Fredrick Taylor’s Principle of Scientific Management and its Application at McDonald’s

Fredrick Taylor developed a scientific management principle that analyses workflow design in organizations. Taylor’s main goal was to improve labor productivity. Although the theory was developed more than a century ago, its impact is still critical in most industries, and McDonald’s is no exception. At McDonald’s, there is clear evidence that business operations use scientific management principles since the restaurant has a system that rewards employees who meet the organization’s goals. Taylor’s theory states that if workers do not receive incentives even after working hard, they will be discouraged and lower their productivity. McDonald’s has a competitive wage and promotion program, which recognizes and rewards hard work. The recognition may be a “Job well done” from managers or the acknowledgment of the Employee of the Month. Secondly, McDonald’s offers special training to staff to better their skills, thus, improve on service delivery. Lastly, McDonald’s designed a consistent method where workers perform their duties individually. The restaurant ensures that every food they sell has the same taste and quality in all their stores. Job descriptions at McDonald’s, especially in the kitchen area, are similar to ensure the same taste and quality in all the franchises.

It is said that the company engineers use a computerized methodology to eliminate the guesswork in food preparation and ensure consistency. The company has manuals set up by the management that provides rules and conduct of the workers. For instance, there are various manuals on how to prepare milkshakes, fries, and hamburgers. Apart from cooking hours, there are specific temperature settings for all products and how potatoes should be cut. The job design at McDonald’s depends on the role assigned. The most mechanized jobs are in the meal preparation area, ensuring the uniformity of their products. They have to cut fries to a specific design, cook meals at a given temperature, and cook for a certain amount of time. The less non-mechanistic jobs include managers, customer care, and waiters.

McDonald’s has a famously bureaucratic structure where every employee’s work is formalized. The jobs have clear communication structures and specific job descriptions. The bureaucratic structure is advantageous since it ensures that the organization makes the same product worldwide at a minimum cost. The arrangement of the organization clearly indicates each position in a hierarchal manner, indicating the subordinate or super-ordinate. McDonald’s organizational structure was restructured in 2015 to improve its global operations. Under the contingency analysis scale, the highly bureaucratic structures include the managerial positions whose roles are clearly defined. In contrast, the non-bureaucratic jobs include those of waiters, chefs, and customer care. The organizational structure at McDonald’s has established efficient managerial patterns among the business areas. The corporate structure at McDonald’s has ensured success in the corporate operations of the fast food industry.

The scientific management at McDonald’s is well-defined, and each employee’s role is well-stipulated. At the restaurant, the worker’s efforts are recognized and rewarded accordingly, especially after they have performed well in their roles. However, the same is witnessed in other McDonald’s outlets all over the world, regardless of the country. The McDonald’s franchise is similar and produces the same quality of food regardless of location. The organization structure does not change with the country since an administrative officer heads every location, and each division has departments, including IT, Finance, and operations. The roles are hierarchal, from the top executives to waiters and chefs at the lowest level.

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