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McDonald’s is comprised of more than 30,000 local restaurants and serves 52 million people in more than 100 countries each day[1]. The company is the largest food retailer in the world and is part of the American way of life.  In order to remain competitive and an iconic American institution, McDonald’s has developed programs and strategies for motivating employees and teaching leadership. As a result, our group believes that McDonald’s presented an excellent opportunity to observe organizational behavior in action.  

In this observational study, we sought to discover what leadership techniques and group skills were actually practiced by McDonald’s employees. Our field study entailed visiting four different McDonald’s stores in the greater Rochester area during distinct shifts ranging from early morning to late night. During each visit, a group member made a purchase and sat at a table where one could observe the behavior of managers and employees and customer interactions, without interfering with normal operations. Due to the fact we were restricted to a small sample of McDonald’s restaurants, we could not capture the complete spirit of the corporation. However, we were able to relate our findings to leadership and organizational behavior theories and some of McDonald’s corporate values. Through a series of observations and corporate research we discovered that McDonald’s employees demonstrate quality leadership and that the organization as a whole puts significant effort into motivating and working for its employees.  

Corporate & Work Culture      

When analyzing an organization’s leadership and teamwork skills, it is useful to first analyze the organization’s work culture and how this culture is maintained. The work culture of McDonald’s seems highly dependent upon the particular line manager in charge at any given point in time. One would imagine that the manager would almost always use position power and would use a telling style of leadership since the typical employee is young or inexperienced. Indeed, some managers were observed as running the operations in a machine like manner, especially during peak business periods. However, in the majority of cases the managers were relatively relaxed and sometimes were indistinguishable from the other employees. One manager in particular used a selling approach, which indicates a higher readiness level of her team (Daft, 2008, p. 73). She did not simply give orders, but accepted feedback and alternatives to her decisions. While it was obvious she was the manager, her team was obviously in the later stages of development and was comfortable outside of their predefined roles.  ntroduction

              For our project we have decided to analyze McDonald’s.  We propose to look at how McDonald’s has attempted to change their image through marketing strategies over the years.  They have done this in a variety of ways, not just with their products.  For example, they changed packaging on their products to become more environmentally safe.  They have also created new menu items in the past 10 years in order to offer some “healthy” options to those watching their waistlines.  This is an effort to appeal to customers who might have disregarded McDonald’s in the past because of traditional stereotypes.  They have done this in a variety of ways using the four P’s and are attempting to change society’s perceptions.  Many people today are unhappy with McDonald’s and their “unhealthy” food, and we were interested to see if the current marketing strategy that McDonald’s is using is creating a positive change for the company. History

              McDonald’s, now known world wide as one of the major powerhouse’s in the fast food industry, began in San Bernardino on May 15, 1940.  It originated as a barbeque restaurant under the ownership of brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, and soon evolved into a teen hangout generating 80% of its revenues from hamburgers alone.  In...
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