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Standards and Ethics of McDonald’s Essay

A code of conduct and ethics is conducive to running any business. In promoting these positive actions through out the company they should be clear and concise and include all people involved throughout the entire company. These policies should have a clear view on how to treat your customers or clients in a respectful manner and how to deal with your co workers and customers in an ethical and legal way. McDonald’s Corporation, like most other businesses has a code of ethics and conduct policy.

These two together compose what employees or officers are generally expected to follow with respects to how the treat the public and each other. McDonald’s policy seems to be different than most of the policies one would expect. First of all there are different policies for different people within this corporation. The Chief Executive Officer and Senior Financial officers are expected to follow a different set of policies than the regular employees that you would encounter upon entering a McDonald’s.

Of course, one of their policies is to act in the best interest of the company. In researching the code of ethics and conduct policies for these two main people of the corporation, the majority of what they are required to adhere to are more of the Standards of Business Conduct instead of ethics. The ethics section is quite limited, limited to five lines and is stated as: (McDonald’s Corporation Financial Officer Code of Ethics-March 22, 2006)

“As the [specify office] of McDonald’s Corporation (the “Company”), I acknowledge that the Company is committed to honesty and ethical conduct in all areas of its business and that officers with responsibility for the conduct or supervision of the Company’s financial affairs play a special role in preserving and protecting shareholders’ interests. ” The majority of the policy seems to be associated with personal and professional matters. It gives one the feeling of the possibility of past issues on a personal level, within the corporate head.

Another issue that seemed to be awkwardly inserted was the communication factor of sharing with the company. Applicable law was mentioned but there is no law that governs basic communication, at least not in the United States. Promoting ethical behavior of those under these key people was listed as part of the ethics code yet there is few ethics in the policy altogether so it leaves one to wonder what ethics specifically need or are being desired to be promoted. This policy mainly looks to belong within the code of conduct rather than be called ethics.

What I do not see, even after wandering through the handbook for all employees is much of anything on ethics. The employee hand book speaks of standard conduct and values and how to treat the customers with the basic form of respect and while that would seem like it should be enough it doesn’t cover the humanity of right and wrong. To take an objective look through not only the handbook but through the pages of responsibility of the corporate department heads, McDonald’s concern doesn’t seem to lie in the majority when it comes to ethics but in the greed factor of how to best run the business for money only.

It is understood that in order to run a business with any success that ethics are definitely to be a part of it otherwise how would the business survive? It is an odd policy as there almost isn’t one; it seems to be based upon an action of the positive and not on the honesty factor. I was quite surprised to find the limited lack of ethics in either sets of policies and further surprised to find that the regular employee that you meet everyday doesn’t have a policy to sign as do the corporate employees or officers.

Something else that was quite amiss was the lack of any mention of discriminatory behaviors. Nothing was mentioned anywhere! To some people, this company may look cold and uncaring, it does to me. They seem to have little regard for anyone in a real sense. Their words feel more as if they are a cover for a greedy disposition and in an underlying tone, seems less than good ethics to me. An employee who is looking for a job will not see the psychology behind what is or isn’t there or if they do see it they will choose not to say anything as they are looking for employment.

Maybe in the end this explains the high turnover rate at many individual stores, up to 300% (Jobless Rate-http://www. jobwerx. com/HR/jobless_rate. html) and the lack of loyalty is a direct result of this. Furthermore the new thing that McDonald’s is doing to help their employees is to buy them new uniforms, ones that are more comfortable and have a more casual appearance but in reality this doesn’t help the employees as much as it does to attract customers.

It is my belief after this, that despite the Ronald McDonald House and the few times of donating to hurricane or earthquake victims that McDonald’s needs a severe reorganization as to how to better suit their employees as well as a complete policy to include a good ethics and discriminatory regulation. Works Cited McDonald’s Corporation Financial Officer Code of Ethics. March 22, 2006 http://www. mcdonalds. com/corp/invest/gov/officer_ethics. html Jobless Rate. (nd) http://www. jobwerx. com/HR/jobless_rate. html


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