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Research Proposal On The Ethical Codes Of Conduct In Business Of McDonalds

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Research proposal on the ethical codes of conduct in business of mcdonalds. 



1. Business Research Topic

The business research proposal has been presented to make discussion on an initial research about the ethical codes of conduct in modern organisations. Moral principles and ethical considerations are highly valuable for any business organisation operating in any market. Hence, the business research proposal will identify the significant value of ethical codes of conduct on the performance and productivity of an organisation for sustainable business objectives (Qureshi and Hassan, 2013). Invariably, the research will eventually structure how ethical codes of conduct can support behavioural and legal standards of a business enterprise. In this particular research paper, McDonalds has been selected as the organisation to commence the business research programme. By identifying the business environment of McDonalds, the research proposal will analyse the impact of ethical standards on the corporate social responsibility of the food chain retail business.

1.1 Aim and Objectives

The precise aim and objectives of the research proposal are to analyse critically the moral principles attached to organisational codes of conduct in an organisation such as McDonalds. As the food chain, retail business of McDonalds has outlets all across the global market; it is evident to create some ethical codes of conducts to be followed at the organisational level to improve the standard of performance (Seiam and Abo-Ahmeed, 2006). Apart from that, the proposal will identify how the moral codes of conducts have influenced the commitment of the organisation towards the target demographics featured around the globe. 

1.2 Problem Statement

Being one of the biggest food retail business chains of the global market, McDonalds has to deal with different people with diverse culture and ethics. Hence, for a multinational corporation such as McDonalds ethical codes of conducts should be mandatory to maintain a sustainable social contribution promoting corporate social responsibility (Thaler and Helmig, 2014). Therefore, in modern business perspective, sustainable maintenance of organisational ethical codes of conducts has been a problem for the modern business enterprises.

1.3 Purpose and Benefits

The research outcome will clearly identify how efficient, ethical codes of conducts can influence the organisational staffs for better performance and productivity to improve the social status of McDonalds. By understanding the current set of employee policy of the organisation, the significant discussion can be made to restructure the policies so that employees attached to the organisation can become more responsible by following ethical codes of conducts to maintain business sustainability (Smith and Colvin, 2016). In this way, the organisation can set highest standards in front of the consumers and the social public. 


2. Review of background Literature

Ethical Codes of Conducts are highly valuable in corporate governance to maintain significant duties and responsibilities within the workplace. The fundamental principles of the codes of conducts will determine how the organisational employees should perform for better productivity. Basic guidelines of regulations and ethics in business have promoted to keep the employees honest and loyal to the organisation (Black, 2013). Apart from that, there are some following discussions to be made in the case of implementing ethical codes of conducts.

2.1 Conformity with Laws and Regulations

The ethical codes of conducts must promote significant regulations and laws towards the employees so that they can become more responsible and work efficiently within the workplace. In a diverse workforce management, ethical codes of conduct can provide working uniformity and effective job responsibility to the organisational members (Messick and Tenbrunsel, 2006).  Conformity with rules, regulations and laws can promote highest workplace standards supportive for customer satisfaction. Such attributes can provide clear progress for business.

2.2 Conflicts of Interest

Global MNCs have mostly hired diversified workforce for efficient productivity. Hence, ethical codes of conducts will become mandatory for promoting corporate culture. McDonalds has identified the employee conflicts of interest within the workforce and has acted very wisely to provide personal benefits and compensation on the basis of ethical considerations (Kitchener, 2010). Employees have to follow the ethical codes strictly to maintain a good relationship with partners, suppliers, distributors and customers.  In this way, standard codes of conduct can reduce any conflicts of interest (Mohd.Salleh and Mohd.Saata, 2010).

2.3 Health and Safety

In order to protect employee health and safety, organisational ethical codes of conducts are significant. The principles of codes have strengthened the relationship within the workforce so that safe and secure health practices can be implemented (Mujtaba and Patel, 2011). By following the codes, employees will become more responsible towards the co-workers providing adequate support in case of any emergency circumstances. Also, workplace violence and other absurd situations can be avoided by promoting efficient, ethical principles among the workforce.

2.4 Discrimination and Harassment

The equal employment opportunity has been a crucial aspect of McDonalds’ Ethical Code of Conduct (Getz, 2010). The fundamental codes of ethics of the organisation do not tolerate any illegal discrimination or workplace harassment towards any staffs. In this way, the employees of the food chain business can concentrate on individual’s performance to get the best output for the organisation. Clean and formidable ethical codes have efficiently promoted high work culture to the employees so that their performance can be improved at a staggered pattern (Giorgini et al., 2015).

2.5 Responsibility towards the customers

For food retail business chain such as McDonalds, the customer relationship is one of the major business aspects. Therefore, high standards of ethical principles can endorse significant customer services so that responsibility towards the customers can be featured. In restaurant premises, the behaviour of the staffs can impress the customers so that the relationship with the consumers can be strengthened (Hill and Rapp, 2014). In this way, the reputation of the retail food business has been increased to a standard level.

2.6 Corporate Social Responsibility

By promoting standards of Ethical Codes of Conduct, McDonalds has created significant corporate social responsibility towards the society. By following the social trend, the staffs promote health and hygiene at the highest level. Apart from that, honesty and integrity in business have supported at the highest level to gain competitive advantage (Carroll and Gannon, 2007). Furthermore, the organisation influences its employees to participate in social charity programmes to support the community in different areas. Meanwhile, the Ethical Codes of Conduct has become an integral support system for the business functions (Kang, 2012). 


3. Research Questions

It can be seen through a brief study that McDonalds runs different charity programs to imply corporate social responsibilities in the organisational practices (Warhurst, 2011). There are several questions that arise while studying the ethical codes that must be followed by any business to seek success in a sustainable manner. The research questions that will be used to conduct the study are presented herein below:

  • How is the concept Corporate Social Responsibility is used by McDonalds to seek sustainable growth of business?
  • How can corporate social responsibility used to reduce discrepancy between employees and organisation?
  • Is the methods used by McDonalds to implement corporate social responsibility complies with the ethical codes and conducts?
  • What rules and regulations must be followed by McDonalds to seek sustainable growth of business?
  • Can sustainable approach of business be helpful in setting organisational peace and increasing the business of McDonalds?
  • What sort of changes is needed by McDonalds to seek success in the market by using ethical approaches of business? 

4. Research Methodology

Research methodology presents the research design that will be used to conduct the study. The study will be conducted using qualitative as well as quantitative research methods. The research methodology has been discussed herein below:

  • Qualitative research: The study mainly focuses on critical literature review using qualitative research methods that will be done using the articles and studies of previous authors. The literature review will be used to identify the research questions and further methodology that can be used to conduct the primary study. The qualitative analysis will also be used to present the findings in a thematic manner.
  • Quantitative research: Secondly, the research focuses on conducting primary study using the feedbacks of customers and employees of McDonalds in the local market (Lohaus, 2006). Furthermore, the quantitative analysis will be conducted using statistical and mathematical tools such as SPSS to conduct different analysis will the variables. The statistical analysis will be used to judge the reliability of the collected data.
  • Data Sampling: It is difficult to consider the entire population because of the limitation of the research. Hence, a purposive sampling technique will be used to choose the prior literatures that are used for the descriptive study. It helps to choose the literatures according to the needs of the study. In order to sample the survey participants, a random sampling technique will be used in which every third customer or employee of the company will be chosen for the interview and survey process to provide their feedback. 

5. Project Plan

Time is the major limitation of a research paper. Hence, it is important to plan the research activities according to the given time to complete the paper within the deadline. A Gantt chart has been presented below showing the activities schedule of the business research study.

Gantt Chart


















Research Proposal

Topic Selection















Evaluation of secondary information






Prepare research proposal





Research proposal Submission















Literature Review

Groundwork of literature















Literature review submission





Research Methodology

Evaluation of research methodology















Prepare interview process





Data collection & analysis report submission















Final Research Report

Primary data collection















Data Analysis and evaluation





Contrasting findings





Drawing discussion





Prepare recommendations and conclusions




Submission of Final Business Research Thesis















6. Research Process

The first stage of the research paper begins with the choice of the research topic. In this research, the Ethical Codes of Conduct in Business of McDonalds has been chosen as a topic for further study. After choosing the topic a brief study has been made on prior literatures on ethical practices and McDonald’s way of business. The research questions are prepared and methodologies are decided to prepare a research proposal. Further a deeper literature review will be conducted studying different articles, books, company reports and internet sources. The literature review will helps to develop better understanding of the research questions and develop proper methodology for conducting further study.

After the preparation of the data collection and analysis techniques, the data will be collected from the primary sources in terms of interviews and surveys. The collected data will be converted into variables to conduct further analysis. Here comes the interpretation and analysis of the data that will be done using qualitative and quantitative tools (Crawford, 2012). The results and findings of the study will be presented in graphical, statistical and tabular format, along with descriptive discussion to recommended necessary policy changes for the organisation. All this information will be transcriptive in a report to submit the final business research report by the given deadline.

7. Data Collection and Analysis

Data collection and analysis has been identified as an important and most complicated activity of a research study. It is important to collect the data appropriately to increase the database for the research. There are two different types of data collection method that will be used to conduct the research. The first is the collection of data from the primary sources, in which the data will be collected from the customers and employees of McDonalds to observe the current overview of the organisation and the market (Williams, 2010). A survey will be conducted with the help of questionnaires to collect the feedback of the employees and customers of the company and observe what they think about the CSR and ethical codes of McDonalds. Furthermore, the secondary data collection method will be used to collect data from newspaper articles, journal articles, books, government reports, company reports and internet sources. The secondary data will be used to conduct a literature review to evaluate the theories and apply them in real world business of McDonalds. SPSS tool will be used to analyse the primary data and present them in the results and findings section in the form of graphs, tables and calculations. 


8. Expected Research Outcomes

It is already known that the main objective of the paper is to analyse the different rules and regulations that must be considered while preparing the corporate social responsibility policies of McDonalds, several ethical codes and conducts will b evaluated. Furthermore, it is expected that the study will help to develop the policies to improve the sales of the organisation. The CSR policies will further improve the brand image and reputation of McDonalds. Along with that, the CSR policies will help the McDonalds to reduce the conflicts with the employees and maintain the legal rules and obligations to carry on ethical business operations (Campbell and Scott, 2011). The research will help in improving the current practices of McDonalds and help the company to have sustainable growth of business.

9. Ethical Checklist

In this research study programme, there are some significant limitations to be followed to provide a better outcome of the events. Moreover, the research study must confirm that no human being can be impacted emotionally or physically in an adverse way during the ongoing research. Along with that, some of the rules and regulation checklists must be maintained in conducting the research study. For further consideration, the ethics checklist has been attached in Appendix 1. 



Black, R. (2013). Ethical Codes in Humanitarian Emergencies: From Practice to Research?. Disasters, 27(2), pp.95-108.

Campbell, S. and Scott, J. (2011). Process of conducting qualitative research. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), pp.4-6.

Carroll, S. and Gannon, M. (2007). Ethical dimensions of international management. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Crawford, S. (2012). Evaluation of Web Survey Data Collection Systems. Field Methods, 14(3), pp.307-321.

Getz, K. (2010). International codes of conduct: An analysis of ethical reasoning. J Bus Ethics, 9(7), pp.567-577.

Giorgini, V., Mecca, J., Gibson, C., Medeiros, K., Mumford, M., Connelly, S. and Devenport, L. (2015). Researcher Perceptions of Ethical Guidelines and Codes of Conduct. Accountability in Research, 22(3), pp.123-138.

Hill, R. and Rapp, J. (2014). Codes of Ethical Conduct: A Bottom-Up Approach. J Bus Ethics, 123(4), pp.621-630.

Kang, J. (2012). The relationship between corporate diversification and corporate social performance.Strat. Mgmt. J., 34(1), pp.94-109.

Kitchener, K. (2010). Foundations of ethical practice, research, and teaching in psychology. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Lohaus, A. (2006). Standardizations in methods of data collection: Adverse effects on reliability?.Australian Psychologist, 21(2), pp.241-251.

Messick, D. and Tenbrunsel, A. (2006). Codes of conduct. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Mohd.Salleh, N. and Mohd.Saata, R. (2010). Ethical codes of conduct and practices using human subjects. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, pp.2021-2025.

Mujtaba, B. and Patel, B. (2011). McDonalds Success Strategy And Global Expansion Through Customer And Brand Loyalty. Journal of Business Case Studies (JBCS), 3(3), p.55.

Qureshi, A. and Hassan, M. (2013). Impact of performance management on the organisational performance: An analytical investigation of the business model of McDonalds. IJAREMS, 2(5).

Seiam, W. and Abo-Ahmeed, M. (2006). The Extent of the Auditor's Compliance in Jordan with the Ethical Codes of Professional Conduct. eco, 20(2), pp.199-248.

Smith, K. and Colvin, L. (2016). Creating and Implementing Codes of Ethical Conduct. Employment Relations Today, 43(1), pp.95-101.

Thaler, J. and Helmig, B. (2014). The Impact of Codes of Conduct and Ethical Leadership on Public Employees' Attitudes and Behaviors. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(1), pp.16180-16180.

Warhurst, A. (2011). Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Social Investment. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2001(1), pp.57-73.

Williams, O. (2010). Global codes of conduct. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.


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