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|Ethical issue faced by McDonalds|
2.1 Issues of McDonald’s……………………………………………………………………….
3.1Corporate social responsibility and McDonald’s……………………………………
4.1 Recommendations and solutions……………………………………………………….
In this report, we will talk about an ethical issue faced by McDonalds China. Firstly, we will look at the issues of McDonald’s. For instance, the McDonald’s Sanlitun outlet in Beijing China sold expired food to customers and store staffs changed food expiry dates. Then, we will introduce the theory of corporate social responsibility and use the CSR theory to analyse the ethical issue of McDonald’s. Finally, we will give some recommendations and solutions for McDonald.
2.1 Issues of McDonald’s
McDonald’s is a big chain group of fast food. It has thirty thousand branch stores in the world and its head office located in Illinois, Brooke’s, The United States. McDonald’s has built in 1954 and it is main selling hamburgers, French fries, fried chicken, soda. (www.mcdonalds.com)It is very famous in the world. Especially in China, McDonald’s has many customers. The reason is that its foods are convenience, delicious and the price is cheap.
However, although McDonald’s is a big group which always has good fame and strong sales volume, it has some ethical issue recently. The 315 party exposed the staffs who worked in Sanlitun(Beijing) of McDonald’s, was selling food which had passed its expiry date. (news.163.com, McDonald’s sold overdue foods by Beijing Times, 03. 16. 2012). It sold chicken wings 90 minutes after they were cooked, in contravention of the company’s 30-minute rule. Store staffs were also seen changing expiry dates and picking up raw beef that had fallen on the ground and putting it back in its pack.(http://www.shanghai.gov.cn, McDonald’s launches food safety checks at all outlets 03.17.2012 ). According to McDonald’s rule, its pies should be sold at most 90 minutes after pies were fried, and staffs should mark pie’s shelf life on the back of its package. But, the staffs of McDonald’s in Sanlitun changed the expiry dates of pie from 22:30 to 23:30. Staff said that they do like this because they want to save cost and make profit, so that they can share the bonus.
After the exposure by CCTV, in a short time, Chinese society has big shocked. Many Chinese formal media such as CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, has stern criticized to McDonald’s. It has serious affected McDonald’s. Many consumers are disappointed at McDonald’s. They thought McDonald’s was lost its social responsibility. Many consumers said that they will refuse to buy its products until the company gives response to this event. In 3.15 events, McDonald’s is not responsible for its consumers and the action of McDonald’s is lack of corporate social responsibility.
3.1Corporate social responsibility and McDonald’s
The McDonald’s problem is business ethic problem. Business ethics is the behavior that a business adheres to in its daily dealings with the world. The ethics of a particular business can be diverse. They apply not only to how the business interacts with the world at large, but also to their one-on-one dealings with a single customer. (http://www.wisegeek.com What is Business Ethics? 08.05.2012)
Business ethics do not allow a company to do whatever is necessary to make money. Corporate social responsibility dictates that businesses must provide safe working conditions and use manufacturing practices that do not unnecessarily harm the environment. Business ethics also require that companies provide accurate financial data to stockholders and avoid advertising their products and services to consumers under false pretenses. (http://www.wisegeek.com What is Business Ethics? 08.05.2012)
March 15th event of McDonald’s is business ethic problem. McDonald’s promised that their food is high quality and safety. But, it sold expired food to customers. This is not honest and responsible for their consumers. If McDonald’s do not pay attention to this business ethic problem, it will get larger and convert into CSR issue.
Every multinational corporation including McDonald’s should have corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. A company’s business model should be socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. CSR pertains to the corporation’s interaction with society and its responsibilities to society in general. (gwendolyncuizon.suite101.com, “what is Corporate Social Responsibility?” Gwendolyn Cuizon, 28.04.2012) Thus, beyond making profits, McDonald’s should be responsible for the totality of their impact on stakeholders. Stakeholders could be consumers, employees, business partners, investors, the government and the community. Increasingly, stakeholders expect that companies should be more environmentally and socially responsible in conducting their business.
CSR is very important for MNCs. It enables companies to create a positive impact in the community and it can enhance competitiveness of a company. Practitioners of CSR could gain better reputation and brand image in the process. A better reputation in business often means better sales and more investors. (gwendolyncuizon.suite101.com, “what is Corporate Social Responsibility?” Gwendolyn Cuizon, 28.04.2012) Also, usually customers prefer the companies which have social responsibility, the customer loyalty will increase.
McDonalds’ said it’s always paid close attention to food safety. The company promised strict world-class safety and cleanliness standards in all of its restaurants. It also announced that it has built a system of quality, service and cleanliness (QSC) into every aspect of their business – from their suppliers to their restaurants (www.mcdonalds.com “Meet Our Suppliers” 01.05.2012). They take food safety and quality very seriously at McDonald’s. But actually they didn’t do well in what they had promised.
Firstly, these actions harm the consumer interests and could hurt consumer confidence in the company’s food, which has a broad reputation in China for being high quality and safe. McDonald’s should respect and protect consumer rights and interests and insure to provide safety food to consumers. Secondly, it’s also relating to the integrity issues of McDonald’s. McDonald’s violates the provisions which formulated by itself. The firm should be honest to customers and does what they had promised. What’s more, the staff prepared and served beef that had fallen on the floor, this action has violated Food safety law in China. These actions are all not responsible for customers. McDonald’s should enhance management and strictly implement food safety standards to ensure consumers’ health.
This event indicates that McDonald’s doesn’t do well in CSR, if the company lacks of CSR commitment, it can cause long-term bad effects on the brand and reputation. The reputation of McDonald’s will be undoubtedly badly damage. Consumers may refuse to buy its products and switch loyalty to another company if the corporation has negative brand image. If McDonald’s wants to be trustworthy, basically, the company should be responsible for the consumers and have corporation social responsibility.
4.1 Recommendations and solutions
According to the McDonald’s China issues analyses, McDonald’s must pay high attention to food safety problems, or it will make more consumers get hurt. To strengthen the quality of the food safety supervision should be a priority, in here we come up with some recommendation and solution for McDonald.
First of all, implement enterprise and government’s responsibility. McDonald must adjust their operations, strengthen management, strict implement food safety standards to ensure the consumers’ health, earnestly perform their duties. The most important thing is to let each consumer, media and relevant government agencies involved in supervision. Ensure every consumer eat the clean healthy food. The McDonald should perform the regulatory duties, it must implement standards and rules for business ethics and CSR; to strengthen the quality of the food’s safety supervision; to strengthen the food market access control, improve food market admittance requirements; to crack down substandard food into the market; and increase the frequency of check.
Secondly: McDonald’s should increase social moral conscience level, not as own profit to harm consumers; this is the bottom line for moral standards. However, in McDonald any food that was wasted added to costs and affected staffs’ bonuses. And the staffs reported to CCTV: “Only when you gain profits, you can share the bonus”. (news.163.com “McDonald’s launches food safety checks at all outlet” 03.17.2012).In current market economy, many enterprises are emphasis more on interest rate thereby neglecting their morality. So, at this moment, the enterprise should change the way it pays bonuses to the staff. Moreover it should also be strengthen the training for the staff, and enhance the moral level.
Third: McDonald’s should perfect its food safety rules system. It shall establish scientific and complete food safety standard system. Strengthen punishments for the behavior of harm food security. Such as “mete out serious punishment”, “fire the employees who act against the rules”, “confiscate the illegal employee wages”, or penalty, if the offence is serious, to give relevant authority concerned.
Fourth: training employees. As it was illustrated by the case above we make conclusion that McDonald’s recruitment and training systems were not strict enough, especially for some part-time workers the requirements are lower and the training time happen to be not enough. So McDonald’s can improve the candidate’s entry requirements and holding training class for some employees. To enhance food safety awareness and responsibility consciousness is also very important.
In addition, the most important is that every one of us should improve the food safety consciousness, because food safety is related to our vital interests. Food safety is a major event, not a national government or a enterprise said want to do well that they can do it, only have a public supervision and support, McDonald’s can do it better, like that our life will be more beautiful.
In conclude, firstly, we have introduced the background of McDonald’s and its serious moral event in China. We talked about the ethic issue of McDonald’s. McDonald’s is lack of CSR in 3.15 events. CSR is very important for McDonald’s. If it doesn’t do well in CSR strategy, the company will get the bad effects. Consumers may refuse to buy its products. Then, we gave some recommendations and solutions for McDonald’s. Like McDonald’s need to adjust their operations, strengthen management initially, and increase social moral conscience level by itself. Also, the company should improve its rules system and food quality. McDonald’s should enhance CSR standards and undertake responsibility for consumers.
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- McDonald’s launches food safety checks at all outlets. [Online]. (17.03.2012) Available from: http://www.shanghai.gov.cn/shanghai/node27118/node27818/u22ai66773.html [Assessed 28, April, 2012]
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