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MacDonalidisation: Braverman, Taylor & Mayo

Background:
George Ritzer defined McDonaldization as "...the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurants are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world."

For our purposes, MacDonaldisation is a process of rationalisation that results in an efficient, logical sequence of methods that can be used to complete a given task in a controlled way.

Frederick Winslow Taylor:
Approach to organisational efficiency "scientific management". He developed a theory of organisation which altered the personalised autocracy of work under which human beings were treated like machines and assumes the specialization of work, and:

Protestant work ethic, that assumes people will work hard and behave rationally to maximize their own income

Workers would neutrally tend to work no harder then necessary given the chance to do so, and believed in control of those tendency through management. The method system was concerned with control; but was too rational ie there was no place in it for workers as human beings

Taylor was driven by the promise of direct financial benefit resulting from there studies of social science and research.

It was Henry Ford was that first applied Taylor's theories to mercenary in the form of an assembly line for improving the production of automobiles, which perhaps more importantly, removed the ability of the worker to dictate the pace of work by sampling each task and giving all procedure that might free workers from dehumanizing and alienating labor that is better done by machines and automation

Harry Braverman:
Whom defined management as "a labor process conducted for the purpose of control within the corporation" (Braverman, 1974: 267. McDonaldization also points to other factors as being central to the control of employees.

Argues that rationalization of labor will serve to deskill labor and oppress the work force and that it eventually would creep up from the loest levels of work into the middle layers.

Elton Mayo:
Was primarily interested in the research an a sociologist and recognised the fact that workers have an intimate knowledge of job conditions and are therefore able to make useful contributions

The human relations approach to work design were stall profit motivated, and dynamics of economic exploitation remain.

He believed that formal and in formal group interactions are of fundamental importance when trying to understand of human behaviours in the work place, these "unions"were removed and replaced with isolation on the production line.

Conclusions:
The desired outcome from McDonaldization is a controlled process with a predictable, consistent, measurable and infinitely repeatable output. Taylor had nothing against any of these objectives.

Mayo, being unconcerned with Taylors profit motives had no feeling ether way and was just in it for the academic value.

However, Braverman was opposed to the dehumanising and damaging concepts unbodied with in the culmination of McDonaldization when expanded to include all aspects of work then society

The result is the fact that to be productive an employees dose not need wide-ranging skill sets and are controlled in many of the ways explored by Marx and Braverman,.

An example of efficiently could be the inconveniences of some ATM transactions (bad thing) In general, the ruthless efficiently of the production line style process can only have a primarily negative and harmful effect on a society, as institutions come to be dominated by the same principle.

The General Consequences:

Deskilling:
The resulting level of abilities needed to complete the simple focused tasks created after a job has been broken down into tasks of the smallest possible degree.

Irrationality:
An unintended detrimental side effect of a rationalised process. An example of this could be worker burnout.

Mindlessness:
The body cannot live without an active mind. Eventually, we learn to stop looking for alternatives and the mind will grow dim.

Consumer Workers:
An insidious phenomenon of McDonaldisation and its ruthless efficiency, where work traditionally performed by the company is unwittingly done by the consumer for free.

I am the website administrator of the Wandle industrial museum (http://www.wandle.org). Established in 1983 by local people determined to ensure that the history of the valley was no longer neglected but enhanced awareness its heritage for the use and benefits of the community.

In The News:


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