BUFFALO, N.Y. -- What really happens after you place an order
for a Big Mac or a Whopper with Cheese?
Jerry M. Newman, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in
the University at Buffalo School of Management, knows because he
worked undercover in seven fast food restaurants across the
country, observing operations from the top down -- from the biggest
management whoppers to the smallest fries at the fry station.
Newman has chronicled his experiences in a new book, "My Secret
Life on the McJob: Lessons from Behind the Counter Guaranteed to
Supersize Any Management Style" (January 2007, McGraw-Hill).
Unlike the cultural overview of Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food
Nation," or the dietary condemnation of Morgan Spurlock's
"SuperSize Me," Newman's book reveals what molds employees working
for the country's fast food producers. In spite of the high
turnover and repetitive tasks, the workers consistently produce,
aren't afraid of hard work and thrive under pressure. And the
super-sized mega-burger companies boast steady profits in return.
How do fast-food managers tease success out of employees to boost
the bottom line?
"My Secret Life on the McJob" takes readers behind the scenes at
Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, Krystal and McDonald's -- and serves
up, with keen insights into management techniques, wise lessons
that can be applied to companies with 6,000 locations, or just six
Between his recollections of sweeping floors and toasting buns,
Newman provides a first-hand view of how "McJobs are anything but
McEasy." He details his experiences reporting to both compelling --
and tyrannical -- managers, and demonstrates how the ultimate key
to creating a positive and high-performing workplace is a great
leader, even if the team is putting pickles on burgers.
Newman is the consummate people watcher. He inspects reactions,
emotions, management styles, behavior modifications and the power
of praise. He gets to know his fellow workers, and reminds us that
we all make a unique contribution to our employers. He writes of
workers who are chided for their
supposedly easy jobs, managers who cultivate positive images and
encourage friendships and enthusiasms, bosses who are unfeeling;
hierarchies that are rigid, and the vast corporate and day-to-day
differences between competitors serving up nearly identical
Newman's stories and anecdotes are often funny, occasionally
alarming, the employees fascinating and human. He shows how
corporate edicts and rules play out on the burger assembly line and
translates this to the larger picture: how management demands
translate into employee behavior. This is a management book written
in a style light years away from the jargony language of business
school texts, with Whoppers and McNuggets as the backdrop.
Newman is the co-author of Compensation (McGraw-Hill), which has
been the bestselling book in its category for 21 years. He is a
recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in
Teaching, which recognizes outstanding teaching ability through
superb classroom performance. He is also a Fortune 500 consultant
with firms including AT&T, Hewlett-Packard and Nabisco.
Barnes & Noble will host Newman for a reading, Q&A and
book signing at noon on Jan. 27 at 1565 Niagara Falls Blvd.,
The Wall Street Journal ranks the UB School of Management 10th
in the nation among schools with strong regional recruiting bases.
In addition, BusinessWeek ranks the school as one of the country's
Top 5 business schools for the fastest return on MBA investment,
and Forbes cites it as one of the best business schools in the U.S.
for the return on investment it provides MBA graduates. For more
information about the UB School of Management, visit http://mgt.buffalo.edu.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive
public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the
State University of New York.