Construction and deconstruction of boundaries and organizational identities: McDonald's history and challenges

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Isleide Arruda Fontenelle


This article discusses the challenges regarding the construction and deconstruction of boundaries and organizational identities in thepassage of the order society – and its notion of boundaries and identities – to the liquid modernity, based on fl uid forms. To illustrate such passage, a case study of McDonald´s Corporation is used, presenting the boundaries and organizational identities that it has established since it started as a small drive-in in the USA, until it became one of the most powerful global brands. It is assumed that McDonald’s represents the modern society business format, par excellence, of the order, that lasted along the twentieth century, what was determinant for the corporation expansion in the market. However, starting in the 1990’s, the Corporation has been criticized by business analysts and has assumed an “image crisis”. This paper suggests that such critic to the “McDonalds System” rigidity can be a sign of a broader transformation of the very social format that nourished and supported that fordist-based and standardized market model.


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FONTENELLE, I. A. Construction and deconstruction of boundaries and organizational identities: McDonald’s history and challenges. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 47, n. 1, p. 60–70, 2007. Disponível em: Acesso em: 29 may. 2024.