Quality Management of McDonald’s
Typically, and that is as simple as looking at a local company in any country, Human Resource (HR) managers are the people who oversee the activities of others and who are responsible for attaining goals in organizations. HR managers get things done through other people. They make decisions, collect information from organizations and institutions outside their own, allocate resources, and hiring, training, motivating and disciplining employees. Essentially, they plan, organize, command, coordinate, and control (Gilley and Eggland 1998).
But the corporate trend today points to developing more critical skills than such basic managerial functions. Technical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills are still sought for but when looking for competent international HR managers, the broadened forms of such skills are important to have (Young and Nie 1996). Managerial and decision-making abilities are highly required, particularly when a manager is operating under conditions of isolation or physical distances from the center of decision making in the home office.
A global manager must have the ability to appreciate and respect beliefs, values, behaviors, and business practices of individuals and groups from other cultures. In fact, even a home-based national HR manager must be culturally sensitive. Early anthropologists thought of societies and their cultures as fully independent systems. But today, many nations are multicultural societies, composed of numerous smaller subcultures (Libicki 2000). Indeed, the intensity of today’s global economy challenges corporate executives to compete successfully with anybody, anywhere, and at any time.
More companies are looking to overseas markets for growth, and there’s a high demand for people with international expertise. Indeed, human resource management has been elevated to a more ambitious level, to quality management (Keeley, 2001). The emphasis of quality management is on trying to predict and influence the future rather than on responding and reacting by the seat of the pants. It is also a results-oriented philosophy of management, one which emphasizes accomplishments and results. The focus is generally on change and on improving both individual and organizational effectiveness (Robbins and DeCenzo, 2000).
One of the world’s known enforcers of such management philosophy is McDonald’s. The original founders of McDonald’s, and the fast-food concept, were brothers Dick and Mac McDonald. From the introduction of a limited menu of just nine items, and by focusing on efficient production and service, the brothers were able to halve the price of their hamburgers to 15 cents. McDonald’s is now the international market leader for fast food, and has been ever since its pioneering first restaurant was launched in San Bernardino, California in 1948.
The finest building block of the McDonald’s franchising business is standardization model, and this has been prescribed for businesses looking for a model to follow. However, since standards vary across cultures, it is the impact on society as a whole that a business must consider before adopting a similar code of practice (“The McDonald’s”). The early successes of the McDonald brothers in their San Bernardino fast-food restaurant in the 1950s combined strong elements of both technical and administrative innovation and quality management. Read about McDonald’s quality assurance.
Initially, the McDonald brothers sought technical innovations designed to save labor and speed up the process of delivery to the customer. They began inventing the essential tools of the early fast-food industry such as the hand-held stainless steel pump dispenser which required just a single squeeze to dispense the required amount of ketchup and mustard evenly on a bun, a variation of this device is still in use in McDonald’s burger bars today.
Boas and Chain claimed, “Each innovation made the service more uniform; each refinement served the cause of standardization, volume and profit. Speed constituted the essence of Hamburger Science” (“The McDonald’s”). During the 1960s, McDonald’s invested a great deal of capital into advertising and marketing campaigns. In 1962, the golden arches were adopted as its corporate logo, with the introduction of Ronald McDonald as its mascot arriving the following year.
In 1965, McDonald’s Corporation went public, and by 1966 was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1967, its first restaurants outside of the United States were opened in Canada and Puerto Rico. 1968 saw the introduction of the company’s flagship product, the Big Mac. In 1989, McDonald’s became listed on the Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, and Tokyo stock exchanges (“The McDonald’s”). Thanks to quality management that began with the McDonald brothers, McDonald’s can also boast that it is the largest retail property owner in the world.
McDonald’s has very close relationships with their suppliers, even making sure that their different suppliers communicate with one another regarding procedures, and the introduction of new technology, in order for the McDonald’s corporation to maximize its profits through efficient operations. Only the largest corporations can exert this amount of power over its suppliers, and therefore most companies could not adopt the McDonald’s model regarding its relationship with suppliers (“The McDonald’s”).
It is a corporate practice that after creating a picture of the market, McDonald’s management’s analysis of the potential business venture and plan of action will be structured as to avoid losses and to find the most profitable scenarios (Hamel and Prahalad, 1990). Several environmental factors play a key role in driving an organization to arrive at the right mix of marketing elements. To assure industry leadership at the domestic or global level, organizations are making headway to analyze the business, consumers, the trade, competition, and most especially the employees or what used to be called the assistant managers and crew.
McDonald’s is indeed one of the preeminent testaments to this successful technique of quality management (“The McDonald’s”). The success of McDonald’s quality management can be attributed to efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control. McDonald’s uses optimum methods of production, and also has an effective body of rules and regulations, which ensure highly efficient work. McDonald’s also states “it provides the best available way to get from hungry to full” (“The McDonald’s”). The attitudes of managers toward their people are of primary importance (Goleman, 2001).
Employees should be able to trust the motives and integrity of their supervisors. The managers in an organization are forced and driven to be cautiously appreciative of their people’s contribution that flows from high performance. They are expected to recognize that rewards must be psychological as well as financial, and strive for an atmosphere where each of their people can share the adventure and excitement of working at the company. It is the responsibility of management to create a productive environment where the organization’s values flourish (Blauner, 1999).
Thus, the McDonald’s management recognizes the basic needs of the employees, and will take a systematic program to build the skills of the full-timers and part-timers alike, and eventually help them grow to full potential within the company. The primary means of accommodating this is through understanding the each of the employees’ personal objectives. Naturally, what specific activities ought to be staff depends on the company’s mission, objectives, and strategies. Structure follows strategy. Differences in objectives lead to fundamental differences in which structure is most appropriate (Reeves and Hoy, 1993).
Besting the competitors is part of the formula of quality management. The fluctuating market environment is an all-encompassing area of concern for organizations. Included in the analysis of the market environment are numerous factors that may have an immediate effect on the fortunes or failures of an organization. Some of these factors are changing demographics, life cycles of various products or services, ease of entry into the industry, income distribution of population, and extent of rivalry in the industry.
Generally, the analysis of various market factors enables management to fine-tune its strategies and reposition the firm against its competitors (Brown, 2002). The strategic management of the boards and other principal stakeholders distinguish a deliberate precedence to develop a people-centered organization. A significant command progressing from this plot is to concentrate on improving the quality of professional life of their workforce. In order to attain objectives effectively, the manager clearly must both coordinate work and get people to perform it (Miner, 2002).
Managers are popularly referred to as executives because the mainstay of their role is to ensure that the work of the organization is actually executed. Managers translate decisions into actions through the essential managerial function of motivating. In its present managerial context, motivating is the process of moving oneself and others to work toward attainment of individual and organizational objectives (Rue, 2004). The management creates a climate conducive to constructive working environment.
This includes encouragement, active involvement of the employees in some of the minor decision-making phases, a supportive attitude on the part of the manager, and a willingness to answer questions (Levine 1995). Organizational decisions may involve the strategic direction of the organization or might simply deal with the day-to-day activities of employees. Decisions might be made after months of information gathering and deliberation or be made in an instant with little or no consideration.
Decisions might be made by individuals alone, through consultation with relevant organizational members, or in participative groups. Decisions will always vary in their level of effectiveness. To carry effective decisions out, strategic management entails the performance of activities by means of selecting, designing, operating, controlling, and updating production systems (Gilley and Maycunich, 2000). Decisions regarding the company’s operation systems should be made from a strategic quality management (Peterson 1993).
This focus requires management to translate the organization’s objectives and strategies into a set of operation system decisions and policies. For instance, if the company is to modify its product and product lines to adapt to rapidly changing customer demands, its operation system will be flexible enough to shift gears to the required modifications (Sullivan 2000). This activity would also involve instilling a systematic management development approach by nurturing a culture that encourages learning from the outcomes of its past strategic decisions (Peterson 1993).
Learning from the past enables a company striving for quality management to improve its strategic direction and strengthen its professionalism with respect to competitive management. The unremitting success of a company shall indicate an ongoing management effort to learn from the past and anticipate the future. Under a competitive executive’s hands-on, competent leadership, it becomes a corporate practice that after creating a picture of the market, a company’s management’s analysis of the potential business venture and plan of action will be structured as to avoid losses and to find the most profitable scenarios (Samansky 2003).
The next challenge faced by quality management is to determine whether or not the firm has the internal strengths to take advantage of environmental opportunities as well as to identify internal weaknesses that might compound the problems of external threats. The process by which an internal diagnosis is conducted is the management audit. The five recommended functions to be included in the audit are marketing, finance and accounting, operations, human resources, and corporate resources (Gilley and Eggland 1998).
To assure industry leadership at the domestic or global level, organizations are making headway to analyze the business, consumers, the trade and competition. Through industry analysis, the manager can create an environmental threat and opportunity profile. The profiling includes both a weighing of the factors and an assessment of the impact of the factor in the organization (Morden 1995). Once this process is complete, management must be able to evaluate the organization’s quality management.
True to HRM’s competitiveness principles, a strategic successful manager is the one who is aware of internal organizational capabilities and deficiencies as well as crucial external and internal concerns in the industry (Peterson 1993). As a supervisor, it will also be important to relate general objectives to specific jobs assigned to the employees rather than to more general performance standards that might not be important for certain tasks. It will also be a part of the manager’s course of action to do potential appraisals, which outline an employee’s projected upward path (Rue and Byars, 2000).
Specifically, an Employee of the Month rewards system will be imposed to make this scheme tangible, evident, and truly motivating. The assistant managers and crew alike shall also receive feedback on their performance and positive reinforcement for learning. This can come in the form of praise and recognition from the manager. Or, as some of the new computerized teaching systems permit, immediate, direct feedback when a program has been solved correctly (Rue and Byars, 2000). McDonald’s management will similarly be designing and holding more frequent training sessions to make employees more comfortable with the workplace culture.
The company accepts the fact that the manpower must be made to understand more full how they are expected to interrelate and envision their upward mobility (Green and Butkus, 1999). Such understanding requires full knowledge of company goals, and there is a general corporate maxim saying that the goals can be set only when a company has a sense of its own history. Together with the manpower planning staff, the manager exercises quality management by echoing theoretical emphasis on getting employee views of the company (Rue and Byars, 2000).
People’s perceptions are reality to them and their actions will be guided accordingly. If enough people feel the same way about certain issues, problems, and circumstances. After all, such feelings are generally indicative of what’s really happening (Sawyer, 1979). However, to bridge the part-timers’ goals with those of the full-timers’, adapting the corporate objectives to the part-time employees may not be necessary at all and when enforced, may be costly in the long run. The manager acknowledges the reality that part-timers have a proactive role that they play in the operations management process.
The part-timers are seen as more than passive followers of McDonald’s objectives. Instead, it is believed that part-timers actively seek information that will help them adapt to their adaptive roles and the norms and values of the organizational culture (Rue and Byars, 2000). It is for this diversity reason that the company impresses upon every full-time and part-time employee the long-range objectives that encompass the entirety of the staff, and in fact, of the company. These objectives may be formulated for persons on lower levels in descending order on the chain of command.
Assistant managers should also actively participate in the formulation of their own objectives. This could be accomplished by a closed-door meeting in which subordinates discuss the unit’s objectives and projects for the coming year. Based on the information obtained, each assistant manager would prepare a set of objectives for his own work unit. Then the owner or any superior manager would discuss these subunit objectives with each subordinate and ensure that they are mutually supportive. The following will be the durable principles and objectives of McDonald’s: 1.
Market-driven strategies are better than product strategies. The company aims to meet the needs of the communities rather than market their services. 2. Market knowledge is critical for a regional fast-food chain. The company develops a strategy, which takes advantage of their strong competitive position in their regional markets, utilizing their knowledge of the specific market and their customer base. 3. Decentralized organization supports a market-driven strategy. The company will not pursue a statewide market segmentation strategy but will utilize decentralized management in order to respond to individual markets.
4. The company is a fast-food provider. They will aim to continue being the maker of quality meals and foods. They are proud of being in the food industry and intend to enhance the services that fast-food chains can offer. 5. The company takes long-term outlook. The company focuses on long-range profitability and, from time to time, implement actions that might not be in the best interest of short-term profitability. McDonald’s positions itself to adapt to the changing competition and environment of the fast food industry. 6. The company prefers more business to new business.
They offer services first to existing customers and build upon their present customer base. 7. The company provides only high-quality service. They do not engage in services that they are not capable to do well. They do try to be all things to all people. The company continually extends itself to please its three constituencies: employees, customers, and shareholders. The food business is a big circle; pleased employees means pleased customers, pleased customers means fair returns to shareholders, pleased shareholders means more pleased employees (Brody and Ehrlich, 1998). No one can halt McDonald’s progress.
The chains are well-located and low-priced. They have name value and a recognized product. However, since standards vary across cultures, it is the impact on society as a whole that a business must consider before adopting a similar code of practice. For instance, people in developing countries are starving, purely so that our developed society can be provided with excess food. Chemicals, necessary for the uniformity of its products, are destroying the environment and putting lives at risk due to increased nitrate levels.
This way, McDonaldization of society wouldn’t make the world a better place, as it will simply turn into a bigger breeding ground for exploitation, pollution, and concealment (Ritzer, 1996). Moreover, the US government should be motivated for economic as well as political reasons to encourage American firms apart from McDonald’s to seek opportunities in the countries worldwide. It seeks to create a favorable climate for overseas business by providing the assistance by providing the assistance that helps minimize some of the troublesome politically motivated financial risks of doing business abroad (Dunning, 1999).
Merely selecting a course of action for quality management is of little value to an organization like McDonald’s. To resolve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity like market expansion, the decision must be implemented. The degree to which decisions are effectively implemented can be increased if they are accepted by the people affected like the unions in McDonald’s (Mckern, 2003). Acceptance is seldom automatic even when the decision is clearly a good one. Usually, though the decision maker must sell his or her point of view to others in the organization or to the prospective stakeholders.
Some managers regard having to sell decisions as being a waste of time, but taking the attitude that, “I’m the boss, right or wrong,” is generally not effective in today’s world of educated workers. A good way to win acceptance of a decision is to execute a participative decision making procedure (Kuratko, et al. , 2001). The success of the multinational corporation lies on the shoulders of its management. Measuring a potential business venture has many aspects, which the manager must be aware of in order to convey the correct information back to the decision makers (Gilley and Eggland 1998).
Being ignorant to any of the aspects can lead to a false representation of the project, and hence an uninformed decision being passed. In order for a business to survive it must grow. For growth to be optimal, quality management requires the executive department to identify the most attractive prospective leads. The first step is to use secondary research to find out what the sales potential is in a given market. The second step is to conduct primary research that outlines the specifics of the potential market that directly pertain to the product.
In the third step the team should be properly placed and instructed. In the fourth and final step the product of the feasibility study should be properly communicated to the decision-making management (Gilley and Maycunich 2000). The last step in the problem-solving model is measurement and evaluation of the decision’s consequences: what actually happened. By obtaining feedback, which is historical data on what took place during and after implementation, decision makers can compare actual results with what they expected to accomplish with the decisions.
This is a basic step in any problem-solving process because of its enabling insight to evaluate success of decisions and if necessary, change them before serious harm is done to the company (Levine, 1995). One survey found that over 90 percent of companies have some type of appraisal system, but several factors determine whether performance appraisal is effective (Rue, 2004). To begin, most often a subordinate’s performance is evaluated by his or her manager. Therefore, this manager must be capable of evaluating performance accurately and not base appraisal on personal feeling toward the subordinate.
In theory, the control process involves setting standards, measurement of results to determine deviation from standards, and corrective action, if needed (Woodside and Pitts, 1996). Similarly, performance appraisal requires managers to gather information on how effective each individual is at accomplishing delegated duties. Communicating this information to subordinates enables them to know how well they are doing and to correct less than acceptable behavior. Performance appraisal also permits management to identify the outstanding performers and in effect raise their performance standards by promoting them to more challenging positions.
Performance appraisal is also needed to provide people with information about their relative level of performance (Green and Butkus, 1999). When done correctly, the individual will learn not only whether his or her performance is acceptable, but also specifically what strengths and weaknesses he or she has and which areas could be improved. By identifying strong performers, management is able to reward them fairly with praise, pay, and promotion. Consistent, positive reinforcement for behavior associated with high performance should lead to similar behavior in the future (Gilley and Eggland, 1998).
Quality management of course is primarily undertaken to ensure that managers have the skills needed to attain organizational objectives. Management development can take place through lectures, small group discussions, case studies, seminars, role-playing, and training programs. In terms of global management like that of McDonald’s, there are basically four considerations (Gilley and Eggland 1998). First, in terms of leadership, top management must have a true commitment to diversity. The commitment must go beyond sloganism and include the commitment of human, financial, and technical resources.
Second, managers and employees alike must receive both awareness training and skill-building training. Third, research should be conducted to identify problem areas in the organizational culture and build appropriate educational programs. Finally, the culture of the organization must be audited to reveal ways in which diverse members could be hampered by current organizational values (Gilley and Maycunich 2000; Peterson, 1993). Quality management entails thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation.
Occasionally some specific actions may not result in immediate and perceivable improvements, but in the long run they may influence other activities and initiatives positively. Responsibility for managing organizational changes is with management and executives of the organization; they must manage these organizational changes in a way that employees can cope with it. Without adequate adaptation to potential future situations, no organization can optimize its future performance and achieve success (Griffin, 1993).
Quality management is necessary in all systems, processes, methods and individuals, especially in top management and middle management. All employees play significant roles in transformations and other enabling activities (Braun, 2002). The quality management approach indeed is necessary because it enables managers to evaluate and be evaluated on the basis of results, rather than personality traits. For instance, telling a subordinate he has little initiative is not a very useful form of feedback. It is not specific enough for the subordinate to use for correcting performance deficits.
In contrast, telling a subordinate that his output was 10 percent below the objective established six months ago provides a clear frame of reference, standard, for controlling performance and discussing what problems seem to have occurred and what can be done to improve future performance. Therefore, every manager must certainly establish specific performance objectives and the means of attaining them in conjunction with his or her immediate superior. After a set period of time, the manager and employee could assess actual performance in comparison to these established objectives (Mourdoukoutas, 1999).
By and large, quality management, according to business connoisseurs, is a much more comprehensive process than just formulating a specific, nonetheless complex, issue such as the best strategy to drive a firm to desired success. In particular, it is concerned with the development of specific strategies designed to help the organization achieve its objectives, determining the opportunities and threats, and formulating the corporate objectives and strategies of the enterprise in light of this corporate assessment and the internal audit of the enterprise’s strengths and weaknesses (Mourdoukoutas, 1999).
The key to the future depends greatly on whether there can be a broader move toward shared responsibility between the business and the employees, which is a quality management principle. It is a shared responsibility that involves greater decision-making power and job security for workers. Those of us, as enforcers of quality management in the company, who want to see a high-morale, highly motivated employees, in addition to see more economic and social justice in America, must be willing to take risks and try new approaches.
As we attempt to develop a more progressive employee-management relations, we shall not forget that those who insist in making cooperation impossible make confrontation inevitable (Hamel and Prahalad, 1990). Furthermore, there is no doubt that the international marketing process of McDonald’s does face a large set of variables as it take place over different countries and it does act in different environments. Apart from quality management, another most determinant environment to the success of the international marketing process is culture, which holds the reason for many human acts and behavior.
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