The strategic focus and organizational management have positioned McDonald’s on the principles of calculability, control, efficiency, and predictability. This paper attempts to explicitly examine the extent to which my life is McDonaldized.
The aspect of efficiency as a McDonaldization value revolves around the process involved in reaching rapid end at the least possible endeavor and cost. Traditions of an individual in terms of values such as quality, efficiency, and predictability may influence the perception of an individual towards a culture (Ritzer Sociological Beginnings 19).
For instance, a typical American is a member of the McDonald menu culture would be associated with hotdog, sausages, pizza and fries as part of daily food. I am a major beneficiary of the conveniences which come with McDonaldization. Since most of my mornings are cold, I always make use of McDonaldized places, such as drive through in order to pick quick coffee, as opposed to sitting down in a restaurant and waiting for the same (Ritzer McDonaldization 21).
Whenever I am driving my father’s car, I always follow the McDonaldization principle of efficiency when I am requested to change the oil in the car. I prefer quick auto services centers, such as the Jiffy Lube, since it only takes ten minutes for a complete oil change as compared to the traditional six hours in other auto garages.
At Jiffy Lube, I do not need to step outside the car during an oil change. The option of changing the oil within ten minutes reaffirms the aspect of efficiency, which I find almost impossible to resist (Ritzer The McDonaldization 28).
The aspect of control is applied directly and indirectly to customers because they are “the great source of uncertainty, unpredictability, and inefficiency in any rationalizing system” (Ritzer McDonaldization 101). When the element of control is augmented, it is easy to micromanage the level of rationalization progression (Ritzer Sociological Beginnings 35).
In fact, in most of my outings, I am always scouting for business establishments or service centers that have computerized business approaches such as computerized payment system since McDonald’s culture of control has become part and parcel of my daily life (Ritzer The McDonaldization 18).
The aspect of calculability revolves around an emphasis on “things that can be calculated counted, quantified. Quantification refers to a tendency to emphasize quantity rather than quality” (Ritzer Sociological Beginnings 31). Since I live alone, the principle of calculability has greatly influenced my cooking habits such as preferring microwaving of everyday meals as opposed to traditional simmering methods in warming food.
In the end, I save a lot of time, energy, and utensils. In terms of calculability, McDonaldization has influenced my choice of items and rationale for purchasing or consuming most of the products and services. Calculability functions within the rationale of getting the best return out of a decision to use or purchase a product or service (Ritzer The McDonaldization 24).
For instance, I prefer buying a fake Christmas tree from stores as opposed to the real Christmas tree since the value and lifespan of the fake tree is longer. This is in line with McDonaldization. Buying fake Christmas tree comes with benefits such as easy transportation and clean surfaces since there is no need to clean up messes that are common with the real Christmas tree (Ritzer McDonaldization 29).
The aspect of predictability revolves around the involuntary actions that an individual takes to ensure that the there is a systematic transition from one activity to another every day within minimal differentness to protect his or her sensibility (Ritzer McDonaldization 32). It increases the ability to predetermine the expectation such as quality and tasty fast food as a brand name for the McDonald’s. As an avid shopper, I always expect the same or higher level of satisfaction every time I visit a mall for the second time.
This becomes the malls have a more or less similar layout, items, and architecture (Ritzer The McDonaldization 15). In the end, I always expect to get a predictable level of satisfaction as the emotional auto-pilot takes over my shopping habits each time I am in such establishments. This is the same principle that McDonald’s practices when designing the layout, product display, and architectures of their fast food stores (Ritzer Sociological Beginnings 31).
Magnitude of McDonaldization
McDonaldization has greatly influenced my life in several ways. I have very little influence on the decisions that I make in purchasing different products, visiting stores, and ordering different items since the emotional auto-pilot as a result of McDonaldization has taken the center stage on response to different stimuli (Ritzer Sociological Beginnings 22). For instance, I would rather use the microwave to warm food as opposed to other alternatives since calculability benefits outweigh the cost elements in play.
Besides, the aspect of efficiency as a result of convenience has a strong influence on my choice of services within the least possible costs (Ritzer The McDonaldization 18). For instance, I prefer a quick auto care center that can change the oil in a vehicle within ten minutes as opposed to a center that takes a half a day to do the same (Ritzer McDonaldization 12).
Ritzer, George. McDonaldization: The Reader. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print.
Ritzer, George. Sociological Beginnings: On the Origins of Key Ideas in Sociology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2005. Print.
Ritzer, George. The McDonaldization of Society. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Print.