There are many companies that are in the spotlight today for being ethically questionable. Companies like Halliburton and their Iraq war exclusive rights because of Former Vice-President Dick Cheney. Chevron was also in the spotlight with being accused of dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic waste in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The company that will be discussed in this paper is the McDonalds Corporation. McDonalds is a fast food franchise that is the largest in the world and has over 1.5 million locations. McDonalds states in their website under their mission statement “McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers’ experience.”(para1.) They also state “We operate our business ethically. Sound ethics is good business.
At McDonald’s, we hold ourselves and conduct our business to high standards of fairness, honesty, and integrity. We are individually accountable and collectively responsible.” Some organizations and people domestically and abroad would argue with their mission statement and their ethical proclamation. There have been many instances and lawsuits that show McDonalds has not always had their customers’ best interest at heart. Just like most other large corporations profit is an underlying factor as to why companies do certain things and make certain decisions. They have adapted to different areas in order to survive and be able to thrive in those areas. McDonalds has offended many cultures and religions in its past by some of its actions. McDonalds has offended vegetarians, Hindus, and some Japanese. In 2002 McDonalds had fries that tasted of beef. This was offensive to both Hindus and Vegetarians. Hindus look at cows as sacred so this was not a good thing to taste something that they hold sacred.
Vegetarians do not eat meat so this was also bad for them. According to Detamonitor under their McDonalds resolves french fry dispute “McDonald’s, the fast food giant currently embroiled in a row concerning undisclosed beef flavoring in french fries, has made a formal apology to those it has offended. McDonald’s has also agreed to make a $10 million financial settlement.” (Para1.) This dispute might seem small and insignificant to most people or most Americans, but to Hindus it was no small ordeal. It was a major incident to them. They did not disclose what the flavor was at first all they had it listed as was “natural flavor”. They later disclosed that it was their vegetable oil that contained beef flavoring. McDonalds has been pretty quick to respond to most of their complaints and or lawsuits. They are looked on in a mixed way by different cultures. Some cultures believe that the McDonalds Corporation is a good thing that it helps the local community. It helps create jobs, gives the locals quick food, gives the locals a cheap alternative, and that it gives an ownership opportunity to whoever buys the franchise. A McDonalds is not merely the people that serve the food to the public.
There are a number of different people and different types of positions that have to be filled in order for one to run properly. There are truck drivers that deliver the food to wherever it is needed. Managers are needed to run the McDonalds and oversee any administrative or logistical issues. It would be appealing to a diverse population and has been very successful in different regions. In 1995 McDonalds opened its first restaurant in Kuwait and it had 15,000 people come on the first day. The drive through had a line that was seven miles long. In addition to adding new job opportunities to whatever region a new McDonalds is put in they also contribute to the local economy and government. They contribute by paying taxes to whatever government that they are placed in. In Brazil they paid $208 million dollars in taxes which helped to promote Brazil’s economy.
They are also looked at very negatively by many individuals and countries for various reasons. Some countries just purely hate Americans and anything that has to do with America. Others have seen what fast food has done to Americans and how Americas is the most obese country in the world. They do not want their area or country to end up like fat Americans. Fast food is an undisputed contributing factor to obesity in the United States. They also feel that some of the culture and past will be lost. This is both true and false. Food is part of what defines a culture and what separates and makes different regions unique. Globalization of McDonalds has led to some issues with identity and has also helped change McDonalds to a more culturally diverse company. McDonalds has adapted some of their menus to include items that would either be acceptable or typical of the region. Here are some examples of the various menu items from different countries: Egypt has the McFalafel, India only has two kinds of meats jhatka chicken and fish, in Israel and Argentina the meals are prepared by cooking with charcoal instead of frying, and there are many other countries that have individual items on their menus.
McDonalds has different charitable outlets to include the Ronald McDonald Foundation which helps sick children and their families in their time of need. In summation McDonalds has had many different conflicts in different areas and for many different reasons. McDonalds is looked at as both a positive and negative company in regards to their ethics by different areas of the World. They are looked at in a negative way due to their many offensive instances in different countries. Also they are looked at as being the largest fast food chain and being responsible in part for the exponential growth of obesity. They are looked at in a positive way for their change and adaption of their menu items to fit individual cultures. Jobs are a big deal in some areas that they are located and having the opportunity to work is positive in itself, also they help the local economies with paying taxes. They have different charities that help the community and their big one is the Ronald McDonald Foundation which helps sick children. Any corporation has many challenges to meet when operating globally. Some corporations thrive while others don’t, ethical responsibility and corporate ethics can have a large impact on the company’s success abroad.
-McDonald’s corporation. (2006, November 26).MarketLine Business – McDonalds Resolves French Fry Dispute. (2002). Retrieved from http://www.datamonitor.com/store/News/mcdonalds_resolves_french_fry_dispute?productid=AFD494C1-AB17-472E-8AA6-0E5EAF53091D – Unethical Companies. (). Retrieved from http://www.actionforourplanet.com/#/top-10-unethical-companies/4545796858