The Concept and Process of Routinization in the Workplace and Its Impact on the Employee and Performance

Last Updated: 22 Mar 2023
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Taking for instance the fast food industry and the insurance sales companies, the workers in these two sections face similar challenges and demands. The major demand and a challenge that has been witnessed across US that has been affecting the fast food industry is the aspect of wages. As confessed by a number of these workers, the fast food workers and those working in the insurance sales companies experience a low wage. The workers are poorly paid, with minimal wages that can only sustain their daily needs without any advancement in their state of living.

Over the last decade, a series of strikes has been witnessed across the nation, where the unions and the fast food workers have been in the front line. The key complain in these strikes is the issue of pay. Many workers and unions have raised an alarm of little payments by their employees. A severe situation is in the case of the insurance sales where the workers are paid in terms of commission. This has captured the international media eye, creating a global demand for increased payment especially to the fast food and the insurance sale companies.

Another challenge and some sort of demand among these workers working in highly routinized jobs such as fast food and insurance sales is the issue of job security. There is lack of job security in their work specializations. These workers work under pressure with bad working conditions that at times raise matters of health and safety concerns. These workers are not insured of any harm while at work. The work terms do not give them an assurance of long term employment. Some of these workers are employed under contract and hence end up losing their jobs at the end of the contracts, while other workers are dismissed of minimal cases by their employer.

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These among other challenges have amounted in to mental stress at work. The set targets by their employer gives the workers pressure, while others work under high supervision. The bad working conditions are either unsafe and cause mental stress among the workers. This may culminate in to psychological torture, that may result in to sorts of mental illness.

A research shows that most of the workers working in the fast food companies such as McDonald's and Combined Insurance are likely to face mental disorders in their future lives due to the aspect of psychological stress. This stress is linked to their working status, pressure at their work, long working hours with little rest and the many thoughts that crisscross their minds in relation to the establishment of their lives linked to the payment they get (Leidner, 17).

However, these demands and challenges vary among the workers. This is depicted in the Leidner's analysis between McDonald's and Combined Insurance. Leidner claims that reutilization works best in stable and predictable situations. However, it becomes a challenge to guarantee Routinization in a case where people are involved as the raw materials in the production process. Taking a live example of the fast food and the insurance sale industries - McDonald's and Combined Insurance, the workers are part of the production process. Routinization becomes a challenge in these cases.

Leidner gives a three dimension process by which the companies employ to deal with these challenges. Regardless of these challenges, the companies will try to standardize the behavior among their employees to ensure that they do not interfere with the smooth operations within the production process. This will involve supervision or workers motivation, and close monitoring of the workers behaviors. The companies may also adopt the concept of alienation by evoking a feeling of authenticity. When the case becomes vulnerable, the company will standardize the character, habit and personality of the workers to be in line with the organizations' ethics.

The ethnographic research by Leidner (78) shows that the two companies McDonald's and Combined Insurance took the aspect of Routinization of service work. However, each company adopted a relatively different model from the other, all with an aim to achieve the element of Routinization in their processes. In the case of Mc Donald's Routinization, the company does not leave any part of job to their employees own discreet.

The Mc Donald's company embarks on strict trainings that instill ethics to the employees on how to greet clients, handle money, and assemble orders and other activities performed within the job descriptions. The company has employed modern technology and come up with systems which the employees can only operate with no manipulation. Mc Donald's treats their employees as cogs in the whole operation system. The workers learn the company's motto, ethics, value and ways of thinking. Through this, Mc Donald's achieves the employees' standardization.

On the other hand, combined insurance is totally a different business. The company is specialized in selling of life and accident insurance from door to door. The Routinization in the combined insurance company involves training, but much of it is based on establishing a positive mental altitude to the employees. The PMA trainings help to change the employees' altitudes, the way they perceive and approach life, view themselves and the thought about their experiences. This insurance company cannot rely on strict Routinization approach since the insurance agents work in highly vulnerable context with the working conditions been more of regionalized (Leidner, 56).

In accordance to Goffman, there are several features that can be detailed when it comes to routinized work. These features forms a framework which are used as a foundation in any social establishment be it, industrial, domestic or commercial. Most of the perspectives which are employed by these establishments are based on theoretical performance, hence all principals are dramaturgical. A person in work stations presents themselves and their activities differently to workmates.

This is an important component to an individual because first impression gives more information to a person. In his work, Ervings Goffman`s has provided a detailed explanation and investigation of the process and significance of routine interaction. He has employed dramaturgical approach in his study (Goffman, pg 55). Performance exists in any work station as it is the one which gives mental state of each individual. Though many people are ignorant in work place a person is able to develop his or her own identity through the first impression. The identity is developed through interaction with other work mates or through exchange of data that gives more particular definition of behavior and identity.

The concept of team is of great importance when it comes to illustration of how people in a work group cooperate in performance with an aim of attaining the goals which have been laid by the group. Cooperation in any workplace shall be visible as an agreement in behavior and demeanor or in the manner in which people are having assumption of the different roles of each person and it is determined by the preferred intention of the performance. For instance, Goffman refers to a team member who was named shill who is used to manifest a model to the audience and imply the type of response the audiences are expecting from the performance. Through this the team was able to meet one of its goals which were promotion of Psychological excitement (Goffman, pg. 25)

On the other hand the routinization of the way people interact is too disconcerting. Routines are designed to serve a wide range of purposes. Leidner uses a fast food as a sample unlike Goffman who uses drama setting; she was able to standardize each aspect of product and service being offered. Her report is based on the two main American corporations which are McDonalds and life insurance to reveals the consequences and methods which are best applicable when it comes to regulating workers language, ideas, looks, demeanor and attitudes.

Her study uncovers unexpected and complex results which are helpful with routinization of work service. Some of the outcomes of routinization of service work are preposterous and poignant. It has a tendency of undermining the shared knowledge about social obligations and individuality, thus increasing the tension between the domination and personal autonomy of a powerful culture of corporate.

Social cultural elements, though are external factors are also accounted for in the working conditions. Social cultural elements are part of the forces that influence greatly the work conditions. Taking for instance some communities believe and live by the fact that various types of work are entitled to particular gender. Some work specifications will remain to be entailed for men while others will remain for ladies. This is a social cultural force that has steered gender discrimination in working stations, where particular jobs will be meant for men while others for women. However, the aspect of gender equality that has been a daily preaching in working industries has transformed things, where one is employed as per the qualifications with NO gender discrimination.

The element of social cultural also determines the workers' habits, nature and perception. Some cultures hold a negative altitude towards particular productions. In the case of fast foods, a culture or society that does not endorse certain delicacies will have a negative altitude and a poor perception towards the producer company. Workers from the similar society who hold positions in this company will not be full partisans and may not meet the company objectives due to their varied habits and opinions. In this case, there is a great need for Routinization, not with an aim to change the worker's social-cultural standings, but to standardize their characters and habits to enhance smooth operations within the organization.

The positions held within the conditions of work may also determine the social perceptions. A worker in a fast food may be termed as a person of lower social class, and may feel low within the society. This element in a society may determine the person's productivity level. Over the last half decade, various working positions have been termed low within the society, with workers who are holding such position been termed as low, and may be undermined within the society. Various work conditions may render the workers low social status. It is the responsibility of the organization to undertake routization in order to change this perception among its workers.

In conclusion, most working conditions bring people together. As argued by Leidner, there is a greater need for routinization. However, the aspect of reutilization in any organization should be obliged to the company's operations. The aspect of reutilization is so varied and various companies undertaking various productions may embark on varied routinization models to achieve the element of standardization. The element of routinization should however be done in a balanced manner.

The aspect of routinization in whichever way should be in accordance with the company's model of operations and its goals and objectives. Routinization should however not underrate or undermine the workers demands and challenges, and in any case should put the social cultural aspect in to consideration.

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The Concept and Process of Routinization in the Workplace and Its Impact on the Employee and Performance. (2023, Mar 22). Retrieved from

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