The Employment Relationship Principle Of Fast Food Industry Management Essay (2022)

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McDonald’s has the largest share in the fast-food industry worldwide with a continuous and aggressive expansion that occur either inside or outside the country of origin (United States), without badly affected by the economy of the nation (eds. Royle & Towers 2002). Furthermore, it has opened many franchises worldwide besides its company-operated restaurants (eds. Royle & Towers 2002). This also means that McDonald’s has made a great contribution in employing more than 2 million workers globally with its main focus to maximize sales and profit mainly by minimizing labor cost and wastage (eds. Royle & Towers 2002). The company has a Unitarist approach in which the company views employee representatives (such as unions) as an interferer to the unity of the workplace relations (Simon Fry 2010). It prefers to deal with employee-related issues directly with the individual workers by having its own Human Resource Programme which aims to foster workers’ commitment and satisfaction by promoting individualism, replacing collective representation and negotiation (Beaumont, cited in Tony Royle & Brian Towers 2002). McDonald’s implements Mcdonaldization which follows Taylorism and Fordism principles of production system (eds. Royle & Towers 2002; Undergraduate School of Management 2010, Topic 3). Taylorism focuses on deskilling each work role and division of labor by breaking down the task into simplified, routine and systematic jobs of production in which the workers are allocated to the jobs that they are specialize in (match the workers to the job they are suited to) as well as having each steps of the task to be planned out and calculated in advance, and by giving wages to the workers according to their performances following the piece rate system where workers are paid extra in addition to their standard wage, depending on their performance (Undergraduate School of Management 2010, Topic 3). Meanwhile, Fordism focuses on using standardized maximization of work process through technology to deskill worker and to facilitate mass production such as using assembly line and single purpose machine equipment which can perform many tasks by using only one machine (Undergraduate School of Management 2010, Topic 3; Pereira 2002). In other words, technologies such as machines, equipments, tools and methods used to operate them and the production process are standardized with specific purpose and thus it is understandable and easy for the less skilled workers to use while at the same time, technology helps to improve workers’ productivity, efficiency and effectiveness in producing the output. The interaction of workforce efforts with technology in both methods would bring financial benefit for the company since less skilled and cheap labor would already be sufficient to maintain or produce better quality products through the improvement in productivity of the workforce due to specialization and division of labor as well as mass production with the help of technology, which could produce large amount of output within limited period of time. Therefore, cost minimization and labor efficiency is achieved (Pereira 2002).

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Multinational corporations in fast-food industry such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Pizza hut have expanded worldwide. Regardless of the location of expansion, McDonald’s and other fast-food companies have implemented similar operations in the three countries. The labors are lowly paid with limited experience or skill to work. Generally the workers are exploited in order to achieve the main company’s goal of minimizing labor cost. Besides, the workers receive poor employment conditions and minimum employment benefits. For example, Taco Bell managers were found to force the workers to work overtime and yet they were unpaid, purposefully making the workers wait until the restaurant was busy before they were allowed to start working and expecting staff to clean the restaurant during their free time (Schlosser cited in Allan, Bamber & Timo 2006). They generally have little awareness and understanding about employment representative such as work councils or labor unions and their rights as employees (Royle 2002). In other words, the company is an anti-employment representative, having a Unitarist mindset and they established their own Human Resource Management Programme to deal with workers directly instead of allowing external parties to interfere (Pereira 2002). The company always tries to avoid working with trade unions or work councils whenever they can and wherever they are, this shows how much they resent employee representatives and employee representatives are bad and intruders have been engraved in their perspectives. For example, in German McDonald’s use buy-out strategy to lay-off workers who has shown interest in work councils by paying a high compensation fees and do not hire anyone who has interest in work councils (Royle 2002). Royle (cited in Allan, Bamber & Timo 2006, pp. 402-440) stated that “In most countries, employer’s anti-union policies (and weak enforcement of union membership as it is optional to join) generally result in low levels of unionization in the industry and thus, little collective protection (or representation) for (fast-food) workers” and “…not much protection from unilateral managerial action” (Allan, Bamber & Timo 200). This means that the employees have little or no say in company’s decision-making affects them or to negotiate over the employment terms. The workers are mostly part-timers, with short time work commitment towards the company since there is little opportunity to advance in their career when they work in McDonald’s, causing a high labor turnover (Pereira 2002). The company will only change their policies when they are triggered by the external environment such as public criticism or for their own benefits, but will not respond to internal pressure such as the complaints and dissatisfaction of the workers. This can be seen through McDonald’s and other fast-food employers in German in which they have agreed to create collective agreement with work councils mainly because it receives many criticism from the public about its strong resistance to work councils (Royle 2002) and ‘to position itself as a clear leader in its own sector…to be seen as setting ‘high standards’ ‘ (Royle 2002, pp. 76-101). The production process and methods, training, the equipments used and the tasks assigned to the workers are similar and standardized in the three countries (Royle 2002; Pereira 2002; Leidner 2002). The laws are pro-employers in which more power, freedom and minimum restrictions are given to employers to negotiate terms of employment directly with employees rather than negotiating through unions (Pereira 2002; Leidner 2002), especially in US where ’employment-at-will’ exist, in which workers have no right to ongoing employment and employers have no legal obligation of fairness’ . There is also a shift in the market for searching labors to expand the recruitment efforts due to shortage of workers. In Singapore for example, there is a shift from predominantly young workers to elderly workforce while in US the poor single mothers and handicapped citizens are now being employed to meet the need for workers in the companies.

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Despite many similarities in the employment practices across the three countries, there are also some differences found. In Singapore, the workers are predominantly the elderly while in Germany they are immigrants and foreigners, with United States(US) having predominantly young women in the workforce (Royle 2002; Pereira 2002; Leidner 2002).In Singapore and Germany, McDonald’s are not pressurized to cooperate with labour unions since it is optional to join while in German, it receives strong continuous pressure to cooperate with labour union or work council as it is legitimate in the country (Royle 2002; Pereira 2002; Leidner 2002). The workers in Singapore are generally satisfied with the treatment from the employers and do not feel exploited or underpaid as they expect to be lowly-paid. However, in German and US, the employees raised dissatisfaction due to exploitation of their working time, efforts and payment along with unsupportive management, although US workers also expect and accept the low wages. In Singapore and US, the government allows the companies to retrench workforce anytime when they need to in times of crisis and in US it goes to the extreme that the employers can fire the employees anytime for no reason. While in German, there is law to protect workers for wrongful dismissal. However, the time for compensation to be given to the retrenched employees are taking too long that by the time they are offered compensation, the employees areno longer interested. McDonald’s in Singapore receives a positive image from the public and government for their contributions in creating jobs for the elderly to give financial support to them. However, in Germany and US McDonald’s and other fast-food giants receives a bad image for providing unhealthy food, poor employment conditions, and in the case of German, being a strong resistance to work councils.

In my opinion, there is a need to strengthen the labor unions to balance the power between company’s control and labor unions efforts to protect workers’ rights. This is to ensure that the company does not exploit their workers and improve their satisfaction on the employment condition and policies. If the companies in fast-food industry continue to exploit their workers, there will be little progress in the future development of labor market regulation and trade union since the companies may continue to use their strong power to decide what is best and benefit the company and not the workers, creating further dissatisfaction in future. Thus, external parties such as public policy needs to interfere in the company practices to control employer’s resistance to employment representatives such as work councils and trade unions. Furthermore, these representatives should put in more effort to encourage the development of a more positive organization’s employment strategies and practices by find common grounds with the company to come to a mutual agreement on employment policies and practices for the best interest of the workers and company. For example, there is an agreement created to allow worker’s rights to participate and influence the decision-making of company which affects them and gives them a reasonable amount of freedom to express their opinions, ideas and dissatisfactions, provided they are expressed in a positive manner such as by writing in the employee surveys instead of having a strike. This means that there is more employee participation in the company, such as having work councils that are initiated by either government, unions or employees and the company could benefits and improved by adopting some suggestions from workers to improve the company as a whole. The companies should also try to improve the working conditions in ways such as having a regulation of work schedule or rewarding employees based on their performance and efforts to motivate them to work. In this way, McDonald’s who have a relatively negative image could improve their global image in the eyes of public by showing more attention and care to the workers. The company could encourage more employee involvement. Employee involvement is initiated by the management which aims to improve loyalty and supports of workers to achieve organizational goals. This involves communication of performance to employees such as using employee reports, delegated decision-making such as team working and quality circles to bridge the gap between managers and workers as well as financial participation such as profit-sharing which encourage a sense of belonging and commitment to company. All of these positive employment relations practices may be able to create a better workforce who will be more motivated and committed to the company for a longer period of time since their welfare are protected and they are allowed to have some rights and privileges.

In conclusion, fast-food industry has created a huge impact on employment practices worldwide. Especially for large corporation such as McDonald’s, it has created jobs for many workers globally. With the improvement in employment relations practices, these large corporations could prosper further with a more positive image regarding their contribution to the welfare of the workers. Powerful multinationals corporations such as KFC, Burger King, and McDonald’s have a standardized and global model of employee relations that are homogenous across the globe which involve the homogenous organizational structure, management practices, technology and employee relations.

McJobs based on the management principles of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control (Ritzer, 1993)

McJobs are simplified, standardised and routinised. Such work is generally seen as routine, dull and deskilled.

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Undergraduate School of Management, 2010, Employment Relations Course Notes from BUSM 1084, ‘Topic 2 – The Nature of Employment Relationship’, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Royle, T & Towers, B 2002, ‘Introduction’, in Royle, T & Towers, B (eds) Labour relations in the global fast food industry, Routledge, London, pp. 1-7

Fry, S 2010 , Frames of Reference Table from Lec 2 from BUSM 1084, ‘Topic 2 – The Nature of Employment Relationship’, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Undergraduate School of Management, 2010 , Employment Relations Course Notes from BUSM 1084, ‘Topic 3 – HRM and the New workplace’, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Pereira, A 2002, ‘ “McAunties” and “McUncles”: Labour relations in Singapore’s fast-food industry’, in Royle, T & Towers, B (eds) Labour relations in the global fast food industry, Routledge, London, pp. 136-53.

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Royle, T 2002, ‘Undermining the system? Labour relations in the German fast-food industry’, in Royle, T & Towers, B (eds) Labour relations in the global fast food industry, Routledge, London, pp. 76-101.

Leidner, R 2002, ‘Fast food work in the United States’, in Royle, T & Towers, B (eds) Labour relations in the global fast food industry, Routledge, London, pp. 8-23.

Royle, T & Towers, B 2002, ‘Summary and conclusions: MNCs, regulatory systems and employment rights’, in Royle, T & Towers, B (eds) Labour relations in the global fast food industry, Routledge, London.

Allan, C, Bamber, G, & Timo, N 2006, ‘Fast-food work: are McJobs satisfying?’, Employee Relations, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 402-420, viewed 31 July 2010, .

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FAQs

What are the main perspectives on the employment relationship? ›

There are three perspectives on the employment relationship that can contribute in analyzing the nature of conflict in work place: Unitarism, Pluralism and Marxism. Most writers and theorists have written on these schools of thought and have used them from different perspective to analyze social issues.

Which theory explain the employer and employee relationship? ›

The pluralist theory of industrial relations says that the workplace conflict is inevitable. The key difference between the unitary and pluralist perspective of employee relations is this assumption.

What is the role of state in employment relationship? ›

The state influences the employment relationship directly through laws on wages (e.g. minimum wages), working conditions (e.g. on hours of work) and many other issues and through its role as the employer of public sector workers (see Chapter 11).

What are the main dimensions of the employment relationship? ›

As a result of common practice of bargaining in the employment relationship, some three major dimensions can be identified. These are: economic, legal and social; this paper will thus seek to show how the three interact and posit that the economic dimension is most influential in employment relationships.

What is the impact of employee relations on employee performance? ›

The effects of strong employee relations

Higher levels of employee engagement with their role. Greater productivity and less time lost. Morale levels throughout your workplace will rise, forging a strong team atmosphere. More competition, meaning more results and better performance.

Why employee relations is important for a company? ›

Employee relations are important because they form the foundation of trust between an organization and its employees. When workers feel respected by their supervisors for their contributions to the organization's success, they tend to reciprocate this respect with hard work and loyalty towards the company.

What are the types of employment relationships? ›

Based on this criteria, the IRS recognizes four primary types of business relationships: independent contractor, employee, statutory employee and statutory non-employee.

How do you maintain a good relationship between employees and employers? ›

Talk to your employees directly. Give them assignments personally rather than just through email. Engage your team members in personal conversations to find out how they're doing. When you're physically present in your team members' lives, your relationship will improve.

What is the meaning of employee relations? ›

Employee relations is a subfunction or department that is usually within the HR or legal function of an organization. The employee relations function is generally tasked with: Developing workplace policies about employee conduct.

What is direct employment relationship? ›

direct employment means an employ ment relationship between an employer and a worker without the involvement of a Government organ or an Agency; Sample 1.

Which is an example of employee relations issues? ›

Conflicts, sexual harassment, annual leave disputes, bullying and other employee relations issues can negatively impact your organization. As a business owner or HR manager, it's your responsibility to prevent and address these problems before they escalate.

What are the characteristics of employee relations? ›

The Essentials of a Healthy Employer-Employee Relationship
  • Mutual respect. It's perfectly fine to instigate a closer relationship with your employees to the point of socializing with them outside of work. ...
  • Mutual reliance. ...
  • Openness & communication. ...
  • Support (and nurturing) ...
  • Gratitude.
23 May 2014

What are the elements of employee/employer relationship? ›

4 Elements Of Employer Employee Relationship

the selection and engagement of the employee; the payment of wages; the power of dismissal; and, the employer's power to control the employee on the means and methods by which the work is accomplished.

What is the role of employees in industrial relations? ›

They must be able to understand and appreciate the problems of managements and must adopt a policy of 'give and take' while bargaining with the managements. Trade unions must understand that both management and workers depend on each other and any sort of problem on either side will do harm to both sides.

Why is it important to maintain a harmonious relationship between management and employees? ›

Relationship management in the workplace helps build effective teams where employees respect each other, listen to new ideas, and work seamlessly as a team. You don't want your best talent to be scared away by cold employee relations. Confusion, stress, and tension make for bad employee experiences.

What field is concerned about the relationships among employees and how that may affect the performance of a business? ›

Organizational psychology is a discipline interested in how the relationships among employees affect those employees and the performance of a business. This includes studying worker satisfaction, motivation, and commitment.

Why is labor relations important in human resource management? ›

Through a union, workers have the right to express their opinion that would influence their wages, work hours, benefits, health and safety. These jobs gives employee's the proper training and all other work related issues that impact their employment.

How do you improve employee relationships? ›

7 Strategies and best practices for improving employee relations in the workplace
  1. Give constructive feedback. ...
  2. Increase communication with regular check-ins. ...
  3. Provide training and opportunities to upskill. ...
  4. Create a culture that promotes transparency. ...
  5. Allow flexibility and empower independent decision making.
5 May 2021

What are the benefits of a positive relationship between employees and employers? ›

The result of a healthy employee-employer relationship is happier, more loyal, devoted, and productive employees. To be straightforward, their healthy relationship helps the company grow.

What is the relationship of employee relations to business objectives and strategy? ›

Strong and effective employee relations generally lead to a better performing organization. Employees want a culture where they are comfortable with each other, share a good rapport and work in close coordination towards a common objective.

How is an employment relationship created? ›

An employment relationship is created when employer and employee agree on the work to be performed, that work is performed under the supervision and control of the employer, and the employee is paid for the work. Minimum terms and conditions of employment are defined in legislation and collective agreements.

What is employment relation PDF? ›

The employment relationship The employment relationship is the connection between employees and employers through which individuals sell their labor.

What is the relationship between manager and employee called? ›

Put simply, employee relations' (ER) is the term that defines the relationship between employers and employees. ER focuses both on individual and collective relationships in the workplace with an increasing emphasis on the relationship between managers and their team members. How to manage employee relations?

What is the most important element of employee/employer relationship? ›

CONTROL IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT THAT ESTABLISHES EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP. Control is the most crucial element of employer-employee relationship and if present in the case will establish such relationship.

What is meant by the idea of a new employment relationship? ›

New Employment Relationship means any employment or consulting relationship with one or more business entities that is reasonably expected to involve in the aggregate at least 30 hours of service per week by Employee.

How can managers improve employee relationships? ›

Five Strategies to Improve Manager and Employee Relations
  1. Schedule Regular One-on-One Check-Ins. This is where positive manager-employee relationships begin. ...
  2. Ask for Feedback. Constructive feedback is a two-way street. ...
  3. Recognize Great Work and Coach Often. ...
  4. Focus on Career Development. ...
  5. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance.
17 Oct 2018

How can employee relations problems be prevented? ›

7 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AT WORK
  1. Promote Dialogue and Communication. ...
  2. Focus on Company Mission and Values. ...
  3. Help Employees Feel Valued. ...
  4. Inspire and Reward. ...
  5. Offer Career Development. ...
  6. Promote Health and Work-Life Balance. ...
  7. Use Software to Achieve Error Free and Avoid Redundancy.
19 Jan 2020

What is it like working in employee relations? ›

Employee Relations is a neutral department that does not side with certain employees but instead tries to reach solutions that work for all through collaboration. The department represents the interests of the company as a whole and makes decisions based on what is right for the entire organization.

What is the difference between the employment contract and the employment relationship? ›

An employment contract is the most effective way to codify the terms and conditions of the employment relationship. It should outline fundamental aspects of the employment relationship including employment status, particularly if the employee is engaged as a part-time or casual basis, remuneration and obligations.

What are the common employee relations challenges faced by the employees today? ›

Hours Worked

There are situations where an employee disputes the number of hours they worked, claiming that they have been working longer than the manager claims. Some will even insist that they worked extra overtime hours that you don't even agree is accurate. Wage and hours issues can be a pain in the neck.

Why is employee relations preferred to industrial relations? ›

'Employee relations' is a concept that is being preferred over the older industrial relations because of the realization that there is much more at the workplace than industrial relations could look or cover.

What do you mean by employer/employee relation explain its features and essentials? ›

Employer-employee relations include both individual relations as well as collective relations. Individual relations imply relations between employer and employees. Collective relations mean, relations between employers' associations and trade unions as well as the role of the State in regulating these relations.

What are the four elements of an employee employer relationship which of the most important elements among the four? ›

To determine the existence of an employer-employee relationship, four elements generally need to be considered, namely:
  • The selection and engagement of the employee;
  • The payment of wages;
  • The power of dismissal; and.
  • The power to control the employee's conduct.
1 Jun 2022

What is the most important benefit of industrial relations? ›

The most important benefit of industrial relations is that this ensures continuity of production. This means, continuous employment for all from manager to workers. The resources are fully utilized, resulting in the maximum possible production.

What does industrial relations mean explain and provide example? ›

Industrial relations are defined as the relationships between an employer and workers. An example of industrial relations is how the employer handles grievances and suggestions from the employees. noun. 1. Relations between the management of an industrial enterprise and its employees.

Why is employee relations important to workforce productivity and industrial peace in any business setting? ›

Employee relations—the manner in which the managers and HR representatives at your company interact with your workers—can have a huge impact on your workplace culture. Maintaining positive employee relations helps to improve staff morale, reduce workplace conflict and ultimately, increase productivity.

What are the types of employment relationships? ›

Based on this criteria, the IRS recognizes four primary types of business relationships: independent contractor, employee, statutory employee and statutory non-employee.

What is meant by the employment relationship? ›

'Employee relations' describes the relationship between employers and employees. Today's interpretation of employee relations refers to individual as well as collective workplace relationships. It reflects the increasing individualisation of the employment relationship following the rise of individual workplace rights.

What are the characteristics of an employment relationship? ›

Based on the law, therefore, the five key characteristics of an employment relationship are:
  • a contract.
  • performing work.
  • performing work for another party.
  • remuneration.
  • being under direction and supervision, i.e. the employer's right to direct.
21 Sept 2020

What is radical perspective in employee relations? ›

Marxist Perspective

Marxist perspective is also called radical perspective. This perspective is to reveal the nature of the capitalist society. It thinks that workplace relations are against the history. It recognizes inequalities in power in the employment relationship and in wider society as a whole.

How is an employment relationship created? ›

An employment relationship is created when employer and employee agree on the work to be performed, that work is performed under the supervision and control of the employer, and the employee is paid for the work. Minimum terms and conditions of employment are defined in legislation and collective agreements.

What are the elements of employer/employee relationship? ›

4 Elements Of Employer Employee Relationship

the selection and engagement of the employee; the payment of wages; the power of dismissal; and, the employer's power to control the employee on the means and methods by which the work is accomplished.

How do you build good relationship between employer and employee? ›

A great way to begin building your employee/employer relations is by maintaining an open-door policy. When your team members feel comfortable approaching you with questions, concerns, and new ideas, a natural give-and-take develops. That then serves to strengthen your employee/employer relations.

What is the role of employees in industrial relations? ›

They must be able to understand and appreciate the problems of managements and must adopt a policy of 'give and take' while bargaining with the managements. Trade unions must understand that both management and workers depend on each other and any sort of problem on either side will do harm to both sides.

What do you mean by employer/employee relation explain its features and essentials? ›

Employer-employee relations include both individual relations as well as collective relations. Individual relations imply relations between employer and employees. Collective relations mean, relations between employers' associations and trade unions as well as the role of the State in regulating these relations.

What is good industrial relations practices? ›

It requires adherence to the principles of fairness, equity, equality of treatment, the rules of natural justice together with the use of international labour standards. It demands that workers work in safe conditions, that they receive decent wages and that they are treated with dignity and respect at work.

What is industrial relations and its importance? ›

Industrial relations includes individual relations and joint consultation between labour, management, unions, the state etc. It pinpoints the importance of compromise and accommodation in place of conflict and controversy in resolving disputes between labour and management.

What is the difference between employee relations and industrial relations? ›

'Employee relations' has replaced the term 'industrial relations' which referred to collective relationships between employers and their workforce. Today's interpretation of employee relations is much wider and refers to individual as well as collective workplace relationships.

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