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Part A

Proceed to a critical assessment of the Corporate Social Responsibility Report of McDonalds. In you analysis, you should critically examine the ethical environment in which McDonalds operates and consider the impact this has upon its business behaviour and performance.

Part B

As Sally Bibb suggests, as a manager you have a double role. The first is to ensure that you behave ethically yourself (‘bosses have more influence that they often realize in shaping others’ behavior as people tend to consciously or unconsciously copy the boss’). The other role is that managers are responsible for making for making sure that those they manage do the right thing too. One way, moreover, to achieve that those they manage do the right thing, is through developing and introducing to employees a Code of Conduct (for more on Code of Conduct see Topic 1). In the same line of thought, this part of the assignment requires you to assume the role of a manager and develop a Code of Conduct for an organization of your Choice. This Organization may be a company you worked for in the past, or even the institution to which you are studying. In developing your Code of Conduct, you should demonstrate a critical awareness of real ethical issues that modern work places face.

Analyzing McDonald's CSR initiatives

Business ethics refers to set of norms, social rules and policies that provides the right direction to business by differentiating between right and wrong practices (De George, 2011). The business ethics assists management to take the right decision in context of different business activities including supply chain, corporate social responsibility, employment and general business operation (Weiss, 2014). In this context, the present report critically analyzes the ethical practices adopted by the food brand McDonald’s through analyzing its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) with the deep evaluation of the CSR report. Further, for this purpose, different CSR activities of McDonald's have been identified with critical evaluation of different practices including reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, environmental sustainability, CSR in education, etc. Besides this, , a code of conduct has been explained by considering the National milling company of Guyana Inc. In this regard, ethical issues faced by modern businesses in term of misuse of company’s time, violation of internet policy of company and harassment of employees, etc. are identified and analyzed.

McDonald’s is an American company which deals in fast food products. The company is operating the business from last 78 years in the United States and several other nations. McDonald's has been covered a common area of 100 countries along with 36,900 outlets as per the report of 2016.Moreover, the company is dealing with a wide variety of products such as Chicken, Hamburgers, Soft drinks, Coffee, Desserts and Breakfast, etc. With its constant efforts of being successful international business, the revenue of the business by the financial year 2017 is around $22.820 billion (McDonald’s, 2018). Further, McDonald’s employs approximate 2,35,000 who assists business in delivering quality products and services to number of buyers. Being international business, company is involved in several CSR initiatives through which interest of different stakeholders is considered. Also, the sustainability initiatives of the business facilitate in increasing brand image and competitive edge of the business (McDonald’s, 2018).  

McDonald’s performs different CSR activities to maintain the ethical environment at global level. Further, the company is focused towards different issues including reduction in greenhouse emissions, sustainable environment and CSR in education, etc. which helps in increasing its sustainability (Scribed Inc., 2018; McDonald’s, 2015).

CSR activities are helpful to develop a sustainable environment through valuing the stakeholders. According to the CSR report of 2017, it has been assessed that McDonald’s is focusing to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions occurred through transportation and manufacturing restaurants. In this context, company targets to reduce CO2 emission by 36% by the end of the year 2030 due to global changes in climate. Further, the company has chosen to reduce the rate of emissions intensity to 31% towards suppliers by 2030 (CSRwire, 2018). In this context, Frenken and Kiersch (2011) asserted that a reduction in greenhouse emission has significant contribution to improve environmental performance through the protection of biodiversity as well as freshwater resources, etc. It would be helpful for corporation to ensure safety of environment and accordingly meet the expectations of different stakeholders including general public, government, suppliers and customers. In this context, Zhang et al. (2012) argued that greenhouse emission is not an easy task for the companies even if they are operating at international level because, for the upgradation, organizations require skilled and cooperative workers to expand the work culture and sustainable environment.

Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

The pressure of protecting environment is increasing for McDonald’s because of increasing population and awareness of customers towards the environmental factors. On the contrary, Watson et al. (2011) asserted that the reduction in greenhouse gas emission would provide a systematic environmental protection which also helps in recycling the waste and promote the healthy environment. Moreover, it can be suitable for companies to maintain a sustainable as well as equal food quality at all global level stores. By considering this, the concept of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will grow the targets and business of McDonald's without interruption of emissions in the food processor. Further, to meet the climatic challenges and minimize the ratio of emissions, McDonald's is focusing on plantation around 3.8 billion trees on the sides of the road. Furthermore, for controlling the carbons, the company is promoting the renewal of energy resources as well as use the resources efficiently and minimization of waste by recycling (CSRwire, 2018). Therefore, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of McDonald’s offers the sustainable environment in the organization which would also be supportive in obtaining the competitive edge of the business.

McDonald's is continuously emphasizing on environmental sustainability through improving social responsibility along with environmental practices. It is helpful to achieve the long-term objectives and sustainability in the company; hence, it has benefits for the respective company as well as the communities in which the McDonald’s serves (McDonald’s Corporation, 2018.). In this context, Ageron, Gunasekaran and Spalanzani (2012) stated that sustainable business had become a new aspect for the food industry in the current environment because the government has provided important surveillance to social responsibility. Moreover, attention has also been given to profit and non-profit organizations for the environmental and sustainable supply chain management. Similarly, Soebandrija (2017) asserted that sustainable industrial system and green innovations have the central participation in sustainability as well as improvement of the company. This indicates that environmental sustainability is highly required in the cotemporary business environment through which corporation ensure to increase the competitive edge by meeting the expectations of different stakeholders.

Sustainability creates a perspective for the company to develop competitive advantages and market sustainability for the organization. However, Hueting (2010) argued that the maintenance of viability demanded a considerable amount of expenses for the implementation of innovative systems, machinery and equipment for the green aspects of the company. However, it develops the long-term benefits for the company in the form of loyal customers, stakeholders and sustainable environment in the global market. Similarly, McDonald’s treat its customers in the right manner by meeting their requirement related to quality products and services. Thus, it reflects that environmental sustainability generates the chances of competitiveness in the international market and maintains better relations with suppliers by keeping sustainable supply chain management as well as green innovations.

Sustainable industrial practices

McDonald’s has announced a CSR and sustainable plan for the upcoming years of 2020 by including sustainable beef production and emphasizing on purchase of beef from sustainable sources only. Also, company focuses on the fiber-based packaging merely from the certified sources of McDonald’s which facilitates to improve the quality and sustainability in the supply chain (CSRwire, 2018). In this context, Wright and Bennett (2011) stated that CSR activities create the positive image of the business at the local as well as national level as it shows the contribution of the business in the social development. By retaining a close-relations, the company would be able to produce the conventional products of customers and earn more profits by focusing on the quality standards of the business. However, Asongu (2007) argued that it is not necessary to perform the CSR activities for the growth of the company; hence, growth can be achieved through best suitable solutions and planning for the business of free market system. On the contrary, Du, Bhattacharya and Sen (2010) asserted in favor of CSR, that it offers an opportunity to the business-like long term as well as enlightened self-interest to remains engaged with social responsibility. It indicates that CSR activities has a participation in the success of the business and creates a self and collaborative interest in the company. Moreover, buyers, employees and stakeholders can also be benefited because it focuses on active packaging, quality measurements and suitable solutions for the sustainability of the business.  

McDonald's has decided to give a scholarship to the Hispanic American commitment to educational resources to help the Hispanic students. The company offers $1,00,000 as a scholarship for the further study of helpless students because they are capable of reverting the better outcomes to the education industry. Here, McDonald's is being socially responsible by contributing towards growth of education sector and shaping the positive mind set of different stakeholders towards the business (CSRwire, 2018). In this regard, Nijhof and Jeurissen (2010) mentioned that CSR activities affect the employee’s performance, level of job satisfaction and retention rate because CSR develops an identity of the company in the international market and has a positive impact on the success of a business. Similarly, Saeidi et al. (2015) stated that CSR is helpful to generate more profits from the public by sacrificing some other benefits. It has been evidenced in the McDonald’s case because with its constant contribution towards the environment company is continuously operating across different nations (McDonald’s Corporation, 2018). Also, the customers have keen interest towards the specific food range of the McDonald’s and liking the brand to a great extent. Additionally, Gössling and Vocht (2007) asserted that in the absence of CSR functionalities, the organizations could not apply the strict measures for the business because these businesses are not obliged to be ethical. In this context, to maintain collaboration with ethical standards, McDonald's dealing with the social connections by offering different types of student’s scholarships. On the other hand, conducting a charity program in honor of the moms at international Mother’s Day through celebrity friends of Ronald McDonald’s charity house and developing the business facilitates corporation to be social and ethical responsible (CSRwire, 2018). Hence, it shows that McDonald’s engaged in a variety of CSR activities to attract the customers, stakeholders and other people towards the company because CSR is an additional activity to show the work culture of the organization. Further, CSR develops a strong belief in the consumers that particular company is reliable and valuable to derive the quality services.

McDonald's CSR initiatives in education

National milling company of Guyana Inc. is a food and beverages company which is located at water street, Agricola, Georgetown, Guyana. The company is a subsidiary of Seaboard Corporation which is a US-based organization (National milling company of Guyana Inc., 2017). As a designation of general manager, the manager has been worked in Guyana Inc. for the last three years along with possessing a double role in the organization. Moreover, the first role was that the manager behaves ethically and shape the employee's behavior realistically. On the other hand, the manager was responsible for employee’s deed that what they all are doing, all things are suitable for the organization and these scenarios have been created by introducing a code of conduct to workers. Therefore, the respective company has been selected for the development of an ethical environment and considering the code of conduct to influence the workforce for ethical activities.

Code of conduct is a set of rules and regulations which shape the specific type of behaviour among employees associated with the business. It may cover social responsibilities, practices, norms and religious activities for an individual or a group of people as well as organizations (Erwin, 2011). In this context, a code of conduct includes the regulations of the company in use of information, assets, way of dealing with shareholders of the organization. For instance, Coca-Cola company has incorporated the core values in the code of conduct as disciplinary actions, the collaboration of additional resources for the welfare of employees. By considering this, Coca-Cola company has been developed the business through a strong commitment to business standards as well as ethical codes (Coca-Cola HBC’s company, 2018).

As a general manager of National milling company of Guyana Inc., a systematic and understandable code of conduct has been prepared for the involvement and to influence the employees by considering the ethical issues of modern workplaces. At this juncture, the double role of manager has been explained as follows-

The manager would strictly follow the norms that the employees of the company will remain honest towards the clients so as to create the trustworthy relationship. In this context, the National milling company of Guyana Inc.  faces some ethical issues regarding the customers due to financial position. For instance, if a client of the respective company is dealing with the financial crisis; however, the client is procuring a specific range of products from Guyana Inc. at a higher rate. Nonetheless, the client has an opportunity to buy the products from other subsidiaries in the competitive marketplace (Crane and Matten, 2016). In this regard, the manager of the company has a right to inform the client regarding the price scenario to maintain strong relations by considering the ethical behavior. Here, the manager has a chance to breach the code of conduct for own personal greed but his honesty and compliance of code of conduct would be effective to ensure that workforce get the right direction. Also, the continuous assessment of employees’ work and data collected from other customers would be helpful in getting the insight regarding the attitude of being ethically responsible employees.

Critically evaluating McDonald's CSR practices

In modern workplaces, it has been seen that most of the employees in the organizations misuse the company time in other circumstances and personal working which shows an unethical behavior. By keeping in mind this issue, the manager of Guyana Inc. can set standards regarding the punishment for such employees. However, they will be communicated regarding the organizational code of conduct.  Moreover, the additional training can be provided in that particular period so that vacant time can be utilized as well as unethical behavior cannot take place in the employees of the company (Tota and Shehu, 2012). In this context, manager of National mining company of Guyana Inc. can play a role of ethical behavior in the organization by engaging self in the different task so that extra vacant time can be used in the completion of further business-related activities instead of personal greed. However, workers being ethical at workplace would be rewarded and their efforts will be communicated in the organization. This facilitates to derive the valid outcome for the corporation. In this regard, Mason (2017) stated that code of conduct sets the boundary for workforce to be ethical or for misconduct.. Hence, the manager of a respective company can deal with this ethical issues by stating a policy that if any employees have been found to engage with unethical behavior and personal business activities during the company timing then that employee would be considered as a victim for the company and can be retrenched from the company on the spot.

In the current business era, violation of internet policy of companies is a significant unethical aspect which tends to affect the business performance to a great extent. The company allows the employees to use the internet facilities for the business purpose activities; however, the employees use them to accessing the Facebook, personal mail account and other social media sites which is unethical behavior since it increases the chances of data theft (Siponen and Vance, 2010). In this regard, Umphress, Bingham and Mitchell (2010) asserted that unethical behavior in the organization degrades the competitive edge of the business by offering an opportunity for competitors to use the theft data of the business. By considering this issue, the manager of National milling company of Guyana Inc. can introduce an internet policy related to code of conduct that internet access would be given only for the business information and transactions. No one would be allowed to use the internet for personalization; hence, if an employee is found using the internet facilities for the personal use then he may be punished or debarred.  

National milling company of Guyana Inc. code of conduct

Most of the organizations in modern businesses are dealing with the unethical behavior as harassment of lower-level employees by superiors and harassing the female employees by male candidates which indicates the ethically wrong. However, affected people try to ignore the issue because of fear of losing the job. . Also, they get warning from their senior workers which tends to affect their confidence level and may lose their interest at workplace  (American city business journals, 2018). This puts workforce in the ethical dilemma that whether they should complaint about such cases or not. However, Boyd (2010) argued that the ethical dilemma in the organization can be sorted out by allowing a specific language to convey and report against the harassing behavior; although that communicator would not be punished to take the step against the harasser. Hence, this is the common ethical issue in the current business era but to deal with this unfair challenge, the manager of National milling company of Guyana Inc. can set strict policies again such people so they cannot create mess at the workplace.  Thus, it can be a practical approach for the company because by including the new standard regarding the safety of employees would create a strong identity in the mind of employees and they can remain engaged for an extended period.

Conclusion

By the report of part A, it has been found that McDonald’s is performing the different CSR activities to maintain the brand image in the consumers and has a positive impact on the business activities. It has been concluded that by considering the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as a CSR activity can develop a chance to minimize the waste and maximize the living standard of employees. On the other hand, CSR functionalities in the field of education raises awareness among students regarding the existence of the McDonald's and a significant contribution in the education of Hispanic students. Apart from this, from Part B, it has been summarized that most of the organizations in modern businesses face the issues related to harassment of workers and violation of internal policies. Moreover, it can also be concluded that the company should set the strict code of conduct and comply with the same so as to ensure ethical operation of the business with the increased rate of return.

References

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