The report is aimed at determining the development of cultural diversity management in McDonald’s with the help of cultural diversity audit. The report consists of an introduction, research approach section, data collection and analysis part, and conclusion that includes some recommendations. The benchmarks that were used for the study include the clarity of the policy message, the promotion of the idea of diversity management, its achievements, the recognition of the groups’ needs and the initiatives aimed at fulfilling them, the inclusiveness, and the website diversity reflection.
Cultural Diversity Management and Cultural Audit
Cultural diversity is the plurality of identities within groups (Hofstede, 2013). Cultural sensitivity, on the other hand, is the awareness of the differences and similarities in the cultures of people and how they affect beliefs, behavior, and values (Hofstede, 2014). Organizations, especially those that operate internationally and across diverse cultures, usually face challenges in meeting requirements of the different cultures and individuals that are the company’s stakeholders. Workplace diversity is an aspect of this problem that has been thoroughly researched, and various suggestions concerning its management are being made while the necessity of this management is not even doubted (Butts, Trejo, Parks & McDonald, 2012). As the biases of the past become more and more unpopular, it becomes obvious that the part of the human resources that “differs” possesses an amount of talent, leadership potential, and other assets that a manager would want to develop and put to good use. Apart from that, equality at the workplace empowers the employees, which leads to an increase their job satisfaction and motivation and reduces the turnover intention (May, 2014).
To define the level, to which the diversity management of MD has advanced, a secondary cultural audit will be provided with the focus on the data from the company’s website. Apart from that, the website itself will be studied: we will seek to find out how they have integrated culture in the design of their websites to include the different cultures that they operate in.
Websites are one of the major avenues of communication between the organizations and their target audiences. In the designing of culturally inclusive websites, there are two ways of development. One is the internalization of the products. Product internalization strives to do away with culture and making the product a universal one that can be used by all people. The other is localization that, unlike internalization, customizes products according to the requirements of a specific audience (Fernandes, 2012). These definitions will help in the assessment of the company’s website.
This paper will study the website of McDonalds. Since 1955, McDonald’s (MD) has grown into an international fast food giant operating in more than 100 countries in the US, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa (McDonald’s, 2015a). More than 1.9 million people work for the organization, and it is considered to be a “great place to work” in 30 countries (McDonald’s, 2015a).
The market that MD is in is a competitive one, and to be competitive, organizations in this market need to make the stakeholders feel recognized and appreciated, for example through the appreciation of their individual cultures.
Cultural Audit Processes
The cultural audit is a most useful tool in the terms of making the policies, practices and (possibly) biases that are characteristic of an organization clear and visible (May, 2014). It is typically concerned with the processes that are capable of supporting or discouraging diversity and that can be found in different aspects of organizational behavior including recruitment, training, career development, mentoring, and so on.
Current Research and Benchmarks
According to May (2014), the first step to inclusion and diversity management is the articulation of the company’s position for the executives to implement, which is going to be the first benchmark in this report. The implementation achievements are the second benchmark. The third benchmark will show the quality of actual diversity understanding and management training that would be expected from a company that is promoting equality principles. The fourth benchmark will deal with the way the specific needs of the groups are taken into account and tended to. Taylor and Kachanoff (2015) point out that cultural diversity management is aimed not only at making the cultures equal but also at helping the employees possess a consistent cultural identity that would ensure the preservation of this culture. Therefore, this part will also describe the tools that the company provides to different groups to help them preserve their culture and defend their rights as a part of the groups’ needs satisfaction. After that, the report will attempt to define, to which extent MD diversity management is inclusive. According to Ferdman and Sagiv (2012), the field of diversity within an organization is also “diverse,” that is, the groups in need of recognition are numerous, which justifies this benchmark. The final, additional benchmark will deal with the way the website itself incorporates the ideas of diversity. The ranking grid, as suggested by the assignment, includes the ranks 0-3, where the former signifies a total underdevelopment of the aspect of diversity management, and the latter is used to describe outstanding results.
The report will focus on the official website of the company and the general guidelines that the company claims to have. An expert view is provided by the article “It’s all McChange at McDonald’s” (2007). Two newspaper articles about diversity in MD will also be used.
Data Collection, Analysis, and Interpretation
Diversity Management Message
MD website emphasizes the importance of diversity. According to MD, the employees (“the good people”) are a part of the sustainability of the business, and MD values them. The organization promises to respect human rights, protect the employees from any kind of abuse and harassment, and ensure equal opportunities for them regardless of the culture they belong to (McDonald’s, 2015e). Diversity management initiatives and processes are described on three separate pages on the site (McDonald’s, 2015b). Apart from that, Pat Harris, the Diversity CEO of MD published a book about diversity management and its contribution to the success of the company. To sum up, the message of MD diversity is very clearly articulated and emphasized (3 out of 3). While this aspect does not ensure equality at the workplace, it is the basis of diversity management that is necessary for any further development of the issue.
Pat Harris is not only famous for the book. In recognition of her efforts and achievements in the field of diversity promotion, MD initiated a Diversity Award in her name (“It’s all McChange at McDonald’s”, 2007, p. 5). This award is an additional incentive for other managers to follow in the diversity CEO’s steps.
Apart from that, the diversity management of MD appears in newspapers. For example, Gardner (2010) points out that the diversity management in MD began as a PR action and ended up providing the company with an influx of talent from the minorities. In another article, Singh (2010) claims that MD is “a leader in diversity hiring and retention” (para. 1). This claim is supported by figures: as of 2010, the workforce of MD included 73% of women and other minorities (Singh, 2010, para. 7). MD also provides equal opportunity for career growth (Singh, 2010, para. 7). The “Our People” page of MD features a couple of “stories of success” that illustrate the process of being promoted to a high position, and one of the stories is that of a black woman (McDonald’s, 2015d). To sum up, the achievements of diversity management of the company are quite noticeable (ranked 3). In other words, the policy of MD is supported by actions that actually bring results. The actions themselves will be seen in the next sections.
Diversity Management Understanding and Training
McDonald’s (2015b) has developed curricula to promote diversity understanding among its employees. The curriculum includes the courses for the Asian Pacific and the Middle East employees, Hispanic ones, black ones, gay and lesbian ones, and a specific intercultural learning lab. While the information about the actual effectiveness of these studies is not available, the initiative is most important for diversity, especially for the employees of the managerial level. The rating is 3.
Diverse Needs and Relevant Tools
The inclusion and diversity programs of the company are both external and internal, and the internal ones are very focused on training (McDonald’s, 2015d; McDonald’s, 2015b). For example, recognizing the needs of expatriates, McDonald’s (2015f) offers courses in English to help the people adapt to the new environment. For students, flexible working hours and assistance in studies is proposed (McDonald’s, 2015f). A rather unusual diversity preservation tool is the business networks that provide the opportunity for community building for different groups of employees (McDonald’s, 2015b). In other words, the performance of MD in relation to this benchmark is 3: the company does understand diversity and works to maintain and manage it while keeping the employees satisfied.
Diversity in the workplace is supposed to be all-encompassing. The specific groups that MD tends to single out are the Asian, Hispanic, black, and homosexual workers; it is especially intent on assisting veterans and youngsters; it is concerned with the position of female employees, and it offers help to working mothers (McDonald’s, 2015b). This list appears to be very inclusive, but it lacks certain groups, for example, other national minorities of the US and other countries. The benchmark performance will be rated 2 of 3: the company works to include all the groups that work together within its environment, but there is room for improvement.
Other: Website and Diversity
The main website of MD appears to be the unified product that is suitable for any culture (Fernandes, 2012). It is not specific in imagery, including the photos of people of various ethnicities, who are often surrounded by their families and are always smiling. The colors are that of the brand (red and yellow) and the photos of employees as well as clients appear in consistency with the content of a page.
At the same time, attempts at localization have also been done by MD. There exist sites for children and youth, for black, Hispanic and Asian people. They are called “companion sites” and are meant to provide the information about MD’s products as well as some entertainment that could be of interest for the group. For example, the children’s site (“Happy Meal”) suggests games, books, and drawing programs (McDonald’s, 2015c). It can be concluded that the company has made a significant effort at being inclusive in respect to its stakeholders with the help of the website. Apart from that, the website of the company corresponds to the diversity management message, which proves that the company is consistent in diversity management. The rank is 3 out of 3.
Conclusions and Recommendations
MD performs very well from the point of view of diversity, and the only benchmark that did not receive the score “3” is the inclusiveness. It should be pointed out that the inclusiveness list appears to be very comprehensive: it is, most certainly, suited to fulfill the needs of the current HR structure of the company. Even though some additional groups could be suggested for the list, is may also be implied that no need for this has arisen. Hopefully, if the necessity does arise, the management of the company will work to include a new group as well.
MD has a clear diversity importance message along with specific initiatives to promote diversity and preserve cultures that are aimed at including as many groups as possible. For internal stakeholders, it is a most positive factor. However, it is also a very positive factor for the company in general. The pluses of diversity include higher job satisfaction and better quality of work, which is beneficial for all the stakeholders. Finally, such a humane approach boosts the company’s reputation. MD’s diversity management is consistent and most useful for the company.
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