society as well as the rest of the world has become a subject to absorbing the standards and principles of McDonaldВ’s fast food restaurant chain. Thus, Ferrante (2014) argues that most sociologists do not view organizations as a different entity from the persons that create them. They normally assert that such organizations have a definite and clear way of life that goes beyond the principles, set by the people engaged in them. This is true as there is evidence of formal organizationsВ’ continuation even after the employees or members stop working for them or die.
This principle of formal organizations having a life of their own depicts the principle of McDonaldization of society as presented by Ritzer. Najafi (2015) asserts that it occurs when society tends to apply the principles of fast food restaurant in other facets and spheres of life. Currently, there are far reaching effects of this principle in many aspects of life, including culture, education sector, and labor systems as well as globalization. This paper will evaluate how the principles of McDonaldization apply to various facets of society, thus showing evidence that the world does become McDonaldized.
Principles of McDonaldization
In the contextualization of this principle, Ritzer builds his foundation upon WeberВ’s principle of rationality. McDonaldization of society borrows the four components of rationalization that dictates the functioning of formal organizations. These four principles include control, efficiency, predictability, and calculability, and they characterize all McDonaldВ’s fast food restaurants; thus, Ritzer believes this replicates in to society today (Engle, 2012). Efficiency is the search for the ideal intends to a given end. It incorporates streamlining forms, disentangling merchandise and enterprises, and utilizing clients to perform work.
Most organizations work hard to achieve the most efficient ways of realizing their goals and objectives, which mostly implies making profits. Thus, the principle of McDonaldization pushes society and more so organizations to have a compelling thirst for efficiency in order to achieve maximum proceeds or profits (Ferrante, 2014). Engle (2012) adds that McDonaldized organizations look for a continuous increase of their effectiveness through streamlining creation and dispersion, rearranging the items themselves, and keeping clients' activities to a base conceivable time. Wu (2009) asserts that these processes of raising efficiency create a standard means within organizations to achieve the desired objectives. This implies that standardization becomes a core business of organizations so that they could achieve desired goals and products. This principle of efficiency does not only produce desired results but also puts employees under pressure to work under specific standards.
The other principle of McDonaldization is calculability that implies the accentuation on things that can be ascertained, checked, or evaluated. McDonaldization values measurement over subjectivity. This implies that amount has a tendency to end simply as a surrogate for quality, while the accentuation on amount tends to influence unfavorably the nature of both the procedure and the item. This idea of calculability changes everything into numbers, straightforward and unoriginal. Benefits and amounts become plainly vital in this inaccessible, unbending structure (Engle, 2012). Further, Wu (2009) argues that calculability in the industry implies that things in the production procedure ought to be ascertained and measured. Likewise, calculability presupposes sending non-human innovations to perform undertakings in the given measure of time or make results of a given weight or size.
Predictability is the third principle of McDonaldization. Thus, it means concentrating on things, such as systematization, discipline, and routine, with the goal that things are the same, starting with one time or place then onto the next. This goal is accomplished through replications of settings, the utilization of representative scripts, the routinization of worker practices, and offering uniform items. Ferrante (2014) adds that most organizations train specialists to work in a specific way and reward them for a good execution of their duties. However, when specialists are trained to react mechanically or thoughtlessly to their occupation, they tend to become inadequate and unproductive, which manifests in the failure to react to new or abnormal conditions because of little or no training. According to Wu (2009), predictability implies that work association is not just a clean noticeable space but also a principle that can extend globally. In addition, predictability presuppoes the process of script correspondences and communications with clients and among employees.
The last principle of McDonaldization is control. This principle largely means substituting human labor with contemporary technologies that function on behalf of humans. Control also implies subjecting workers to rules, regulations, and procedures that oversee the way they perform their work. According to Treiber (2013), this principle occurs in many organizations in a manner, similar to organizational deskilling. Thus, highly-skilled work is separated into its constituent parts, with a resultant loss of innovative limit. Through scripted communications, specialists are controlled in what they do as well as in what they say. Regardless of the fact that McDonaldization has accrued benefits, it influences those at the base of the financial scale excessively.
By utilization of non-human technology, the McDonaldized organizations apply an unprecedented level of control over their workers and clients. By purposely restricting decisions, a McDonaldized organization anticipates both human mistake and individual judgment. The more work is done by non-human technologies, the less specialists are required and the less room they need to practice their own judgment and ability (Engle, 2012). As Ferrante (2014) argues, enlisting representatives who will work for lower compensation, presenting work sparing innovations, lessening the quantity of representatives, and moving production equipment out of high wage zones are significant ways, by which organizations reduce operation costs. This level of control by organizations produces unwanted and undesirable results to employees in as much as it produces better results to consumers.
McDonaldization in Contemporary Society
The world and society today apply the principles of McDonaldization in many facets of life. For instance, these principles are applied in households and families. The principle of predictability depicts the capability of the customer to anticipate adequately some definite standards of the goods produced. Similarly, household relationships apply this principle of predictability in terms of the behaviors of family members or even the entire family. Thus, people expect some sort of behaviors from their parents or siblings. Due to this, most families set some routines and ways of doing things as well as expectations for each member. There is a way that each family member is expected to conduct themselves, a principle that points to predictability. In addition, the principle of predictability causes families to set schedules and communicate them in advance to the family members (Woolridge & Stevens, 2016). In other words, it means that family members are bound to follow the rules and schedules even if they do not like them. They must adhere to ordered standards that have already been communicated beforehand to encourage this adherence.
The other effect of McDonaldization is globalization. People, who apply the principles of McDonaldization, have a solid propensity to export it and make it a globalized issue. They normally believe that they have strong reasons behind globalizing it. However, they are neglectful of the impacts that this principle would leave on different societies and ways of life. Most importantly, the McDonaldization principles for fulfilling the yearning influences and changes the way of eating and cooking in many societies on the planet. In many societies, cooking is a method of associating with individuals from the family and an instructive procedure (Najafi, 2015). The effects of the cooking culture have spread throughout the world and have become global as many societies and cultures practice it.
Wilkinson (2006) adds that in the current world, social relationships and social systems stretch out in time and space so individuals progressively identify with other people who are physically away from them. Such a distance in time and space is encouraged by new types of correspondence and transportation. Combined with this overall move in brand-owning organizations' role in connection to their items, there is also a move from the provision of products to the concentration of offering services to society. Thus, this move the from production of goods to the offering of services stems from the globalization of basic services.
McDonaldization also has far reaching effects in the education systems around the world. For instance, the issuance of standard examinations over a period of time qualifies the application of this principle. In addition, school systems imply a standard curriculum that all students are required to follow. In most cases, there are external examinations that are standard in all schools of a given nation. Students are supposed to take these examinations, which becomes a measure of their performance in school. The effect of this standardization of examinations comes from the McDonaldization principle of predictability as students can predict their performance after taking examinations.
The education sector also applies the principle of efficiency in their systems. Thus, the education policies in many countries have measurable performance standards, and schools and teachers must at least achieve them. The education sector also borrows the principle of control in a quest to maximize performance by putting a great amount of pressure on teachers and systems for better performance (Wilkinson, 2006). Competition in schools has pushed school managements to generate many standards that ensure efficiency in their systems. In so doing, better grades and results are normally connected to the improved effectiveness in schools.
The McDonaldization principle of control also affects the labor sector in a great way. To make more surplus, most organizations put their purchasers into the work process to do unpaid work. The outcome of putting buyers into the work procedure is to achieve the repetition of the workforce since a few specialists are supplanted by the unpaid work of the clients. In addition, one of the indispensable procedures for amassing surplus is to limit work costs. In McDonald's, the way, in which an incredible number of low maintenance specialists is utilized, is a decent case. Most organizations tend to replace high-skilled workers with low-skilled ones to reduce costs as an aspect of calculability, thereby affecting the labor market negatively (Wu, 2009). Therefore, it is evident that many organizations and businesses use the principle of control to ensure maximum productivity without considering the effects on the labor sector
McDonaldization of society has far much reaching effects on society and the world at large. The four principles of McDonaldization are applied in many spheres of life in contemporary world. Not only are these effects seen in food restaurants, but they also observed in many other sectors. Today, McDonaldization affects globalization, cultures, the education sector, and the labor sector. Many formal organizations assume the principles of McDonaldization such as control, efficiency, predictability, and calculability. Thus, it is evident that McDonaldization does influence and affect the world more and more. Furthermore, society applies these principles by all means. What started as phenomena in a fast food restaurant has become a globalized standard, used in many spheres of life, organizations, institutions, and relationships.