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McJob: Service Sector Jobs

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McJob - a low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no future job in the service sector....

The term 'McJob' was first coined by the American author Douglas Coupland in the cult novel Generation X. It has stuck fast in popular terminology, even assuming collective status for all such service sector occupations... However, the 'McJob' is one of the fastest growing occupations in the UK and is now the biggest single employer of people under 21. It is a job at the very heart of the 21st century labour market, even though it was essentially designed over half a century ago.
(Source: Westwood, 2007, Is new work good work?, p.3)

McDonald's begins McJob petition
Fast-food giant McDonald's has launched a petition to get the dictionary definition of a McJob changed. The Oxford English Dictionary currently describes a McJob as "an unstimulating low-paid job with few prospects".

McDonald's says this definition is now "out of date and insulting", and claims a survey found that 69% of the UK population agree it needs updating. ...

'Making a stand'
"The current definition is extremely insulting to the 67,000 people who work for us within the UK," said McDonald's senior vice president David Fairhurst. "It is also insulting for everyone else who works in the wider restaurant and tourism sectors."

"It is time for us now to make a stand and get the Oxford English Dictionary to change the definition." McDonald's says that in its staff surveys, 90% of employees agree they are given valuable training that will be of benefit for the rest of their working lives. And 82% of its workers would recommend working at the company to their friends.

'Derogatory'
McDonald's is now inviting its customers to sign petition books in its stores, or alternatively via a new website, entitled "Change The Definition".

Meanwhile, Labour MP Mr Clive Betts is sponsoring a Question in Parliament, which regrets the use of the derogatory phrases attached to service sector jobs.
McDonald's says it will hand the petition into the Oxford English Dictionary in the autumn. (Source: BBC News Online, 2007)

Question
Using your understanding of four HRM theories, explain why a 'McJob' (a generic term for a low paid service sector job and not just a counter assistant job in McDonald's) could be described as 'unstimulating'. Explain what you could do, as an HRM manager, to increase the stimulation and interest of employees
working in a 'McJob' in the service sector. Three relevant HRM theories

(i) motivation theories

(ii) job design

(iii) the job characteristics model

(iv) a fourth theory or topic from Book 2.

Explain why you have chosen (iv). For each of (i) to (iv), explain how and why the theory or topic helps to answer this question.

Question
What information can you find on the internet relating to the idea of a McJob?
List two web sources that you find and say why you found these to be the most interesting/helpful in terms of understanding the concept (and answering Question 1) and why.

Title and Contents page

Executive summary
1. The McJob: unstimulating? An analysis using HRM theory
1.1. motivation theories
1.2. job design theories
1.3. the job characteristics model
2. Some useful information regarding the McJob on the internet
3. Conclusion
4. References

You may personally agree or disagree with:
(a) the definition of a McJob
(b) the fact that it is now an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary
(c) that McDonald's is attempting to have it excluded from the dictionary.

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Question
Using your understanding of four HRM theories, explain why a 'McJob' (a generic term for a low paid service sector job and not just a counter assistant job in McDonald's) could be described as 'unstimulating'. Explain what you could do, as an HRM manager, to increase the stimulation and interest of employees
working in a 'McJob' in the service sector. Three relevant HRM theories

(i) motivation theories

(ii) job design

(iii) the job characteristics model

(iv) a fourth theory or topic from Book 2.

Explain why you have chosen (iv). For each of (i) to (iv), explain how and why the theory or topic helps to answer this question.

Question
What information can you find on the internet relating to the idea of a McJob?
List two web sources that you find and say why you found these to be the most interesting/helpful in terms of understanding the concept (and answering Question 1) and why.

Title and Contents page : McJob

Executive summary
HRM theory indicates that a McJob is un-stimulating. The motivation theories support the contention that a McJob is un-stimulating. Similarly, from the stand point of job design theories a McJob is un-stimulating because it does not have factors that motivate workers. The job characteristics model also stresses that personal growth and achievement are important aspects of every job. On the other hand if we consider the job satisfaction model if the work environment is good and the relationship with the supervisor is excellent even a McJob can produce job satisfaction. The internet sources deride McJobs as un-stimulating, however, they consider it a positive first step towards achieving initial work experience.

1. The McJob: unstimulating? An analysis using HRM theory
The McJob is essentially a counter job in service industry which is low-paying and low-prestige. McJob is un-stimulating because it requires little training, does not allow the worker to use his initiative or creativity, is repetitive in nature, and the workers movements are closely monitored and controlled by the manager. It is as if a robot is doing the job. Any deviation from the standard routing could cause the worker to lose his job. The un-stimulating nature of the job makes McJob a high turnover job. In short, since the job is boring and mindless and so is un-stimulating.
As an HRM manager there are several steps that can be taken by me to make the job more stimulating. First, I would give greater responsibility and authority to the McJob workers to make decisions. For instance, these workers can be given the authority to give a specified discount to some customers based on their discretion. Second, I will redesign heir jobs so that they do not remain repetitive. Third, as an HRM manager, I will rotate ...

Solution Summary

This solution gives you a detailed discussion on McJob

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