McDonald's Organizational Structure and Response to Environmental Challenges
McDonald's Organizational Structure and Response to Environmental Challenges The first McDonald’s opened in 1955, in Des Plaines, Illinois. The organization has maintained a history of steady improvement and consistency within its organizational efficiency and products from its inception. McDonald’s invests greatly in their training program to ensure that employees properly perform their assigned duties according to prescribed best practices. The company continues to receive prestigious awards for their leading-edge training, including the “Employer of Choice Award” from the Restaurant Business Magazine (Restaurant Management, 2004; Early et al., 2004). McDonald’s fits the paradigm of a rational organization From the standpoint of the rational system paradigm, the behavior of organizations and their participants are viewed as actions performed by purposeful and coordinated agents (Scott & Davis, 2007). Rational systems theory is generally viewed as a closed system (Ashmos & Huber, 1987); however, to deal with environmental changes the organization sets new tactical goals to satisfy the organization’s strategic goals (Jones, 2010). The language employed connotes…knowledge, efficiency, optimization, implementation, and design occurs frequently (Scott & Davis, 2007, p. 36). The goals of McDonald’s remain consistent with the characteristics of most formalized organizational structures. The specific tactics to adapt to new environments change; however, the organization leverages its hierarchical structure to motivate its employees and influences change to adapt to increasing complexities (“McDonald’s USA”, 2001). The formal hierarchical structure of McDonald’s supports its ability to adapt quickly by providing clarity of roles, streamline decision-making, and coordinating activities despite of any existing individualities within its workforce (Mooney, 1937). McDonald’s employs positional authority throughout its organizational structure to provide stability and reliability within its organization (“McDonald’s USA”, 2001). This type of authority is consistent with the bureaucratic models that support role definition and expectations (Weber, 1946). McDonald’s rational organizational paradigmatic values remain the foundation for its organizational structure and the corporation employs strategies consistent with these values as it responds to the complexities arising from environmental challenges. McDonald’s goals are woven into the corporation’s vision statement. McDonald’s vision aims to “provide fast food, friendly and accurate service” (McDonald’s Worldwide, 2004; Early et al., 2004). Scott and Davis (2007) stated that “as viewed by economists or by decision theorists, goals are translated into a set of preference or utility functions that represent the value of alternative sets of consequences” (p. 36). McDonald’s corporation vision statement remains static and is the driving force behind the specific goals the organization establishes. McDonald’s maintains a formalized hierarchical organizational structure that remains consistent from a corporate and restaurant level. These structures facilitate McDonald’s ability to maintain the consistency of its products and service to customers within each restaurant throughout the world. This concept is highly valued within the organization and helps supports the global branding of its products through systematic processes requiring detailed best practices for specific tasks within their restaurants (Jones, 2010). McDonald’s formalized structure supports organizational goals and facilitates its standing as of the most popular brands worldwide (wickedmonkeys.com, n.d.). McDonald’s formalized structure provided a foundation expansive growth, which the organizations repeatedly achieved from the opening of its first restaurant. The organization introduced franchise...
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