McDonaldization concept was first put into application by Henry Ford in his assembly line so as to increase the production of automobiles. This concept was then later applied by George Ritzer to express sociological events in society. The concept is used to refer to the replacement of sensibly consistent rules for traditional or rather irrational rules. In other words McDonaldization is a rationalization process at acute levels. To be more specific, according to George Ritzer it is the process that has led to the principles of fast-food restaurant dominating most sectors of the American society and the entire world at large, (Ritzer, 2010). In application, the process involves breaking of tasks into smaller tasks levels that are then rationalized to find a single method of completing each task efficiently.
There are a number of characteristics that can be used to identify the concept of McDonaldization, (Ritzer, 2009). To begin with is the efficiency issue. Efficiency promotes optimum completion of a project due to the rational determination of production mode. Secondly is calculability issue. This involves the assessment of output in terms of quantity rather than quality. The third characteristic is predictability. The production process is well organized which enhances uniformity of output and standardization of outcomes. The fourth and last characteristic of this concept is control. This involves the substitution of human labor with more predictable non-human labor.
The concept of McDonaldization can also be applied in other institutions such as in schools, hospitals, and churches, besides fast foods. For example in the case of hospitals, tasks are broken down into different categories which are then assigned to different individuals that have specialized in such tasks. It can be noted that in hospitals we have different departments such as examination, treatment, drug prescription, and also advisory department. All these departments are led by individuals who have specialized in whatever task that is undertaken in those departments, (Ritzer, 2010). Moreover, machines are largely being employed in hospitals at least in all the departments leading to a reduction in human services and increased use of machines. McDonaldization in hospitals has been very beneficial to our society in different ways. For instance, it has reduced the amount of time that patients spend waiting for services, and also improved quality of the services that are given, due to specialization hospital workers in their jobs.
This concept has become very popular in our society today. It is being applied in almost all sectors of the economy may it be a service sector or a production sector. Replacements of man-power by machines in most of these sectors have become very common. For example, in most of the production industries the number of employees has greatly decreased while the use of machines has increased (Smart, 1999). McDonaldization concept has impacted the society both positively and negatively. From the positive point of view, it has led to the production of quality goods and services, increased production, and increased quality of life. On the other hand, it has negatively affected the society in the sense that people are losing their jobs due to the application of machines. It has also turned human being into machine like creatures by advocating for the principle of specialization.
Finally, there are several ways that individuals and communities at large; can employ to resist McDonaldization. These includes; organizing and attending protests against this concept, educating one another of the side effects of the concept to the society, and training or rather learning to perform or undertake different types of tasks, (Smart, 1999). To conclude with, it should be noted that this concept cannot be disadvantageous in all sectors in the society. Therefore, it should be encouraged in those areas where it is of benefit to the society and discouraged in the areas where it negatively affects the society.
Ritzer, G. (2010). The McDonaldization of Society 6. Washington: Pine Forge Press.
Ritzer, G. (2009). McDonaldization: The Reader. Washington: Pine Forge Press.
Smart, B. (1999). Resisting McDonaldization. Boston: SAGE.