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Young Wage Slaves
Transcript of Young Wage Slaves
Discussion Question #1:
To what extent does Fasty employ Taloyrism , i.e. Scientific Management, in the business? Please use the facts in this case to backup your position.
What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Fasty at the time of the case?
Zhengyang Zhang, Fen Jiang
The organization of work and personnel management in a fast food restaurant
Fasty is a fast-food chain in France, where the fast food industry has achieved tremendous growth in France over the last ten years through application of Taylorism, in terms of offering young people part time, badly paid, exhausting, and low skilled jobs. The case revolves around exploitation of workers observed in a franchise regarding recruitment, training, working conditions, division of labor, management hierarchy, etc. Then what are the problems associated with the “scientific management” employed by Fasty?
What is Taylorism?
Scientific management is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows. Its main objective is improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity.
working hours/ working assignments
3. Multi-skilled and determined staff
4. Clearly defined working process and managers know technical know-how
5. Comparatively simple hierarchy- easy to manage
1. Low employee solidarity
2. high turnover
3. Unwarranted customer service quality (long line,customer loyalty )
4. Problematic spatial arrangement and material management and worn out facility
5. Irrational strict procedure/company policy and "powerless" hierarchy
Further fast-food market growth
New technology (ex. self-ordering machine)
Trends towards healthy eating
1. low costs
5 hierarchy levels
• Crew members (students during peak hours), heads of crews, managers, assistant store manager and store manager
• 10am to midnight weekdays and until 1am at weekends (1.5 to 2 hours before opening and after closing)
• At dawn when receiving merchandise shipping
• Kitchen (male), cash registers (mainly female), clean-up tasks (decided by supervisors), surveillance
Hourly minimum wage (2014): 9.53 € per hour
Discussion Question #2:
1. C. Brochier (2001), "Des jeunes corvéables: L'organisation du travail et la gestion du personnel dans un fast-food",
Actes de la recherche en sciences sociale
, no. 138, pp.73-83
Based on the SWOT Analysis, what are the possible alternatives to the current organization of work and personnel management of Fasty? Evaluate each alternative.
Discussion Question #3:
Discussion Question #4:
Further Evidence of "Exploitation"
No long-term employment envisaged
Little training, resulted difficulties encountered at the beginning, and strong pressure which leads to profitable high turnovers
Surveillance from supervisors, self-contradictory must-follow instructions, and hierarchical pressure
Taylorism Employed in the Case
1.Division of labor: clearly defined working process & job responsibility for "the kitchen” & “the counter”
2.Focus on process management & efficiency
3.High level of management control - crew members are constantly under supervision and managers know technical know-how
4. Minimum cost - low cost in personnel management (recruiting,training,minimum staff, etc.)
Alternatives to Organization of Labor
1. Better work assignments - put each employee into the position that suits him/her best rather than by gender (right people, right job)
2. Be practical, rationalize the work process, employ ”best practice” and motivate employees with well designed incentive system
3. Improve the facility, spatial arrangement and material organization so that crew members can work with higher efficiency
What could be the feasible implementation plan for Fasty?
Alternatives to Personnel Management
1. Employ a scientific recruiting process.
2. Provide systematic training to the employees.
3. Build up a performance evaluation system & corresponding flexible salary system.
4. Set up a better designed and "powerful" hierarchical management.
Feasible Implementation Plan
1. Scientific recruitment
use scientific personality test in the recruitment process and send employees to the positions that are fit for them. (MBTI)
2. Systematic Training
provide adequate training so that they can provide best service once in position
3. Constant Evaluation
performance evaluation can be done through self-evaluation, peer-evaluation and supervisor evaluation. Employees are paid based on their work performance.
4. Work Process Rationalization
conduct research on the “most efficient way to work" in each position by interviewing experienced employees and replace the old irrational rules with the new ones
5. Spatial and Material Organization
design the best organization of space and material to improve the work efficiency by experimenting and inquiring current employees
6. Facility Renewal
replace the out-dated facility with malfunction issues