McDonald’s Stakeholders: A CSR Analysis

McDonald’s stakeholders, interests and corporate social responsibility case study and analysis
The interior of a McDonald’s in Budapest, Hungary. McDonald’s corporate social responsibility initiatives address most stakeholders’ interests. (Photo: Public Domain)

McDonald’s stakeholders affect the firm, especially by way of consumer perception. The company has a variety of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to address its stakeholders’ interests. In theory, stakeholders affect business and are affected by business. This condition points to the importance of McDonald’s corporate social responsibility efforts as a way of optimizing the company’s position relative to the stakeholders. As the leading firm in the global fast food restaurant industry, McDonald’s has developed corporate social responsibility strategies to minimize the negative effects of stakeholders while satisfying their interests. McDonald’s success is partly based on its corporate social responsibility efforts.

McDonald’s corporate social responsibility policy and programs address most stakeholders to ensure prudent relationships with them. The company includes stakeholders’ interests in its CSR efforts, especially in programs for investors and communities.

McDonald’s Stakeholder Groups & CSR Initiatives

McDonald’s top stakeholders are its employees and customers. However, the firm’s corporate social responsibility status is also subject to the influence of other stakeholders. The following are McDonald’s main stakeholder groups, arranged according to significance:

  1. Employees
  2. Customers
  3. Investors
  4. Communities

Employees. McDonald’s prioritizes employees as its top stakeholder group. The interests of these stakeholders include career development and fair compensation. McDonald’s addresses these interests through a number of training and development programs. For example, the company maintains Hamburger University, which is a training facility for its personnel. McDonald’s also has a global mobility policy that supports leadership development. However, the company pays low wages that are almost down to the level of the legal minimum wage, even when employees keep demanding for higher wages. Thus, McDonald’s corporate social responsibility efforts only partially satisfy the interests of employees as a stakeholder group.

Customers. McDonald’s Corporation views its customers as its second-priority stakeholder group. The interests of these stakeholders include affordable and healthful food choices. McDonald’s corporate social responsibility initiatives ensure affordability of products through standardization and supply chain streamlining. However, the company is widely criticized for the health effects of its foods. In this regard, McDonald’s corporate social responsibility efforts only partially satisfy the interests of customers as a major stakeholder group.

Investors. McDonald’s strives to fulfill the demands of investors as a major stakeholder group in the business. The interests of these stakeholders include profitability and growing revenues. McDonald’s addresses these concerns through stable business operations. The company currently has a low but stable growth rate. The introduction of new products, such as through McCafé, also helps address such interests. Thus, McDonald’s corporate social responsibility efforts effectively satisfy the interests of investors as a major stakeholder group.

Communities. McDonald’s supports communities as one of its main stakeholder groups. The interests of these stakeholders include community development support and environmental programs. McDonald’s has sustainability and support programs for this stakeholder group. The Ronald McDonald House Charities provides financial support for families in need. The firm’s sourcing policy prioritizes sustainable production, such as in farms. Also, the McDonald’s Global Best of Green recognizes and rewards innovative environmental ideas and contributions. Thus, the company has a wide variety of corporate social responsibility programs to support these stakeholders. McDonald’s effectively satisfies the interests of communities as a stakeholder group.

McDonald’s CSR Performance in Addressing Stakeholders’ Interests

McDonald’s corporate social responsibility initiatives are considerable. They are effective in addressing the interests of the stakeholder groups of investors and communities. However, McDonald’s only partially satisfies the interests of employees and customers as major stakeholders in the business. Thus, it would be better for the company to improve its corporate social responsibility efforts. For example, McDonald’s can improve its compensation strategy to satisfy employees’ concerns about their wages. Product innovation for more healthful foods can also help satisfy the concerns of McDonald’s customers.

References
  • McDonald’s Corporation (2015). Sustainability.
  • McDonald’s Corporation (2015). Training and Development.
  • McDonald’s Corporation Form 10-K 2014.
  • Miles, M. P., Munilla, L. S., & Darroch, J. (2006). The role of strategic conversations with stakeholders in the formation of corporate social responsibility strategy. Journal of Business Ethics69(2), 195-205.
  • Peloza, J., & Shang, J. (2011). How can corporate social responsibility activities create value for stakeholders? A systematic review. Journal of the academy of Marketing Science39(1), 117-135.
  • Vos, J. F. (2003). Corporate social responsibility and the identification of stakeholders. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management,10(3), 141-152.
  • Werther Jr., W. B., & Chandler, D. (2010). Strategic corporate social responsibility: Stakeholders in a global environment. Sage Publications