Lead and Influence Ethical Practices: McDonalds
Lead and Influence Ethical Practices
McDonalds is one of the leading companies operating in different parts of the world. The company operates in the fast-food industry and is serving several products to the customers. However, the company has changed the menu items based on the changing demands, tastes, and preferences of the customers in different parts of the world.
The contact details of the company include one of the McDonalds store located in the Mumbai City of India. It has recently acquired one of the local firms of the Mumbai City that was serving fast food products to the people in a given community.
However, due to the increased popularity, differentiated products, and exceptional services, this restaurant outlet was popular in Mumbai. Later, it had also opened the branches in the cities of Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. However, considering the growth expansion plans of this local restaurant outlet, McDonalds acquired it and decided to merge with it. The organizational structure of the company is shown below.
It comprises of the CEO and the Board Members at the top-level management. Further, moving from top to bottom, the second level comprises of the Vice-Presidents that are managing different territories around the world. There are Zonal Managers then assigned to each of the Vice-Presidents.
The Vice-Presidents are performing the major functions of the organization that include - finance, marketing, sales, and human resources. Similarly, the Zonal-level Managers will be assigned with the restaurant-level executives. The zonal-level manager will be managing multiple stores at the same time.
Then there will be regional managers that will be administrating the activities at local-level. They will be looking after the franchisee operations and will be subsequently managing the overall sales of the stores. The given chart demonstrates the key positions of all the different members of the organization. It is like a divisional structure where different divisions are efficiently managed across the world.
Today, due to increased globalization, the companies are aiming for expansion programs in different parts of the world. They want to increase the net sales of the organization and subsequently want to improve bottom-lines of the company in a given challenging environment. However, the top-level management needs to analyse the new culture before starting their operations.
There are several challenges faced by them with respect to - organizational culture, work environment, values and traditions followed by the employees, and local government policies. Under such aspects, to demonstrate professionalism by the employees of the organization will be a challenging task.
They need to train the employees on the aspects of - honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, fairness, concern for others, respect for others, and law abiding in a given working environment (Ward & Thornton, 2013). Only then the employees will be able to follow ethical practices and other norms of the organization.
The key principles of ethics include - beneficence, health maximization, non-maleficence, justice, respect for autonomy, efficiency, and integrity in a given work environment. It is the duty of all the employees to follow the Code of Ethics in their daily practices in the organization. The ethical values of McDonalds include - competence, integrity, professional responsibility, social responsibility, concern for other's welfare, and respect for customer's rights and dignity.
The Human Resources (HR) department of McDonalds organizes special workshops and seminars to provide appropriate training to the employees; it will ensure that they follow these ethical principles in the daily work activities in a given environment. To consistently demonstrate commitment to ethical values and principles of the organization at all times, one needs to motivate other people for this purpose (Paul & Elder, 2010).
There are different motivational factors through which employees will get motivated and will perform as per the expectations of the organization. Hence, the organization first needs to define such a culture wherein employees can follow such norms and beliefs and accordingly will demonstrate professional commitment from the ethical perspective.
The areas of ethics and standards one can develop and maintain include - implementation of ethical principles in the organization, deployment of ethical practices in the organization, following applied ethics in conducting the daily activities in the organization, and ensuring that the employees do not breach the Ethical Code of Conduct in the organization.
There are several ways through which ethical activities can be developed and maintained within the organization. These practices include - conducting classroom exercises for the employees, motivating the employees and rewarding them when performing best from the ethical perspective, engaging debates and group discussions on the principles of ethics among the employees (Olsen, 2010); however, they need to guide in the right direction so that they do not get deviated from the major discussion.
And, installing mechanism through which the practices of the employees can be monitored. The performance evaluation process will thereby be linked with these monitoring mechanisms so that the best performing employee will be rewarded in the organization. An organization following the Ethical Code of Conduct will confirm that they will be able to guide other employees of the organization regarding the Code of Ethics (Olsen, 2010).
The complex ethical issues faced in the organization include - breaches in the integrity and trust levels of the organization practices, following unethical practices by making compromises with the third-party entities, breaching the trust levels of the customers by deploying unethical practices, and creating an environment wherein employees will lose their trust for the senior-level management (Kass et al., 2014).
Ethical matters such as breach of contract on ethical terms or breaking the norms of the organization on legal issues, employee sharing confidential information with third-party entities, and even in the case wherein the internal employee will be assisting the external entity for personal gains will lead to ethical matters with complex legal outcomes (Kass et al., 2014). To resolve an unethical matter, it is first important to understand the breach in the code of conduct.
Second, it is important to know the motive of the employee in breaching the code of conduct. Unless, an effective communication takes place between the two entities, it will be difficult to resolve the situation. Further, the problem can only be resolved by taking proper action steps in mitigating the risk factors that could arise out of such actions performed.
Further, the employee needs to be warned and also criticized for the deeds performed; however, he will provided with a last opportunity to serve his duties toward the organization. Only then such problems can be resolved through such negotiations and compromising approach.
There are several unethical conducts such as - misusing company's time, abusive behaviour, violating company's policies, lying to the employees, employee theft, and breaching the code of law of the organization need to be immediately reported to the senior management (Kass et al., 2014). They will thereby be able to take necessary steps to overcome this situation.
One can report to the senior management about the unethical behaviour only after conducting investigation and having sufficient proof to prove the claim. The employee can first report the HR department of the organization along with all the reports and other evidences. They can also use direct means of communication to the senior management in the cases that are more sensitive; it will reduce the action time and will subsequently allow the top-level management to take certain steps in this direction (Neiman, 2013).
One can encourage others to report suspected unethical conducts confidentially by motivating him first about such issues. It is important to strictly adhere to the company norms and ensure that the top-level management will help them in such courses of actions. Also, a proper communication channel and a proper approach to resolve the unethical dilemma will boost the confidence levels of the employee that will be reporting of an unethical code of conduct in the organization.
SWOT represents strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the ethical practices in the organization. The key strengths of McDonalds pertaining to ethical code of conduct includes deployment of ethical framework in the organization, training employees on the aspects of code of ethics, and identifying ethical flaws through anti-ethics mechanism in the organization.
However, the weaknesses include - the practices of the employees toward customer, internal work environment issues, and lack of communication between the ground-level staff and the top-level management. The opportunities considering the given situation in the organization includes - implementing better communication channels so that employees can immediate submit their reports on unethical practise to the concerned department, formulating new division of ethical practices that will be monitoring the practices in the organization, and assisting employees in improving their behaviours and service levels to achieve desired objectives of the organization (Neiman, 2013).
However, the major threats in this situation will include - unexpected behaviours of the senior management on certain ethical cases, lack of support from the Human Resource department, and external threats that can impact on the performance of the employees.
Hence, it is important for McDonalds to revise their strategies on ethical practices and thereby ensure deploying of a proper ethical framework in the organization. The management and accountability structure of McDonalds includes a specific department that is also referred to as grievance cell of the organization.
It manages different unethical issues in the organization and also considers the ethical challenges faced by the employees in their daily routine activities. They thereby take necessary actions with informed consent from the senior management to overcome these challenges in a given environment (Neiman, 2013).
Under the personal leadership influences, the policies that were revised include - employee working approaches in their activities, working schedules, principle of equality, overcoming abusive behaviours in the work environment, and preventing employees from sharing confidential information of the organization to the third party entities (Neiman, 2013). The Code of Ethics framework and policies that will be developed in a given organization will focus on the aspects of honesty, trustworthiness, efficiency, proportionality, justice, non-maleficence, fairness of practices, concern for others, and health and safety of the employees in the organization. It is important to train the employees on each of these aspects so that they can deploy their working approach accordingly in the organization.
They should be motivated to follow these code of practices in a given organization and should also be rewarded so that they continue to follow ethical norms of the organization. To enhance decision making of the employees in the organization from the ethical perspective, the 5P framework will be implemented in the organization (Bridoux et al., 2014).
The 5Ps refer to - purpose, prayer, principles, people and popular opinion. It is important for the senior authority engaged with a given decision making to make decisions concerned with a given purpose in the organization. He also needs to pray and gather strength while taking the most difficult decision of his life. Further, he needs to follow the principles of ethics while making a better decision in the right direction.
Further, from the people perspective, he might face tough challenges from the people and that can affect the work environment in several ways. But he needs to ensure accountability and transparency in all the activities carried out in the organization (Bridoux et al., 2014). Finally, he can avoid population opinion despite the fact that it can be against them; he needs to favour those decisions that will be in favour of the organization.
Thus, to promote this ethical framework, it is first important to communicate the objectives and inform the employees about ethical practices in the organization (Bridoux et al., 2014). Second, the top-level management also needs to communicate the future objectives and thereby motivate people to work in the desired direction.
The top-level management in association with the HR team of the organization needs to motivate employees to follow ethical practices, organize training sessions to teach them working on the new framework, and thereby ensure delivering the desired objectives in a given work environment.
However, in the case of ethical breaches in the policies and procedures of the ethical conduct in the organization, the immediate action required will be to take steps that will prevent the organization against the negative consequences against such courses of actions (Bridoux et al., 2014). The next step will be to investigate the step, gather concrete information and evidences, and then catch the culprit associated with this case in a given environment.
The senior management can then take decisive steps of interrogation and determine the motive of such actions taken by the employee. They will thereby be able to determine the gaps in the business processes as well as in the ethical procedures of the organization. It will help them re-formulate these rules and thereby overcome such challenges in the future.
To foster an environment wherein all the staff members will be discussing on the importance of organizational values and ethics, there can be several group-based role activities conducted in the organization. To provide a practical overview of the unethical practices and how it can affect the organization, a role play can be conducted in the organization. It will thereby provide a basic understanding of the importance of ethics in the organization.
Second, to develop a commitment toward organizational standards and the ethical practices among the team members, it is first important to communicate with them about such a working approach in the organization. Second, they need to strictly deliver the objective that unethical practices in the organization will not be tolerated; the senior management will be taking severe actions against those that are culprits of such cases in a given work environment.
Third, the senior management also needs to communicate about rewarding the employees that will be performing well from the ethical perspective. It will boost the inner working morale of the employees in such situations. Further, the employees need to be trained on the aspects of leadership and management (Vergnes et al., 2010).
They will be able to take a wise decision and will also ensure that they will not breach ethical code of conduct in the organization. Instead, it will empower them to choose the right option from the given alternatives. Further, the senior management needs to deliver knowledge about the ethical issues taking place in other organization.
They can demonstrate examples of other restaurant outlets and share valuable information on how it effects on the performance of the organization. The senior management will also share the inputs regarding the impacts on the employees in such cases (Yeung et al., 2010); it will thereby make them aware of these issues and prevent them from indulging into ethical practices of the organization.
To identify the organizational patterns, issues, and trends, the major ethical considerations that need to be taken into account include how ethical principles are implemented in the organization, how different approaches are taken for the work by the employees from the ethical perspective, how business processes are linked with the ethical framework of the organization, how different ethical values are helping the employees to overcome their workplace challenges, and how the senior management is guiding them on different ethical principles in the organization (Bannister, 2018).
The process of referring an ethical breach to the management team will be first to obtain all the relevant information pertaining to the case, then collect all necessary evidences, and then prepare a report to the senior management (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011). The concerned employee should also inform the HR department so that they can take quick action steps to overcome the negative consequence of such an incident in the organization.
It will help them to overcome the other hurdles and thereby protect the organization from getting affected. Thus, to promote and support leadership to encourage ethical and value-based behaviour, there are several strategies that need to be implemented in the organization. These include - training the employees on the modules of leadership, management, change management, and value-driven (Bannister, 2018).
Second, they need to be motivated to take effective decisions from the ethical perspective that will ensure following of the ethical norms of the organization in a given work environment. Finally, the senior team needs to monitor their performance and accordingly make necessary changes in their work approach in a given work environment (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011).
McDonalds is one of the leading restaurants in the fast food industry. They are facing severe challenges in terms of delivering services as per their expectations. The employees despite being trained are not performing as per the expectations. They are thereby breaching the ethical code of conduct in the organization.
The HR team is also focusing on these issues along with the operations team to ensure that the employees at the ground-level deliver as per the needs of the customer. Today, every organizations need to focus on their services along with the products for the purpose of improving the quality aspect of a given restaurant outlet. Also, the customers will be expecting better quality customer services from the organization.
Thus, it is the ethical responsibility of the organization to deliver as per the changing trends, demands, and requirements of the customers. For this purpose, the organization has taken several steps for improvement in the last three months. First, they implemented a new ethical framework across the organization for the purpose of improving the level of services among the employees.
They deployed a new learning approach in the organization wherein there will be meetings conducted of the employees and they will be provided with flash-cards on services. Each of the employee will be required to fulfil their duties accordingly in a given working environment. This approach not only motivated the employees but also empowered them to deliver the best for the organization (Gold, Thorpe, & Mumford, 2010).
Also, the top-level management of McDonalds started rewarding them and promoted them to senior positions in the new outlets opened in new locations. The satisfaction levels of these employees subsequently increased and also made them follow on the ethical rules and norms of the organization in a given challenging work environment.
- Section 1: Embody and model ethical values
To commit to the professional approach and to ensure that the employees follow ethical practices in the organization, I first communicated the need of following the Ethical Code of Conduct in the organization. For this purpose, I organized a workshop wherein the employees were required to attend it in a given environment. I demonstrated them different case studies and also provided them information about how breaching the code of conduct can negatively impact on the organization.
I provided them information on the different ethical framework and asked them to remain aware of the ethical principles in their daily work practices. It might happen that they need to change their work routines, ensure following of the ethical norms, consider alternative actions in the interest of the organization, and thereby overcome the challenges at the workplace of the organization.
I further demonstrated to the employees on following the legal norms, fair practices, and thereby made them feel different. It motivated them to follow these practices throughout all their work routines in the organization. The employees were also provided with a handbook wherein important guidelines on ethical principles and ethical frameworks were provided (Kouzes & Posner, 2008). There were also guidelines issues regarding what actions need to be taken during the time of unethical action in the organization.
It was important for these employees to follow the ethical framework as devised by different researchers. They need to follow the principles of fairness, integrity, accountability, trustworthiness, and focus on results of their tasks in a given environment. Further, the employees also need to respect the decisions of the senior management and seek their advice on different issues.
Even, the top-level management of McDonalds needs to provide all types of assistance to the employees. They need to share their resources so that employees can find it relatively easy to work in a given organization. The role of the HR department and the Operations department are important in ensuring that all the ethical principles are implemented to resolve complex ethical matters and also provide advice to the employees from the perspective of legislative industry code of practice and organizational standards.
To motivate and encourage employees on reporting suspected unethical conducts, it is important to reward them and also promote them on the senior positions (McShane, 2013). Further, the HR team can identify the motivation factors of such employees and can work on it to ensure that these employees report such incidents in the organization and thereby protect the organization from unwanted circumstances in the near future.
- Section 2: Embed ethical practice into the organization’s culture and processes:
The SWOT analysis of the organization was conducted based on the analysis of the internal working environment and external working environment of the McDonalds store. There were several parameters taken into the consideration for the purpose of determining the key strengths and weaknesses of the organization from the ethical perspective.
The organization had already implemented the ethical framework to avoid unethical practices in the organization. However, the strategies that were employed to act on the different trends while keeping in mind the enterprise and industry practices included - taking follow-ups of the employees on their daily routine practices, installing monitoring mechanisms to track unethical activities, deploying technological platforms to avoid employee theft and similar other activities, reviewing the strategies of the senior management, overcoming the challenges of the employees at the workplace, improving workplace behaviour by overcoming abusive behaviours of the employees, notifying employees about strict ethical actions, and thereby making sure that all the employees remained accountable to the respective organization (Knudsen, Busck, & Lind, 2011).
Further, the strategies that were implemented to ensure continuous improvement in management and accountability structures was through constantly reviewing the policies of the organization, making employees trained on the aspects of leadership and management, allowing them to take wise decisions and thereby encouraging them to work at senior positions, and promoting ethical framework across all the departments of the organization (Oeij et al., 2014).
It is important to review the ethical policies on a regular basis and thereby make necessary changes wherever required. The role of the top-level management is to encourage collaborative work culture and along with the HR team need to train employees on the skills of negotiation, compromise, avoidance, and conflict resolution (Chawla & Guda, 2013). It will help in promoting a safe and secure working environment for the employees in the organization.
Also, the senior management can consider taking assistance of external experts and agencies to strengthen the legal norms and other regulations in the organization. It will thereby make sure that none of the employees will be able to breach the ethical practices from the legal perspective; there can be strict actions taken by the organization as per norms of Court of Law in such cases. It will thereby prevent the overall occurrence of such issues and allow individuals to safely report the ethical breaches in the organization (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011).
- Section 3: Promote ethical leadership and decision making at all levels of the organization
To foster dialogue on organizational values and ethics with and between staff it was first important to make them aware of their commitment levels toward the organizational standards. It is important to provide them information on the values, principles, and personal moral qualities of the ethics framework (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011).
They need to be trained on these aspects so that they can deliver as per the expectations of the organization. Second, each of their queries on ethical need to be resolved. The HR team can provide them with required resources and other assistance to determine the values in ethical conduct (Chawla & Guda, 2013). It will subsequently improve moral values of the employees and will make them work toward the requirements of the organization.
There are also ways through which guidance on leadership values and principles will transform them as an employee and will empower them to work in a given environment. It will not only help them address the ethical issues but will also help them overcome the challenges at the workplace in the organization (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011).
They will be able to guide other team members, improve services levels within the restaurant outlets of McDonalds, and subsequently exceed the expectations of the customers. They can also identifying the changing trends in the working practices and expectations of the organization. Hence, under ethical consideration they need to deploy techniques of change management, get adjusted with new working approaches, and thereby help them achieve desired objectives in a given environment (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011).
To promote and support leadership programs, it is important to promote ethical and value-based behaviour in the organization to fulfil the needs of the organization (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011). The staff, however, needs to be encouraged for such activities so that they can deploy the practices as per the expectations of the organization.
Finally, the reviewing team will be monitoring their performance, will reward them, motivate them, and also guide them on making necessary changes in their routine practices in the organization (Oeij, Dhondt, & Korver, 2011). It will thereby ensure following of the ethical framework and ethical guidelines in a given working environment of the organization.