chef gordon: orgtheorist of the kitchen
“Only the freshest orgtheory!!!”
I enjoy reality shows that focus on skills, such as cooking or fashion design. A favorite is “Kitchen Nightmares.” Gordon Ramsay, a world class chef, goes to failing restaurants and tries to fix them up. Unsurprisingly, this show is rich in orgtheory:
- Identity matters: As if he were reading the latest Hsu and Hannan article, Ramsay is obsessed with simplifying the identity of a kitchen. Sushi and tandoori? Hogwash! Mexican tofu? Blahh!!!
- Vertical organizations: No flat hierarchies here. Problems are solved when owners and managers start telling people to do their %$^$ing jobs.
- No globalization: The cuisine may be global, but the ingredients have got to be local.
- It’s about habitus: Cooking is not just a job for Ramsay. He insists that workers work in kitchens because they love food and the hospitality business. It’s much more than a way to make a buck.
- Groupiness: The best food comes when everyone works together. Weak links are a disaster.
I strongly recommend this show to undergrads interested in org behavior. Much food for thought. According to the wiki, 50% of the restaraunts closed despite Ramsay’s intervention. That’s marginally better than the 60% rate at which most restaraunts close.