The Change Management Plan For McDonalds


McDonald's came into existence in the year 1940 when two brothers Mac and Dick applied their mind in opening a series of world class restaurants all over the world. The two brothers came up with new and innovative ideas to attract a large base of customers. The restaurant focused on giving limited food items with fast services, and at a reasonable price, which in the future could increase their market. Their dream turned into a reality and today, McDonald's is doing exceptionally well in its field by providing the customers with quality products. The mission of the company is to provide quality service, hygiene and value, and the customers, while leaving the restaurant, should have a smile on their face (A brief history of McDonald's).

The operations of McDonald's began when Ray Kroc opened its first restaurant under McDonald's corporation in USA in 1955. With the passage of time, McDonald's achieved great heights. The business of McDonald's expanded globally in 1967 when the restaurant was opened in different parts of the world like Canada, Puerto Rico, etc. Today, it has become a leader in the fast food industry world wide. The main aim of the company is to understand the needs of the customers and provide them with the best services. This has been done by the company by applying strict standards of food and service quality.

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McDonald's is operating at a global level, and giving best services to the customers has helped the company in retaining them as the customers do not face problem with the services and quality given by McDonald's. The major competitors of the corporation are Burger King, Yum Brand, KFC and Wendy's International Inc. McDonald's has always given its customers prompt services and have paid due attention to their desired needs. Thus, it is working well in its field by fulfilling all the desired objectives of the customers in the best possible manner (Bloemer, Ruyter & Wetzels, 1999).

Force Field analysis carries a major importance in the organization as it is a useful technique of analyzing all the forces, which are working in favor or against the organization. In other words, it is a specialized method of measuring the pros and cons of the company. The force field analysis, if done in a proper manner, can help the company in strengthening the forces, which support a decision and minimize the errors, which have a negative impact on the company. With the help of this analysis, the company can decide whether the project designed in feasible or not. Force field analysis helps in identifying those changes, which hamper the growth of the organization and focuses on improving the same (Force Field Analysis, 2010).

Forces for Change:

Intense Competition: There is a huge competition in the fast food chain company. In a highly competitive world, McDonald's needs to have a pace with its competitors and develop new products, which are behind the reach of its competitors. McDonald's, in order to have an edge over its rival companies, should make such products, which have quality and are affordable to the masses. Competition is becoming fierce and there is a need that new products should be launched in the market by the company, which makes the company remain on top with the maximum profit.

Customers: The taste of the customers keeps on changing. There is a need that the taste and preferences of the customers should be understood by McDonald's so that they are retained in the organization and do not shift to the competitor companies. New changes in the product should be brought so that the customers do not get bored having the same meal over and over again. It is a fact that the customers are the king of the market and their needs should be satisfied in the best possible manner. This will help the company in attracting a large number of customers towards itself.

Technology: Technology plays an important role in a fast food restaurant. Latest and innovative tools should be applied by McDonald's so that they are able to give product to the customers. Obsolete product will not only hamper the growth of the organization, but the company can lose its customers in the coming time. Obsolete use of machines will make workforce disturbed and they will not carry out their work with enthusiasm and zeal. Hence, the company should always use latest technological tools, which will prove beneficial for the organization in the long run (Carter, Ulrich and Goldsmith, 2005).

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Health consciousness among the customers: Today's customers have become health conscious and they want that the product provides them with energy, rather than giving them any kind of suffering. As McDonald's is a fast food chain company, its priority is providing the best meal to the customers by including those ingredients, which do not affect the health of the patrons. If the company focuses on this aspect, more loyal customers will get attracted towards the organization as they will come to know that the company takes care of its customer's health in the best manner.

Forces against change:

Cost of Implementation: Implementing a change in the organization is not an easy task. An organization having a size as McDonald’s would find difficulties in implementing a change since it has to be done uniformly over a wide area. The large size of McDonald's is a major deterrent of implementing the change management process.

Time Requirement: The implementation of change in McDonald’s would consume a lot of time since it is spread to many locations. Large time implies that it would require manpower as well as capital to make the change for a long time.

Management Support: Concern of the management plays an important role in the organization. At times, it is seen that management does not provide its support for implementing new methods in the organization. They are against adopting any kind of new method in their workplace. This not only hampers the overall growth of the organization, but the strategic objectives of the company are also not achieved due to this.

Organization Dynamics of McDonald's:

As already stated above, McDonald's is one of the largest food service providers, which satisfies the needs of the customers globally. It is currently operating in more than 30,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries. The company has a team of skilled and experienced managers, which have helped in making the company a recognized brand name all over the world. Excellent operating system and global infrastructure make the culture of McDonald's strong and sound. The managers and assistant managers get their training from Hamburger University so that they can provide best quality, service, convenience and value to the patrons. The corporate culture of McDonald's has a shared value system, which helps in forming the company decisions (Kincheloe, 2002).

Training is given to around 55,000 employees every year at McDonald's. Expenses of around 10 million are spent on the overall training of employees. There is a need that experienced and trained employees should lead the organization so that they can provide the best ingredient of success for the organization. On the job vocational training is provided to the employees in the corporation, which teaches them high set of skills, which they can apply in the near future. The new recruits are provided with an induction program so that they understand the workplace as well as the culture properly. The trainers always provide a helping hand to the trainees so that they not only learn the operating skills, but also understand the workplace where they are going to spend most of the time. In addition to this, step by step manual and video tapes are provided to the employees, which cover minute details of how to deliver outstanding services to the customers.

When McDonald's started from scratch, it focused on building a reputation based on trust and dependability among the employers and employees. The company has achieved great heights because it has always understood the problems of the employees and provided them with the best possible solution. There is a great amount bonding between the employers and employees as the company has its own Human Resource Management program, which fosters the employee loyalty and keeps them satisfied by making the employees work as a team. For example, all McDonald's employees in Singapore are entitled to receive in house medical benefits, which motivate them to perform better in the organization and develop a feeling of mutual trust and confidence among the employers and employees (Royle and Towers, 2002).

Changes required:

McDonald's offers various kind of uniform menu in its fast food products. It is one of the top sellers and innovative companies. It has entered various segments so that the needs of every class of customers could be fulfilled. In spite of being an established brand, it has always remained into controversies due to the meal offered to its customers. To remain a world class company and achieve high profits, there is a need that management should redefine its image in terms of health and nutritional products to be provided to its customers. Today, the people have become conscious regarding their health and figures. They want to have that food, which can keep them healthy and fit in the long run.

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The problem with McDonald's is that it has already gained a reputation of being a fast food chain company where junk food is provided to the customers, which affects their health. There is a need that the company should keep in mind that those products should be made, which measure the health safety. There is a need that the company should do something for avoiding the rising health problems among the customers and regain its image back.

The corporation should introduce new marketing communication plan, which attracts the attention of the customers, who are health conscious. A campaign should be launched under the brand image of the company, which offers the products that are irresistible and also provide significant information that the product is fresh and healthy (What's Wrong with McDonald's, n.d.). For example, the company can write the ingredients in its menu so that the customer can go through it and can see that the items will not harm their health anyhow. If the company is not able to do so on time, it will not only lose its customers, but its market image will also be dropped down in front of its competitor companies.

McDonald's, to regain its positive image again, should implement the aforesaid changes as soon as possible by implementing Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). A lot of advertising and promotion campaign should be performed by the company by focusing on healthy products introduced in their meals, especially for those customers, which are health conscious. This will create a new image among the health conscious customers and will create awareness among the growing children about obesity and also among the target market. This will act as a driving force for the company by retaining the customers in the organization.

Model for change Management:

At times, there is a need that the organization should bring some changes, which are beneficial for the company in the long run. The organization can improve its actions by conducting a thorough research in advance and then implementing the best possible measures, which provide the company with maximum benefits. For this, Kurt Lewin's introduced a three step change process, which would help McDonald's in implementing positive changes in its working. The action for change consists of three basic steps, which are unfreezing, changing and refreezing.

(Kurt Lewin Three Step Model, 2010)

Unfreezing: It is a process where an individual sets aside his old behavior, which can cause harm to the growth of the company. Under this step, McDonald's should identify its internal operations and diagnose where the company is lacking behind in terms of the product provided to the customers. The manager of the firm should help the employees in clearing out their old roles and purposes. For this, the managers can analyze the working of their employees as whether they are carrying out their responsibility with due sincerity or they are facing any other kind of problem in hampering the operations. Diagnosing the situation properly will help the company in implementing new models of behavior, which can be explored and tested in advance. This will help the employees in casting aside their old behavior and they will be motivated to introduce the new model (Robbins, 2009).

Changing: In this step, the organization should develop individual employee so that he can learn new behavior and methods of working and apply new roles into the working. There are some guidelines for the organization to follow so that change could be managed effectively. The first guideline is that that McDonald's should recognize that the change introduced is to improve the overall performance results. The second guideline is that the workforce should be made responsible for those changes, which are brought by them. The last guideline is that the employees should be motivated on time so that they work as a team and initiate coordinated efforts.

Refreezing: It is the last stage in the model for change, which states that whatever the individual has learned in the workplace should be integrated in his actual practice. At this stage, the employee has to follow new beliefs, feelings and behavior, which he has learned from his superior at the time of changing phase. Thus helps them to adopt a new behavior, instead of reverting back to their old behavior. Therefore, it is essential that reinforcement should be carried out by the company for the incorporation of new behavior.

Road map for change implementation plan:

Bringing new technology and introducing innovative products have always helped the organizations whether they are operating on a small scale or a big one. The organizations, while considering for bringing a small change or a systematic change have to face many problems in implementing the change. Same is the case with McDonald's. The organization knows that the change needs to take place, but how to deliver the change is a difficult task. For this, John Kotter, who is a change management guru, has introduced an eight step process, which can help the organization in leading the change. The eight steps for leading change are as follow:

To create urgency: The management should motivate the employees that the change will not only benefit the company, but will also attract the customers towards itself. The organization with the help of this model can identify potential threats and develop a picture as what can happen in the near future and how to cope up with the challenges in the best possible manner (Kotter's 8-Step Change Model, 2010).

Develop a strong coalition: The organization in order to bring change should develop a team of effective leaders, which can develop team building and identify the weak areas so that a strong mix of people is developed within the company.

Develop a vision for change: McDonald's should develop a vision that identifies a value, which is central to change. It should implement the vision in an effective manner so that the company can achieve its strategic objectives.

Communicating the vision: After creating a vision, the management should communicate the vision to all the levels of management so that the workforce can work accordingly and always has an edge over its competitors.

Eliminate obstacles: If McDonald's follows the above given steps properly, the changes can take place in the organization without any problems. Also, if there are any kinds of hindrances in the path of the company, a proper lay out of the structure and joint effort of the team members will help in eliminating the obstacles, which can create hindrance to the profits of the company in the long run.

Develop short term success: Short term win will help McDonald's in achieving success, leaving no room for failure. If the team members apply best of their knowledge, targets will be achieved and each win will boost their morale and next time they will achieve the target with minimum cost.

Build on change: the organization should keep on building new changes and bring improvements so that the work is carried out in a right manner without giving any failures. For example, Kaizen approach should be adopted by the company so that continuous change improvement can take place.

Implement the changes in the corporate culture: McDonald's should identify what specific changes are required in the working and its vision and values must be seen in day to day operations. For this, the organization should talk about its success with the workforce and motivate them by telling how the organization has received success in the change process (Watson, Gallagher and Armstrong, 2005). It is therefore necessary that McDonald's should plan each of its steps carefully and build proper function so that the changes are implemented effectively.

Critical Analysis:

Change management plan plays an important role in the organization and the tools and techniques applied above will give the company a competitive edge against its rivals. The force field analysis, if applied in the company, will help in knowing its driving forces as well as those forces, which are acting against it. On the other hand, the disadvantage of this factor will be that implementing this analysis can be costly and its success can also not be guaranteed in the long run (Fiske, Gilbert and Lindzey, 2010).

Other than this, the Kurt Lewin model for change management can bring various improvements in the working of the employees as well as give an idea where the organization is actually standing and what measures it can take to cope up with the problem. It also proves to be an effective method of improving decision making ability of the employees. However, applying this method can be a drawback as this method depends more on theoretical approach than on a practical one. It totally depends on the skills and capabilities of the individual carrying out the work.

Finally, Kotter's eight step methods will help in knowing every minute detail of the company in the best possible manner, but for this approach to be implemented in the company there will be a requirement of additional cost and time for the management. They will have to understand every step properly, as the wrong implementation of one step can result in the whole plan going in disarray (Sofo, 2000).


Hence, it can be summed up by saying that McDonald's is doing exceptionally well in its field by providing the customers with the best possible products. It has taken various steps to increase its responsiveness by introducing new e-mail response system to address the queries of the customers. On the other hand, there are some shortcomings, which are not only hampering the image of the company in the eyes of its customers, but it is also loosing its costumer base. There is a need that the company should introduce health conscious meals in its menu so that the customers are provided with the best products. This will help the company in achieving success in the long run. Also, the customers will be retained with the company in the near future.