Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Organizational Strategy and Change Essay

John Kotter in his book explained the significance of change intervention in any organization or business. According to him, adopting change has been the trend in our society for two decades now though sometimes traumatic; the result would be improved quality of products and services, new opportunities for growth and increase productivity (Kotter, p. 3). He stressed the significance of change management because there are many benefits that a company can get from it. He emphasized that an organization finds help in adapting to shifting conditions and have improved competitive mechanics over other competitors (p. ). However, if an organization is passive to change may face the adverse effects which according to Kotter are described as being pessimistic and suspicious of others who are pushing for transformation (p. 17); hence, this company will end up incompetent. A good example of a company that endorsed change after being attacked with bad publicity was McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a food chain that is leading in the global market; it serves more than 100 countries having about 30,000 restaurants all over the world. This company has started as the first food service retailer that offers informal eating-out market, which eventually paved the way for this kind of business. According to Eric Schlosser, at the growth of fast food chains in America, American society has gone tremendous change specially in the lifestyle and values of the American people; considering the fact that much money has been spent in fast food than in education. In the same way, due to this trend, many women and mothers are working with the convenience of food preparation since a family spent their meal at restaurants and fast food chains (p. ). With this trend, McDonald is considered as the largest purchaser of beef, pork and potatoes; it is also the largest owner of retail property according to Schlosser (p. 4). After many years of existence, Ray Kroc had continued to reinvent the image of the restaurant image by placing the smiling Ronald McDonald at restaurant and by creating a friendly environment around the area. However, despite of having a good reputation and being a fast growing business, McDonald’s had suffered enormous bad publicity from different sources. The first one was the libel case filed by the Greenpeace employees in 1990 and the second one was a documentary film written, directed and performed by Morgan Spurlock entitled â€Å"Super Size Me† in 2004. The appearance of these controversies had moved the McDonald’s Company to reshape their culture and focus. The libel case filed against McDonald was considered the longest libel case in the history of English that lasted in 314 days in 1990. The two Greenpeace employees issued many articles saying that McDonald’s prepared food are environmentally hazardous and physically harmful to the consumers. The libel suit also presented issues relating to discrimination to its employees, the company was responsible for cruelty to some of its animals used as foods, and children are exploited for using them in television campaign. This publicity was proven true after the US Congress made an investigation about the hearsay. In their report as discussed by Schlosser in his book, explained that there was presence of E-Coli in some of their food due to unclean surroundings and contaminated and/or lethal meat which they sold to many children (p. ), since children are their number one patronage. The â€Å"Super Size Me† ads which was produced and experimented by Spurlock himself for one month was a concrete explanation why McDonald’s foods are not good for the body. According to Thom and Geiger, Spurlock had gained twenty-five pounds after one month of eating all McDonald’s food which caused him to â€Å"suffer from fatigue, headaches, and indigestion; his blood sugar skyrocketed, his liver filled with fat, his cholesterol went off the charts, and his blood pressure was unmanageable† (p. 98). This experiment has just proven that fast foods are not healthy according to Thom and Geiger (p. 199); this has alarmed the whole America and started blaming fast food for unhealthy body and began to fight a war against obesity. The next question is: â€Å"What is the response of McDonald’s to this issue? † Galloway and Kwanash-Aidoo had described clearly the response made by the company to this very intriguing issue. At first, McDonald’s through its spokespeople did not make any comment saying that they have not seen the film yet. However, later, they told the press that the movie is just a distortion of reality. Kapica and Coffing (spokepersons) have said that the issue of obesity is a personal responsibility not theirs, since it is the person’s choice what they want to eat (p. 70). Nevertheless, in March after twelve weeks since the appearance of the ads, McDonald’s had announced that they would phase the super-sizing option in their restaurants and they introduced the â€Å"Happy Meals† with salad and pedometers (Galloway and Kwanash-Aidoo, p. 71). Yet, the story did not end there until the issue became national. For this reason, McDonald’s made a lot of public relation campaign just to offset the issue. Macmillan and McGrath has stated in their book that after that issue, McDonald’s and other fast food chains has introduced couple of lower fat options, including a Salad Shaker (with nonfat dressing), a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait (p. 160). The documentary film has helped American people to become health conscious people and industry to consider social responsibility. Despite the company’s attempt to change the food offerings, the issue continued that required crisis management approach. McDonald’s in Australia as well as in America used a proactive approach which allowed McDonald’s a fair hearing in the court of public opinion. This approach made the company showcased their management and the new direction that McDonald had initiated in order to minimize the impact of the movie. The result of the approach was very effective because they were able to â€Å"weaken and shorten the life-cycle of the issue† according to Galloway and Kwanash-Aidoo (p. 5). To sustain its campaign, in February 7, 2007, the McDonalds Australia has joined the foundation and they had come up with nine products with approval of the Heart Foundation Tick. Heart Foundation Tick is a program aiming to encourage food producing companies all over the world to espouse healthy and nutritious food to eliminate heart problem caused by food intake. The Australian Sports Medicine Federation explained what the Heart Foundation Tick is. According to them, this is a program that challenges all food companies since 1989 to produce healthier products to provide consumers enough choices of healthier foods available on shelves of the supermarkets or restaurants. And every company that responds to the challenge must generate or produce foods that conform to the strict standards of the organization. Specifically, the foods are to be tested for some chemical contents that are harmful to the body before they are given endorsement; the foods should not contain the following ingredients: saturated fat, Trans fat, salt and kilojoules. Once passed the quality, the company will be given the Heart Foundation Tick with corresponding logo that appears on the label of the product. Currently, based on the report released in 2006, McDonald’s restaurants all over the world serve its customer with 100% pure USDA inspected beef with neither no fillers nor additives, whitefish from the Pacific Ocean and Baltic and North Seas, vegetables and fruits are farm-fresh delivered on regular basis (Fact Sheet about McDonald’s). Remarkably, McDonald Company had enforced strategic actions in order to counteract bad publicity and maintain their status quo. In the report made by William Greider in a newspaper published online in July 2003 said that the company had taken a strong political will to advise its meat suppliers to stop using growth-stimulating antibiotics that are dangerous to human health. By this warning, the company would not be willing to purchase the said products; in the statement made by McDonald’s director, he said, â€Å"we would be a catalyst for change industry wide. This very significant affirmation from the company was a response to the controversy that thrown on them and to the call of social responsibility. During this crucial situation, it is very important that a company is always ready to initiate change. McDonald’s action for change is very critical but very essential because it turned the company upside down, and it was successful; McDonald’s remained as the number one fast food chain in the world. To categorize the perspective, the change is institutional and contingency; institutional because it is a change that considers the external forces such as social, governmental, legal and cultural. It is a contingency perspective because the top management must initiate the change that focuses on the most directly affected by the circumstances. McCalman once said, â€Å"Change is an ongoing process† (p. 8).

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