Working for Mcdonald's in Europe: The Unequal Struggle?

By Tony Royle | Go to book overview

9

Conclusion

Every age accepts the doctrines evolved to deal with a previous one and neglects the message most relevant to its own time.

(Samuel Brittan, 1972)

We began by suggesting that the activities of the McDonald's Corporation in Europe could be seen as a contest between two opposing forces-McDonald's, representing the driving force for economic liberalism, and the industrial relations systems of Europe, still based on collectivist aspirations. Has McDonald's been able to operate independently of the societal frameworks in most European countries and if so to what extent? How effective are national and supranational regulatory systems in protecting employment rights in practice? What are the implications for the more collectivist-orientated systems of national industrial relations in the mainland European states and for the wider issue of multinational regulation in the contemporary global economy? Before we can answer these questions, we provide a review the key findings presented in each chapter.


Reviewing the findings

In Chapter 2, we began with an examination of the way in which the McDonald's corporation was founded, the details of its expansion and some of the problems it encountered. The corporation has remained surprisingly faithful to the original system laid down by the McDonald brothers and then 'fine tuned' by Ray Kroc. This chapter also suggests that despite the early problems associated with international expansion the corporation found that it was better to stick to the original system and to avoid changes if at all possible. McDonald's appears to make a virtue of standardising not only its product range and its manufacturing processes, but also, by and large, its management practices, regardless of cultural differences across societies. Indeed, this is explicit in Love's (1995) official biography of the corporation. Love (1995) suggests that the standardisation of its management practices even extended to its management in Japan, which, as other authors have pointed out, is usually seen as having a very different approach to management

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Working for Mcdonald's in Europe: The Unequal Struggle?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables viii
  • 1 - Liberalism, Collectivism and the Multinational Corporation 1
  • 2 - Welcome to Big Mac 16
  • 3 - The Corporate Paradox 35
  • 4 - Mcdonald's at Work 56
  • 5 - 'there's No Place like Home' 85
  • 6 - Co-Determination? 119
  • 7 - For a Few Dollars More 150
  • 8 - Where's the Beef? 177
  • 9 - Conclusion 196
  • Appendix 215
  • Notes 223
  • References 226
  • Index 241
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