This report is going to present a draft of policies that companies can use to promote corporate social responsibility and address ethical issues in both medium and small businesses, and including the roles of management and leadership in ensuring this is effected. The report will also use McDonald ethics in Asia and Europe as a case study. According to Crane and Matten (2010) ethics is the study of decisions, activities, and situations where issues of good and bad, or right and wrong are addressed with an emphasis on what is morally right and wrong. Some of the unethical behaviors include. McDonald acted unethically by selling foods with high calories that increased the rates of obesity in the society (Schrempf, 2014). Other unethical behaviors included falsely advertising its foods as nutritious, risking the health of its long term and most regular customers, and for having advertisements that are aimed at teenagers and children.
Ethics are very important in organizations, in that business has the power to influence society by paying taxes, producing quality and healthy products and providing employment (Shaw, 2016). MacDonald had to come up with an ethical makeover that would include a change of menu, nutritional labeling and sports campaign for young people. This changed the way society viewed the company, and it led to the success of the business. It is, therefore, the responsibility of all corporate to ensure that their business and ethical actions do not affect the customers and the community negatively
Heath and nutrition have been a major ethical issue for McDonald in Europe and other developing nations. More people are becoming health conscious, and this has been a problem for one of the largest corporations that sell fast foods. According to Schrempf (2014) fast foods contain calories and little nutrition. Individuals, who have fast foods as a regular component of their diet, end up struggling with ill health and weight problems. It is for these and other reasons that McDonald has found itself on the receiving end from social justice and environmentalists campaigners. The company has been accused of selling unhealthy foods, falsely advertising its foods as nutritious, risking the health of its long term and most regular customers, and for having advertisements that are aimed at teenagers and children. The company was also accused of being culpably responsible for cruelty to animals, paying low wages, and being antipathetic to trade unions. Tackling this negative image on its foods has become undeniably very important in the management of the corporation. This is because the negative image affects the companys brand, and the company costs go up because of legal battles just like in the cases filed by the social justice and environmentalists campaigners.
With all the criticisms and negative image of the brand, McDonald had to act to redeem its brand image in the society. This is because every company needs the society to buy its products and services so as to increase revenue, and for this reason, the company has to appeal to its customers (Guidry, Messner, Jin and Medina-Messner, 2015). According to the McDonalds case study, the management is responsible for ethical conduct in business. McDonald was able to make ethical commitments that led to the companys commitment to good value. The company according to the case study embarked on doing campaigns that helped the company redeem its tainted brand image. The management introduced healthy options in their menus which included porridge for breakfast, salads, fruits, carrot sticks and grilled chicken flatbreads. The firm then embarked on a huge advertising campaign that aimed at reaching out to the customers regarding the change in the menu. The management also extended its in-store nutritional labeling something that McDonalds. An exercise and sports initiative was also launched that targeted the young people showing them the balance between exercise and a balanced diet. Such strategies were a success for the company, and this led to a steady growth in profits.
Throughout its business, McDonalds has had to come up with strategies to deal with key actors in business ethics. According to the case study, the key actors in business ethics are trade unions, social justice and environmentalists campaigners in Europe (Crane and Matten, 2016). In Asia on the other hand, the key actors in business ethics were regulators and activists. Regulations by the businesss external stakeholders are always important to ensure that companys hold high ethical standards. In some business issues, just like in the case of McDonald, companies have not given much thought to the moral values that should guide their strategic decisions. It is for these reasons that governments put up institutional frameworks by partnering with the key actors to regulate the ethical behaviors of corporations.
Corporate social responsibility is the duty of a company for the effect its activities and decision have on the environment and society through ethical and transparent behavior (Carroll and Buchholtz, 2015). This often ensures that the expectations of stakeholders are taken into account, is consistent with international morals and compliance with the laid down the law, is integrated and practiced in all relationships within the company, and contributes to the welfare and health of the society. It is important for all McDonald to have CSR as this can promote a corporations self-interests. These interests include being rewarded with customers due to a better brand reputation, attracting new employees as those corporations with a good CSR are socially responsible, helps a company create a competitive advantage, gaining a companys corporate independence from the government, and also corporations can take responsibility for the social problems they create in society like pollution and be able to solve them.
The economic responsibility of McDonald was to ensure that their profits are not affected by the negative brand image. To achieve this, the company tried to redeem its brand image by introducing healthy options in their menus which included porridge for breakfast, salads, fruits, carrot sticks and grilled chicken flatbreads. They also have an innovative business model that the other players in the industry are trying to initiate. This seen the stabilization and growth of revenues. The ethical responsibility of McDonald was witnesses when the company responded to the grievances channeled by the activists. The company asserted ethical leadership by trying to do what is fair, by coming up with campaigns to counter the weight problems, like the exercise and sports initiative that was also launched that targeted the young people showing them the balance between exercise and a balanced diet. Besides, McDonald had the legal responsibility to ensure that the government regulations in Europe by the UK government are adhered by the company. The UK government began to tackle the fast food industry to address matters of nutrition and health (Carroll and Buchholtz, 2015). A tax was introduced on drink and food advertising that did not bear a health message (Geppert, Matten and Williams, 2016). To ensure the company did not incur this cost, McDonald embarked on its in-store nutritional labeling.
Carroll, A. B., & Buchholtz, A. K. (2015). Corporate citizenship: social responsibility, responsiveness, and performance. Classics of Organization Theory, 439.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
Geppert, M., Matten, D., & Williams, K. (Eds.). (2016). Challenges for European management in a global context: Experiences from Britain and Germany. Springer.
Guidry, J. D., Messner, M., Jin, Y., & Medina-Messner, V. (2015). From# mcdonaldsfail to# dominossucks: An analysis of Instagram images about the 10 largest fast food companies. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 20(3), 344-359.
Shaw, W. H. (2016). Business ethics. Nelson Education.
Schrempf, J. (2014). A social connection approach to corporate responsibility: The case of the fast-food industry and obesity. Business & Society, 53(2), 300-332.
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