CH 6 Lecture - Chapter 6: Formal Organizations Transcript...

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Chapter 6: Formal Organizations Transcript for Author-Created Video Introduction to Chapter 6: Formal Organizations Chapter 6 is about formal organizations, which sociologists define as coordinating mechanisms that channel human activity toward meeting a specific goal, like making a profit. In this chapter, our focus is not on a country but on a global corporation— McDonald’s. Specifically, sociologists draw upon sociological concepts and theories to answer this question: How does McDonald’s coordinate the activities of a half-million employees (working in 118 countries) to complete the 18.3 billion customer orders made each year. Additionally, how does McDonald’s secure the massive amount of outside resources it needs to fill these 18.3 billion orders? Just think: McDonald’s has to secure 1 billion eggs and 2.5 billion pounds of meat each year. McDonald’s also takes advantage of technologies that allow it to outsource drive-through orders. Drive-through orders are outsourced to call centers located anywhere in the world; operators take orders and send them back to the McDonald’s kitchen staff via the Internet. For this chapter, I could have focused on any organization, but I chose McDonald’s because sociologists use the term McDonaldization of society to describe the process by which the principles guiding the fast-food industry are being applied to other sectors of the American and global economy. One fast-food principle is quantification, which gives customers a numerical indicator that allows them to easily evaluate a product or service. In this regard, most fast-food companies promise customers delivery of an order within three minutes of placing it. We are seeing the principle of quantification in other areas of life: sleep aids promise sleep within 20 minutes of taking a pill: diet programs promise customers that they will lose 10 pounds in 10 days, universities promise a degree in 24 months; and pharmaceutical companies promise to limit menstrual periods to four or even to zero times a year.
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Chapter Outline I. Why Focus on McDonald’s? A. McDonald’s - a fast-food service corporation headquartered in the United States, with 31,667 units in 118 countries 1. Approximately 50 million people eat at a McDonald’s restaurant each day, and the fast-food chain estimates that it handles 18.3 billion customer orders per year. 2. Sixty percent of McDonald’s sales and profits are derived from its international units. 3. McDonald’s ranks 318th on the list of the 500 largest global corporations. II. Formal Organizations and Bureaucracy A. Core Concept 1: The formal organization, a type of secondary group, is a coordinating mechanism people create to achieve a planned outcome. 1.
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2010 for the course SOCI 1301 taught by Professor Na during the Spring '09 term at Richland Community College.

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CH 6 Lecture - Chapter 6: Formal Organizations Transcript...

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