McDonald’s Organizational Culture Analysis

McDonald’s organizational culture characteristics case study and analysis
A McDonald’s in New South Wales, Australia. McDonald’s organizational culture emphasizes support for people, learning and diversity. (Photo: Public Domain)

McDonald’s organizational culture supports the company’s industry positioning goals. As the biggest player in the global fast food restaurant market, McDonald’s uses its organizational culture to attract customers and qualified employees. A firm’s organizational culture defines the traditions, habits and values that influence workers’ behaviors. To ensure business efficiency in production and service, McDonald’s organizational culture encourages learning. In a way, the continuing evolution of the organization reflects the firm’s effectiveness in applying its corporate culture to achieve the desired levels of human resource capabilities. This condition highlights the significance of organizational culture as a success factor in McDonald’s international business.

McDonald’s organizational culture supports operational efficiency to maximize productivity. Service quality is also enhanced through the effects of McDonald’s organizational culture.

Features of McDonald’s Organizational Culture

McDonald’s organizational culture emphasizes human resource development and efficiency. It supports business growth and success in the international fast food restaurant market. This organizational culture has the following characteristics, arranged according to McDonald’s prioritization:

  1. People-centricity
  2. Individual learning
  3. Organizational learning
  4. Diversity and inclusion

People-Centricity. McDonald’s organizational culture prioritizes employees’ needs and development. The company’s Core Values and Standards of Business Conduct emphasize the importance of supporting people. This is understandable, considering that McDonald’s is a service business. To ensure support for people, the company’s organizational culture encourages employees to engage management to help improve processes and procedures.

Individual Learning. McDonald’s organizational culture highlights the importance of lifelong learning. The belief is that individual learning promotes productivity, quality, and business effectiveness. To facilitate individual learning, the company offers training and development opportunities through Hamburger University, internships, global mobility, and leadership development programs. These efforts ensure that McDonald’s maintains an organizational culture that motivates employees to keep learning.

Organizational Learning. McDonald’s organizational culture also supports organizational learning. The firm aims to use individual learning to develop organizational knowledge to push the business forward to new heights of performance. McDonald’s applies this feature of its organizational culture through policies, programs and meetings that encourage employee feedback and knowledge sharing.

Diversity and Inclusion. McDonald’s official human resource management policy states that diversity and inclusion are key factors in the firm’s organizational culture. McDonald’s recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in optimizing HR capabilities to deal with an increasingly diverse market. To ensure support for diversity and inclusion, McDonald’s organizational culture encourages employees, suppliers, franchisees, and customers to give their feedback and engage in meaningful conversations to improve the business.

McDonald’s Organizational Culture Advantages & Disadvantages

McDonald’s organizational culture has the advantage of enabling the company to improve quality of service through people-centricity, individual learning, and organizational learning. However, excellence and high quality are considerations not effectively covered in the corporate culture. While McDonald’s highlights learning and support for people in the organizational culture, there is no emphasis on excellence in individual performance. Thus, a possible improvement is for McDonald’s to emphasize excellence and high quality output in its organizational culture.

References
  • Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (2005). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Denison, D. R. (1990). Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness. John Wiley & Sons.
  • McDonald’s Corporation (2015). People.
  • McDonald’s Corporation (2015). Training and Development.
  • O’Reilly, C. A., Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of management journal34(3), 487-516.
  • Schein, E. H. (1984). Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture. Sloan management review25(2), 3-16.
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