BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 1
Health concerns such as obesity and overweight in the community haveprovoked media attention regarding the nature of products supplied byMcDonalds as a key player in the food industry. The media points outthat the company is supplying inappropriate products responsible forthese problems. Therefore, this threatens the future of the companynecessitating the leadership to take an appropriate action to solvethe problem. The leadership’s desire to diversify operations intoother non-food industry is very sensitive and presents numerous riskshence thorough evaluation of the strategy, and exploration ofalternative approaches is crucial. The nominal group technique (NGT)is thus the best tool in proposing the best decision for McDonald’sleadership.
One key solution is that McDonalds has to establish a goodrelationship with the media to reduce its hostility against theproducts supplied by the company. The idea is that the press has thegreatest influence in setting the agenda and directs the masses inmaking a decision regarding critical issues affecting the society(Davie & Maher, 2006). In this approach, McDonalds will overcomethe problem within a short time and without the necessity ofmodifying its operations. The idea will involve discussions withvarious major media organizations and prominent journalists regardingthe adverse effects of their campaign on the profitability of theindustry. Here, the aim is to provide an understanding relating tothe significance of the company’s products to the community and theundesirable impacts on the economy following a collapse of theenterprise.
Perhaps, establishing a friendship with the media appears moreunethical and may lead to corrupt practices such as bribery. Also,the method is prone to failure especially when some of the concernsraised seem reasonable. Therefore, as suggested by Fox and Hillsdon(2007), it is appropriate for McDonalds to educate the consumersregarding the nutritional value of its products. The idea is thatMcDonald’s leadership has to prove that health related problemssuch as obesity may also be occurring because of the modern ways oflife such as inactivity caused by advancement in technology that haseased transport, communication, and other activities. For example,online shopping enables people to acquire goods and services at homesocial media allows people to interact through the internet,automation of most processes in production has made production almostnon-physical that continue to deny people chances of exercisingleading to health problems such as overweight. This approach looksmore professional and efficient in eliminating the problem since thecompany will move out of the blame that its products are the onlysource of the health problems that the society faces.
Most probably, the media has genuine grounds regarding thenutritional value of the products supplied by the company and hasobserved no changes over a long time. The idea is that the media willchange for the company once it continues to observe desirableimprovement on the safety and health of the products. Hence,McDonalds must investigate the claims raised by the media and modifyits products to address the concerns raised. In this approach, thecompany will incur low costs compared to the idea of venturing intonew business. Also, modification of the products may help the companyto earn the reputation of being the most innovative player in theindustry that will help in winning consumer loyalty (Hitt, Hoskisson& Kim, 1997).
Conceivably, McDonalds will address the problem through increasedfocus and differentiation of its products. In this approach, eachproduct brand must fit a specific group of consumers appropriately todiscourage the consumption of inappropriate foods (Rahman &Harding, 2013). The approach is easier to implement at low costs andwill reduce the possibility of developing related health problems,which will influence a friendlier relationship with the media and thepublic. The idea is also effective because the company will bedemonstrating its commitment to protecting the health of consumersrather than profit maximization that will also influence consumerloyalty and engagement. Linked to this, McDonalds has to strengthenits corporate social responsibility that in the current world hasproved effective in establishing a friendly relationship withconsumers and other stakeholders. In this case, the media will feelunfair to announce the negative aspects of the products supplied bythe company.
Finally, the group recommended the idea that McDonalds has tore-design its products to address the concerns raised by the media.The group opposes the idea proposed by the leadership of the companysince the production of non-food products presents more risks andhigh costs because of the necessity of purchasing new equipment,training, and acquisition of new employees, and necessity ofextensive research because of lack of experience. The proposedapproach is free from unethical practices and is in line with thecurrent philosophies of business operations characterized byinnovation, corporate social responsibility, honesty, and trust.Also, the approach recognizes the significance of the company toremain in the industry because of its important role in the communityand the economy.
Advantages and Disadvantages of NGT
NGT has one major advantage as it eliminates the problems that groupinteraction causes. Firstly, as explained by Jones (2004) the shy andreluctant members that fear criticism can contribute. Secondly,members who fear to create conflicts and wish to maintain a pleasantatmosphere can express their opinions leading to numerous optionsthat can solve the problem. Therefore, NGT ensures that all membersparticipate equally in the discussion. Also, NGT enables quickdecision making because members can simply, argue from the variousoptions proposed. The technique also promotes a sense of confidenceregarding the final recommendation when members agree afterevaluating the various options presented.
On the other hand, NGT has no flexibility since it is difficult todeal with multiple problems at once. It also requires a significantlevel of conformity regarding the members that take part in thediscussion (Jones, 2004). The activity requires ample time forpreparation before the beginning of the debate compared to othertechniques. Additionally, opinions may fail to converge during thefinal voting necessitating the need for further discussion that maytake additional time. Finally, the process appears very mechanical,particularly when the group has many members.
The leadership of McDonalds can address the problem of increasingmedia hostility against its products through the establishment offriendly atmosphere with media organizations, educating consumers onthe nutritional value of each product redesign its products toaddress the concerns raised and differentiation. However,re-designation of its products is the most effective approach thatconforms to the current form of business operation. The idea proposedby McDonald`s leadership, which involves entering new sectors ofactivity is most risky and costly, hence inappropriate to adopt.Despite the various limitations of NGT such as more time forpreparation, lack of flexibility, and difficulty in the convergenceof opinions, the technique is effective in obtaining quick decisionsthat incorporates the views of all members of the group.
Davie,W., & Maher, T. (2006). Maxwell McCombs: Agenda-setting explorer.Journal of Broadcasting& Electronic Media,50(2),358-364.
Fox, K. R., & Hillsdon, M. (2007). Physical activity and obesity.Obesity reviews, 8(1), 115-121.
Hitt, M. A., Hoskisson, R. E., & Kim, H. (1997). Internationaldiversification: Effects on innovation and firm performance inproduct-diversified firms. Academy of Management journal,40(4), 767-798.
Jones, S. C. (2004). Using the Nominal Group Technique to Select theMost Appropriate Topics for Postgraduate Research Students` Seminars.Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 1(1),4.
Rahman, A., & Harding, A. (2013). Prevalence of overweight andobesity epidemic in Australia: some causes and consequences. JPJournal of Biostatistics, 10(1), 31.