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Change management in McDonalds

Introduction

Change management can be defined as ‘the process of continually renewing an organisation’s direction, structure, and capabilities to serve the ever changing needs to external and internal customers’ (Moran and Brightman, 2001). As per Burnes (2004) change is a feature which is always present in the life of organisation. It exist both at operational and strategic level.

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The organisation is aware about where the change is required and is fully capable of planning and implementing these changes in its structure .According to Burnes 2004; Rieley and Clarkson, 2001, the organisations strategy and organisational strategies are something which goes hand in hand and cannot be separated. In the words of Graetz, 2000, ‘Against a backdrop of increasing globalisation, deregulation, the rapid pace of technological innovation, a growing knowledge of workforce, and shifting social and demographic trends, few would dispute that the primary task of management today is leadership of organisational change.’

In early times the theories believed that if the organisation keeps changing management system then it can no longer run effectively nor can it make any improvement in performance (Rieley and Clarkson, 2001). It was believed that the company had to bring new management theory into routine in order to achieve efficiency and improvement in the performance. This Means that an organisation has to give ample time for a particular change to be adopted and settle down in daily routine so that it can be run in efficient manner (Luecke, 2003).However in today’s time It is believed that staff of the organisation should go through continuous change to achieve efficiency (burnes, 2004; Rieley and Clarkson, 2001)

According to Grundy, 1993 ‘change which is marked by rapid shifts in strategy, structure or culture, or in all three.’ Senior, 2002 adds to it saying that this kind of sudden change or implementation can be caused only due to malfunctioning of the internal structure or it can be caused due to external pressure.

Every organisation is looking to move forward by implanting a management system with will boost organisations strength and capability, enhancing its competitiveness. An organisation has to deal with unforeseen situations in today’s highly competitive environment and to deal with this it has to be more flexible and ready for any situational changes that it will have to make, like adoption of new technology or some latest development in theory for current market. In the fast moving economic environment there continuous changes in the type of technology, the way the product is marketed, trends etc. the organisation has to be more flexible to adopt changes in order to remain competitive in the global market. Change can be good in a way; it can make complex work very simple and helps to improve lives through new innovations.

Organisations bring change in their working structures to be more competitive and providing the best to their customers. As per Carlpio (1998) change is something to do with implementation of new innovative ways of doing things, enabling the room for improvement in the system through practice. Number of changes can be introduced in the system but the one which brings success to the organisation is considered to be the most important one of all.

A change in management system is important specially when a particular system which the running organisation is facing difficulties or has some problems with it. Changes are brought in to improve the organisations performance. Changes are mostly brought due to forces which can be internal or external yee, 1998. Changes can be brought at different level of an organisation (Swenson, 1997) The modification needed or which can be done maybe many or quite a few (Reigeluth, 1994).

There could be various factors for change (Bamford and Forrester, 2003). Change can be either internal or external. External include new technology which is current requirement of the industry or trend in the current economy which may have direct impact on profitability of the business.

A structured method of change was adopted in 1946 by Lewin (Bamford and Forrester, 2003) what lewin had to say was something different than the old theories, he mentioned that in order to apply any new theory or change management an organisation will have to first discard it’s old management structure or system. Management of changes pays a role in identifying objectives of the organisation and then sets goals accordingly. Its role is to implement new changes in the organisation in which it can be noticed that these changes ultimately bring innovations. The first step towards organisational change is to understand the requirements of the organisation and issues with the current management structure.

The purpose of the paper is to provide insight of change management process in the chosen company which is McDonalds and provide solution and recommendation for the same.

Overview of the company

McDonalds is a company with mile stones of success which was started in 1954 by Ray Kroc as a burger shop which was then turned through extensive marketing planning and campaigning making it a global brands in today’s time. It is renowned fast food brands all over the world with more than 32,000 branches in 117 countries. McDonald’s trade mark was a carefully created and was a successful hit which was a clown with a smile. The big Mac is one of the most successful products of McDonalds.

McDonalds offers a menu which is almost the same all cross the world. The menu includes burgers, hamburgers, cheese burgers and drinks include soft drinks with fries. McDonalds target customers includes kids, teens and families. It is now the most renowned brand in fast food that sells ready to eat and quickly served fast food.

In spite of being a famous brand McDonalds is still facing some issue and needs to change its management structure and image as the people in current time have a bit different expectations then those in previous days (McDonalds 2010)

In today’s time people have become more diet and health conscious and are now moving towards food which is healthy and has more nutritional values. Fast food has always been known as junk food with no nutritional value and the popular opinion was that fast food results into obesity by increasing fats in the body. Today’s generation is more figure conscious and are looking forward for food which is low fat and high in proteins.

McDonalds is facing problems as it is a well established fast food brand and fast food is always related to unhealthy and fattening food, while competitors of McDonalds have already made a move towards health conscious products by introducing entire new range which is healthy and non fattening. McDonalds needs to change the way it markets itself and also need to introduce a new line of products, as per expectations of new generation’s customers.

Scope of change

Advertising and marketing places an important role in establishing an image of the company in the eyes of the society in which it operates. The scope of change widely lies in the implementation of integrated marketing strategy. In this paper the importance is given to marketing and advertisement part as to launch new range of healthy products, the company has to implement new marketing practises.

The new marketing campaign will adopt a new health conscious process which will flow along with a trend of fitting with health related issues like obesity in young children’s and create awareness about health eating practises. The main objective of this campaign is to promote its new products which are healthy and contains low fats. This will help create positive image of McDonalds among the customers and make them aware of new products which are healthier than the earlier once.

To execute these plans the company has to plan its new strategy of advertising and marketing ideas and put a team in place to implement this strategy. The company has also introduced new smoothes and shakes along with healthy breakfast which is available before 12 in all the branches in UK. The marketing integrated campaigns main aim to reflect company mission and new attitude is been seen by the public through companies new promotion and marketing plans.

Problems in implementing change

When implementing change, conflicts will always follow. There are always conflicts on the route towards changes either before or after it has been initiated. Change in management can be the reason to bring success or failure to an organisation; however conflicts can bring problems if there are not resolved in time as they can bring obstacles in the new management structure introduced. The management has to be aware that it should be capable of not only introducing necessary changes but also be able to implement them effectively clearing all the obstacles.

The main reason to bring changes in the organisation structure especially through marketing campaign is to improve the image of the organisation and to make the company more competitive in its industry. The company might have to face many obstacles in doing this and these obstacles can be both external and internal.

It is important to know the consent of the stakeholders of the organisation as they are very important part of the organisation. Stake holders include share holders, customers, supplier and employees. It is important for an organisation to keep all its stakeholders happy because if they are happy then it’s beneficial for the organisation.

But there will conflict due to changes as there will be resistance from the side of employees or customers themselves as often people resist changing. There may be employees or customers who would accept the change happily but the problem is with those who do not agree with new management system which is to be implemented. Most of the time they may think that the change which has been brought is nothing to do with the issue or it may worsen the situations. I it may also happen that within employees they might not trust people who are in charge of this new change.

Employees are not the only one who creates obstacles for change sometimes even the customers are not ready for change. If they do not take to change positively then this may create issue for the company to achieve its goal for the change.

Along with this another problem that McDonalds may face is finding the right staff to drive this change that will be responsible to deliver these changes in department of marketing and communication.

In addition to from employees and customer’s resistance there can be other barriers this may affect the process of change. The strategic implementation is important part of changes; complications in this can be problematic for the company. There can be many other issues which can create barriers in changes such as conflict in view of share holders or the problem in finance and lack of budget of the company another problem can be sustaining the process of change.

As per carlopio 1998 innovation is something that does not happen in a day it takes series of phases to finish the process of change. Staff involved in this change management process must undergo some kind of training and learning procedure to make them competent to sustain the series of change until it attains success. Inability to handle or lack of experience and knowledge in implementation of strategic change may not be able to achieve integrated marketing and communication strategies.

So to overcome the problem of negative response the management of the company should make the staff go through necessary training and development programmes. The training programme should be such that it should provide complete understanding of the programme to the members of the staff. It should make sure that none of the information is missed in the training programme. After the programme there should be a follow up to check if all the members have understood and have sufficient information to support change.

There can be internal conflicts between the members of the staff due to cultural issues. This bring problem in harmony of the members in the organisation, leading to conflict within the company. McDonalds must understand the cultures of its employees and should identify the problem that may be caused because of the conflicts if any (wikins and Dyer, 1998)

McDonalds should incorporate governance in the system to enhance the quality of staff and the time spent by them at the work place. Different appraisal policies can help to boost employees. Working environment can also be improved so that staff members can have a good time while working for the company which at the same time also benefits the organisation.

Strong organisation culture along with good management team is needed to solve such internal conflict issues. The second most important change is to sustain the success that had been achieved through implementation of new management process. Change is part of the society and it comes again in regular interval of time (Carlopio, 1998).

For the success of change management it is important that all the stakeholders know or are made aware that current change has been brought for the betterment of them. The management of the organisation should constantly analyse the current market trends and predict future scenarios, so that it can prepare itself for next set of change that will be required for the success of the organisation.

Recommendations

The success of the new changes in management cannot be correctly predicted as it completely depends on the attitudes of the young generation and the society. Changing the image from fast seller to a company who provides healthy meal is not a easy process, but with strong marketing campaigns and advertisement the message can be sent to people and there is a chance that this message will be delivered. It is imperative that the new image of McDonalds reaches all 117 countries. After this message has been promoted there is a chance of getting rid of the critic’s comments that McDonalds brands have unhealthy and fattening.

In other words innovation can be explained as a bunch or new ideas which have been successfully implemented (Kuhn, 1993). Innovation can be led by two factors which is technology based innovation and the second one is demand based innovation. However most of the innovations are charged up realisation of demand instead of technology.

Changes are mainly driven by constant research and development, performed by companies and R&D is given a lot of attention. Apart from R&D there can be other ways of bringing innovation and one of the simplest ways to keep improving working practises while in the daily routine. Combination of knowledge and extensive work experience can help to innovate a new a better way of doing things. Radical innovation always come from the R&D department of the company but innovations which are incremental can only come from through practice (Lundvall, 1992).

McDonalds will have to plan and implement its new marketing campaigns effectively with effective ways of doing it. The company has to take care that its internal staff is competent in delivering the outcome and that is minimum resistance from the internally. There is a good chance that McDonalds can change its image in food industry from junk food supplier to a health conscious meal provider.

Conclusion

As per beverage 2003, the management of the organisation has to be on toss all the time to keep the organisation up to the market expectation. They have to continuously analyse and monitor current market conditions so that that they are aware of the current standing of the company in the market. To bring innovation the management will have to keep a check on which ideas are working and which are not doing well when implemented and accordingly change the management structure. To implement a management change the leader must create a environment which is safe and will support new changes in the organisation.

A above all It can be said that a change in management is good only if that particular change has potential to improve companies competitiveness in the market and bring more success to the organisation. The organisation should keep monitoring current situations and make changes only if it is felt necessary, as change in organisation is a complex decision and has direct impact on the image of the organisation. With proper care and preparation and organisation (McDonalds) can survive the toughest competition.

References

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McDonalds, (2010), “about McDonalds”, http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd, viewed on 5th march 2011.

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