The most essential characteristic of an organisation is the focus on ethical behavior. By ‘doing the right thing’ internally and externally the business can create a good working environment, whereas at the same time the surroundings and the society takes advantage. Difficult is that ethical matters are based on individual principles and ideals. Resultantly, ethical matters are not easy to put into effect and easy to overlook. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is rapidly becoming one of the principles on which modern business is built (Hancock, 2004). Areas can be identified were improvements should be made, and use it for strategies in future business plans. CSR refers to the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary responsibilities (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2000; Swanson, 1995). The organisations are furthermore faced up to social demands for which they are likely to show responsibility for. Following the organisation can respond in different ways. The different types of responding to the social demand are obstructive, defensive, accommodative or proactive (Carroll & Gatewood, 1981). Within this essay it will be examined how these CSR principles were / are utilized in the service business McDonald’s. For evaluating the social performance of McDonald’s there will be a closer look at the ethical & discretionary responsibilities and the responses proactive & accommodative. Finally it will be examined how to improve the social responsibility of McDonald’s by using the tools code of ethics and ethical structures. McDonald’s opened its first Bar-B-Que restaurant in 1940 by the two brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernadino, California. It has grown quickly and opened the 100th restaurant in 1959. Later in 1967 it opened the first international restaurants in Canada and Puerto Rico and is today selling its products in 118 countries around the globe. Nowadays social responsibility is the main concern for McDonald’s (McDonalds, 2009). Companies have different objectives to realize CSR. Some organisations using CSR to reduce costs and others are willing to develop a strengthen the image (Honds, de Bakker & Neergaard, 2007). To assess McDonald’s social performance the discretionary responsibility can be evaluated. Discretionary responsibility connotes an unpaid organisations’ ambition to administer to society’s benefits without getting something in return (Spencer and Butler, 2004). Additionally the responsibilities go over public expectations (Zain, 2008). The community support of McDonald’s is a basic value and the corporation takes it very seriously. The company’s objective shows that McDonald’s is not simply a profit making organisation, to create additional value to their consumers and the society. The variety of discretionary responsibilities is taking action in various dimensions. These responsibilities are namely Partnerships & Sponsorships, Owner/Operator Involvement, Disaster Relief and Children’s programs & Ronald McDonald House Charities (McDonald’s Corporate Responsibility, 2007).
After Fritzsche and Becker (1984) ethical responsibility covers behavior which is not implemented in laws. Moreover the ethical responsibility is not the straight trade and industry importance. Ethical stands for to act with equity, fairness and impartiality (Fritzsche et al., 1984). Examples to evaluate ethical performance can also be shown at the ethical performance of the McDonald’s corporation. Every year a worldwide Anti-McDonald’s Day is arranged which demonstrates against McDonald’s unethical behavior; promotion of Junk Food, unethical targeting of children, exploitation of workers, animal cruelty, damage to the environment and the global domination of corporations over our lives (Infoshop News, 2005). By targeting of children with the unhealthy fast food, McDonald’s uses incentives to attract the children with playgrounds, clubs and free toys. Young children between 2 and 5 cannot differentiate between TV programs and...
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