Should a company like McDonald’s be responsible for clientele getting fat and unhealthy when eating their product?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important component of the strategy developed by every company.  The need to address social issues and community needs should be a part of the development of a sound approach to the marketplace.  However, this raises questions about the type of responsibility a company has to the community.  This case analysis asks you to ponder the types of responsibility we expect from a company.  Should a company like McDonald’s be responsible for clientele getting fat and unhealthy when eating their product?  What level of responsibility do consumers have to make wise and healthy choices?  What impact does maintaining a global competitive advantage have on the expectations of CSR?

As a company moves into a global marketplace, their approach may vary, leading to different levels of CSR.  This might mean that a company is extremely involved in CSR initiatives in one country and not in another.  This could lead to issues associated with public perception, due to our communication capabilities.  A company’s choices in one country are no longer protected because of distance.

In New York City, the government has taken a step to ban all large drinks.  They are viewing people’s unhealthy choices as a public policy issue, because of the associated costs of health care.  This is a national/public policy issue, because of the tax dollars spent on long-term care.  Where do we draw the lines of CSR?  Answering these questions is an important part of discussing CSR.  Only when we evaluate the ethics of our own expectations can we hold companies to an ideal.  Clarifying our expectations for CSR provides a foundation for a sound argument for CSR policies as a strategic necessity.

View:

  • McDonalds. (2007, July 9). Corporate social responsibility-Making progress / Sustainability [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_bgP3ASUM4&feature=youtu.be

Read:

Use your text to create a foundation for the ethics theory, relationship to CSR principles, and the global impacts of CSR choices. This must be a concise evaluation of the case, so provide information on your understanding of the application of theory and expectations of fast food restaurants’ CSR initiatives. Focus on the responsibility of fast food companies to address the health of consumers.

Consider these questions while completing your case analysis:

  • Should a company like McDonald’s be responsible for clientele getting fat and unhealthy when eating their product?
  • What level of responsibility do consumers have to make wise and healthy choices?
  • What impact does maintaining a global competitive advantage have on the expectations of CSR?

Prepare a case analysis on the topic.

Develop your case analysis using the five following sections:

Section 1: Introduction and situational analysis: Describe the ethical dilemma, giving appropriate background information. The term “dilemma” implies that there are pros and cons to various options, even if some are clearly more socially acceptable than others. This is also where you do your situational analysis – identifying factors related to the individual(s) involved (consider the readings from this module), company and managerial practices and policies, external factors such as economic pressure, and any other aspects of the situation that you believe helped create the dilemma.

Section 2: Stakeholder analysis: Identify the key stakeholders and how they are potentially affected by the various options inherent in the dilemma.

Section 3: Analysis based on ethical theories: Analyze the ethical dilemma from the perspective of cultural relativism (how it relates to cultural norms – what society would view as acceptable, as well as what is legal), teleology (looking at consequences and acting for the greater good), deontology (duties and principles), and virtue.

Note that the stakeholder analysis is particularly pertinent to the consequentialist approach, and that one of the challenges is estimating positive and negative impacts on relevant stakeholders. Do the best you can, looking at both good and bad consequences for each stakeholder group. Make sure you summarize the overall situation and come to a conclusion about the greater good.

Section 4: Conclusion and recommendations. Up to now, you have been analyzing and comparing options. Here is where you pull together the different threads of your analysis and determine whether or not the company did the right thing. Also, make recommendations about what the company should have done. Make sure your justifications clearly flow from your analysis. Make managerial and policy recommendations that would help avoid similar ethical dilemmas in the future and provide guidance to help those facing a similar dilemma.

Section 5: References. List at least three sources (other than the articles provided, your text, or the case articles) where you located additional information about the company and the associated ethical dilemma(s).

General guidance: Include a title page, and label the five sections. Your paper should be 2-3 pages in length, not including the title and reference pages. All citations should be in APA 6th Edition format. Double space your paper, and use Times New Roman, 12-point font, with one inch margins. For more information, link to APA Tip Sheet, 6th ed. [PDF file size 177 KB

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