HBR McDonald’s Case Study

  1. Business-Level Strategy:

a) In your opinion, what business-level strategy (differentiation, low cost leadership, or best value) do you believe McDonald’s is using? (Hint: This has been debated by many, and there is not necessarily one right answer. As long as you support your view, you will receive full credit.)

b) Although many decisions in the company are centralized by executives at the company headquarters, the company supports franchisees in the local adaptation of menu items to fit the needs of their customers. What are some examples of this local adaptation of menu items mentioned in the case?

  1. Corporate Level Strategy:

a) What corporate level strategy (concentration, diversification (related or unrelated), or vertical integration) was McDonald’s using under CEO Greenberg in 1998 with the purchase of different brands, including Chipotle?

b) Do you believe this strategy was useful or should McDonald’s have focused their efforts on their main brand (i.e., concentration)? Explain your reasoning.

  1. Organizational Structure:

a) The case explains that there are several issues facing the new CEO, including menu items, product quality, appealing to millennials, and labor concerns. If you were the CEO, how would you organize the company to tackle these issues? (Hint: Explain what corporate level structure (i.e., multi-divisional, strategic business unit, or corporate matrix) would be best for the company and why.

  1. Strategy Implementation:

a) If you were the CEO, how would you go about communicating the new direction for the company?

b) What would you do to get everyone internally working towards this vision? (Hint: You may need to do some external research regarding how to change culture and/or structure in an organization or best practices for change management in an organization).

c) How would you ensure that external stakeholders of the organization (i.e., shareholders and communities) have a positive view of the company?

Sample Solution