McDonald’s Organizational Culture Overview

By John Dudovskiy
June 20, 2022

McDonald’s organizational culture is somewhat controversial. On one hand, the fast food giant associates its corporate culture with the principles of inclusion, integrity and family values. Moreover, McDonald’s prides its organizational culture with encouraging learning for employees at all levels.

McDonald's Organizational Culture

On the other hand, the company has faced myriad lawsuits and claims in recent years, some involving allegations of sexual harassment and others around racial discrimination. Even the CEO Steve Easterbrook was fired in 2019 for having consensual relationship with his subordinate employee. Later it was revealed that Mr. Easterbrook awarded generous stock options to one of the female employees he had sexual relationship with. Furthermore, it was reported that the former CEO “in addition to lying about his own misconduct, allegedly tried to cover up the inappropriate behaviour of other McDonald’s executives.”[1]

The following two factors have negative effects on McDonald’s organizational culture:

1. Highly hectic work environment. High speed of service is one of the core competitive advantages for McDonald’s. The cashiers are expected to greet customers, take orders, collect payments, recommend products, promote special deals and arrange food items on trays in a couple of minutes. Such a pace to be sustained during long shifts creates tremendous stress for thousands of customer-facing employees worldwide.

2. Low wages. The fast food chain pursues cost leadership business strategy operating with a thin profit margin per item, but selling at large volumes. Operations with low profit margin reflect on floor-level employee wages as well. Specifically, McDonald’s is notorious for paying low wages and exploiting human resources.

The current President and CEO Chris Kempczinski attempts to improve McDonald’s organizational culture addressing the negative impact of factors described above. However, Mr. Kempczinski himself courted controversy when he sent a text to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blaming the kid’s parents for the shooting at McDonald’s location.[2]

McDonald’s Corporation Report contains the above analysis of McDonald’s organizational culture. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on McDonald’s. Moreover, the report contains analyses of McDonald’s leadership, organizational structure and business strategy. The report also comprises discussions of McDonald’s marketing strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

McDonald's Corporation Report

[1] Shaffer, E. (2020) “McDonald’s takes a closer look at company culture” Meat + Poultry, Available at:

[2] Maze, J. (2021) “AT MCDONALD’S, A TEXT THREATENS TO UNDO EFFORTS TO IMPROVE ITS IMAGE” Restaurant eBusiness, Available at:

Category: Culture