This is an essay about scientific management in McDonalds operation, I believe the largest fast food McDonalds is the most successful model of scientific management. Scientific management is a branch of the classical approach; Taylor said scientific management is standardization which means people in the organization should be uniformed by company rules or policies which are some written documents. Scientific management is a very important part in management area, since look at the history of management. People are living in different groups such as schools, factorieshospitalsal, and companies, etc.
If there is no group to organize peoples life, then our society wont be developed so far. But only organizing people is not enough, we also need to manage those people to do their job more efficiently. So scientific management is a system that learns from previous experience. The reason we used McDonalds example in this assignment is organizing because its the largest fast food organization in the world and also the most successful case for scientific management. McDonalds management system is perfectly following the scientific management system from production to selling, even though McDonalds brother never studied scientific management (Eric, 2001, p. 9).
McDonalds is the largest franchising cooperation in the world, so it must deeply understand the concept copy and standardization. In the rest of the essay, I would like to write this topic by identifying four key scientific management concepts, and how they applied in McDonalds case. Also, I am going to discuss four critical arguments according to those four concepts. Treating people like a machine is one of the concepts in scientific management. By my own understanding, this concept means letting people to do the same job again and again to maximize organizational profit.
As Hawthorne said management system of treating people like a machine will improve productivity efficiently. ( Campling, J. , Poole, D. , Wiesner, R. , Ang, E. S. , Chan, B. , Tan, W. , & Schermerhorn, J. R. , 2008, p 95). People working in McDonalds must follow its instruction to do the job, normally one person in one position. People dont have to move too many steps in their workplace. McDonalds has their own Made for you system, which means they make fresh when you order.
For example, when customers order a big mac combo, people who make buns will toast the bun and pass it on to the person who making burgers, and wrap it up ready for the custom. People who dose fries will put them into the box, finally, people who in the front counter put all these together for the customer. Everyone in McDonalds just does their job and passes it to the next. Each person repeatable does their own job for that shift. So working in McDonalds doesn’t need too much skill, but a highly repeatable job, and this is the main point of scientific management.
Efficient achievement of clear organizational goals is another main concept of scientific management, as Taylor said management should maximum benefits for both employers and employees (Campling, J. , Poole, D. , Wiesner, R. , Ang, E. S. , Chan, B. , Tan, W. , & Schermerhorn, J. R. , 2008, p 91 ). Therefore, employers benefit is getting maximum profit by minimum cost. Scientific ordering people to do the job is the essential element in scientific management, for example, two people equally to do one project may not do it efficiently.
However, if we order one person to do the main part, the other one as the supporter then the result would be more efficient. That is scientific distribution. In another word, managers need to clearly understand organizational goals and efficiently achieve them no matter what method they use. (John, 1982, p 159). In McDonalds case, their goal is to make maximum burgers in a certain time; therefore, scientific management instead of people management is the only way to reach this goal. In New Zealand, more and more 24hrs McDonalds opened in the last 5 years, I remember in 2002, McDonalds in New Zealand normally opened from 7 am to 10 pm.
In 2005, McDonalds started using Made for you system; this is a classical scientific system since employees must follow particular instructions for making the food, therefore, this system save 80% of waste compare with before. The big saving is also the profits for the organization. In another way, this improves the efficiency of the achievement. Every organization has its own policy and procedures; they are standardizing and consisting the company by these policies and procedures. Policy and procedure are some written documents.
Organizing a small group may use people management since there is a certain size to limit; however, if only use people management to manage large companies like McDonalds wont be that easy. Scientific management will perfectly suit large organizations; McDonalds is the most successful case in the management world. McDonalds regulates each product in a certain cooking time, for example, 3 minutes for fries, chicken patty for 100 seconds, 9 pieces for 10:1 patties for each grill, and 6 for 4:1 patty. So every crew in McDonalds learns all these procedures by doing their job.
Each of them follows the procedure and supervisors instructions to make sure to keep the same standard of McDonalds all around the world. As a result of the cost price dropped by a huge number since people clearly follow the procedure; so today customers can enjoy the same quality of service at any McDonalds in the world. People like making decisions on their feelings, however, intuitions are not always right. So compare with that, systematic analysis is more accurate and efficient in the organization. Systematic analysis is a main and key period of scientific management.
The main job is communication between the analyzer and customers. Back to McDonalds case, people who work in the marketing department need research of whats hot and whats not of their products, and then they need to get information from customers, frontline employees, and some publics. So after analyzing the report, they get a proper result much more accurate than just feeling from the daily experience. Nothing is perfect, even though scientific management is a great management system it still has some disadvantages in some situations.
Treat people like a machine is the classic sign of scientific management, personally, I worked as a part-timer for McDonalds for one year, and I have to say this management system is great for efficient performance, in the meantime it makes me feel really like a machine, not a human. By the way, they pay minimum wages but actually hard work. So I didn’t enjoy working there at that time, thats why fast food organization like McDonalds always has a high staff turnover rate; because they dont treat people properly so young people like us only go there for the money and some experience.
Made for you system give mistake rate a big drop, but old employees still missing the old system a lot. Before MFY came into McDonalds, we feel McDonalds like a big family, we like to ask front counter people how many burgers they need, and how many fries we need to prepare; but now it is all controlled by computer, and there is no communication, no decision making and no interaction at all. Sometimes I found I lost myself, I am just a burger-making machine. One key concept of scientific management is copying; repeating work is the main responsibility of workers.
It is good on keeping the low cost of mistakes, but people stay in the same environment and copy the same work from the past. This restricts innovation and creativity from both managers and workers. McDonalds main menu hasn’t been changed for over 30 years; its hard for them to create new products. Also, it will be a huge cost of getting a new line of new products because each product in McDonalds has its own production line; such as a special machine for buns, regulations on oven size, the same size of patties, and so on. (Kincheloe, 2002, p. 59).
Standardizing is an important element of creating a global brand; managing big organizations all around the world must keep them on the same standard, and then people trust this brand. Customer keeping the company running is the basic concept for any business. Keeping a good standard is the most important guarantee for the company; however, customer may get tired of eating the same food in a long-term period. Policy and procedure are two key things to keep the standard of the company, good policy and procedure will reduce cost and mistakes, but also decrease employees’ skill development and regulate them to know more inside McDonalds.
This could make people unsatisfied with their job. (Pica vet, 2009). Since McDonalds opens everywhere in the world, each country has different culture and background, and too much policy and procedure will restrict its development in certain countries. Systematic analysis is doing well in McDonalds case; its a great idea in management. Things are always good and bad, systematic analysis gets information and after selecting useful information it makes results. From a science point of view, thats more accurate than experience management.
In contrast, people who become managers levels depend on their experience more than the ability of systematic analysis. Business is a real world, it is a real practice. So sometimes managers make decisions from their past experiences more efficiently. This essay is about scientific management concepts and how it applies to McDonalds operation. Scientific management is a system using data analysis and building a scientific production line to get maximum profits for both employer and employee.
The essay introduced four main concepts of scientific management including treating people like a hand rather than people; Focusing on efficient achievement of clear goals; standardizing through policy and procedures and using scientific analysis rather than intuitions. In the final part of the essay I discussed four arguments based on those four concepts, it shows both advantages and disadvantages in real life.