An Ethical Organizational Communication Analysis of McDonald’s Yijun Zhang
October 17, 2014
The McDonald’s corporation was started in 1940 and has since grown as a fast food entity, with restaurants and supply outlets all over the world. Maurice and Richard McDonald started a Bar-B-Q restaurant in San Bernardino, the United States in 1940(“McDonald’s History”). In 1948, they introduced the “Speedee Service System” and the CEO Ray Kroc established the McDonald’s System Inc. in Illinois in 1955. In addition, the name “McDonald’s System Inc.” was changed to McDonald’s Corporation in1960. However, the two brothers later sold the company to Ray Kroc in 1961, who grew its merchandise from hamburgers to all the available fast foods. The Corporation went to public in 1965, and the common shares were offered at $22.5 (Brook, n.d.). Nowadays, McDonald’s has over 1.9 million workers and is located in 118 countries in the world, coupled with more than 35,000 restaurants (“Quick”, 2014). Since McDonald’s is one of the largest fast food company, how about its communication actions for employees, customers or suppliers or shareholders? It is interesting for me, thus this paper will explore the McDonald’s communication actions based on Steve May’s six questions. When it comes to the first point of alignment among “personal, professional, and organizational aspirations and behaviors” (May, 2013), McDonald’s aligns its formal procedures with missions, values and ethic code that are set to facilitate the ethical growth of the company. The formal procedures are outlined in a standard business conduct code that stipulates the way employees are supposed to behave (“Standards”, 2014). There is a free policy of communication between the employees, customers, stakeholders and the company. There are employee magazines that seek to address the issue employees’ face. Also, there are media tools that have been set up for customers and other external forces for effective communication (“Standards”, 2014). For example, they have fostered efforts to improve their food quality through a social media campaign (Passikoff, 2014). Moreover, there are online programs named “Search” and “Contact Us” in the McDonald website that allows customers to access help. Such communication tools make it easier for the company to follow up on its aspirations and progress. Through the feedback received from its communication tools, McDonald’s can have surety that its ethical procedures in the book are practiced and facilitate the development of the corporation. For instance, McDonald’s make effort to use “Sustainable beef”, which align with the code of “sustainability”. Moreover, it is not only in order to make the industry to be more professional but also to ensure the heath of product and protect the environment (Norambuena, 2014). Therefore, the methods chosen for communication allow for openness, which renders it easier for a company to facilitate the alignment of ethical values to the procedure put in place and enhance its aspirations. Even though, McDonald’s has experienced critics of its health plans and mission, stakeholders continue to flock the company and further widen its success. It is because McDonald’s tries the best to keep the dialogic communication and gain the stakeholders’ trust (May, 2013). According to “Standards of Business Conduct”, “When McDonald’s provides information to the news media, securities analysts and stockholders, we have an obligation to accurately and completely communicate the facts” (2014). Absolutely, McDonald’s company complies with the code. The stakeholders get feedback from the company and its customers through online links, internal conference calls, emails and the website. The communication enables the stakeholders to get updates on the ethical behaviors within the company (“Standards”, 2014). As such, the company does not involve hiding information or news, whether negative or positive to its...
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