Read the McDonalds case study Slack
Read the McDonald’s case study Slack et al. (2019; pp. 103-106). Your task is
to write an analytical report to focus on the ‘Operations Strategy’ of
McDonald’s in a global business environment and the major operations
practice they have adopted. You are specifically tasked to:
1. Critically reflect on how operations contribute to McDonald’s organisational performance. In your response, consider which processes are in place to assume the company’s competitive advantage.
2. Assess McDonald’s operations strategy (i.e. ‘lean thinking’, ‘quality’, TQM) and implications for setting up processes and/or supply chains?
3. Evaluate the statement “Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway” from the perspective of McDonald’s operations function. Consider in your response, the transparency, traceability and vulnerability of operations.
4. Based on your analysis, list some recommendations to McDonald’s to remain competitive in a turbulent and global business environment. Consider new trends like veganism and more environmentally conscious customer in your response.
Note: Your recommendations should be listed, following your conclusion and clearly relate
to your analysis in the main body (to questions 1 – 3).
This report should be underpinned by theoretical principles and concepts that you have learnt on the Operations Management module. Please ensure that your report includes an Executive Summary and follows the principles of academic writing in an analytical report writing style. You must present your in-text citations and reference list following the APA 6th referencing system. Ensure your word processing dictionary is set to British English.
Note: You need to write analytical report. This will have a significant impact on your response, style and tone of your report writing style. In an analytical report – context and some necessary background are important, this is similar to an ‘Introduction’ but avoid using this heading. In a report the introduction is usually termed the ‘Terms of Reference’ OR ‘Scope of the Report’.
1. Introduction to Operations Management
2. The Strategic Role and Objectives of Operations
3. Lean thinking
4. Inventory and Just-in-time Management
5. Process, Product and Service Design
6. Layout and Flow
7. Supply Chain Management and Network Design
8. Sustainable and Green Operations
9. Quality Management
10. Performance Measurement and Improvement
Main focus of the report should be on the theoretical principles and concepts
of Operations Management module. This includes ‘lean thinking’, ‘quality leadership’, just-in-time concepts and issues around ‘green operations’ – major units and themes throughout the entire module. The information for question 1 can be extracted from the case study and the company’s website. You are also welcomed to use academic articles and reports on MacDonald’s as well. Questions 2 and 3 require you to do further research, using the unit guides as a starting point, and for higher awards (grade bands above 65% will require you do your own supporting research – beyond the prescribed and recommended reading).
Note: You need to write analytical report. This will have a significant impact on your response, style and tone of your report writing style. In an analytical report – context and some necessary background are important, this is similar to an ‘Introduction’ but avoid using this heading. In a report the introduction is usually termed the ‘Terms of Reference’ OR ‘Scope of the Report’. Please be clear that a report is not an essay – some guidance is provided in the programme handbook on this and the study skills pages on the university website below. Also,
it is crucial to understand and follow the principles of academic writing.
The conclusion and recommendations should result from the analysis. As suggested in the study skills guidance a conclusion must not introduce any new information – you pull together the most significant key points in a brief summary. Your recommendations must logically flow from your conclusions. Therefore, this is not an additional discussion section, discussion/findings/analysis needs to be covered in your main body. With this in mind, the recommendation section will be short – each recommendation should be presented in a list and numbered (this specifically refers to task 4 in the brief).
You will need to demonstrate a good understanding of the theory, principles and concepts learnt on the Operations Management module. Better students will demonstrate a comprehensive and strong command of the subject matter. To do this, students will need to utilise good scholarship skills in terms of understanding and interpreting the case, reading of learning materials and text and certainly engagement with the academic literature. Scholarly skills are gained by going beyond what you have learnt reading the unit guides. It will be evident to the marker, whether you engaged with each of the activities in the units to further your knowledge. Also, whether you had conducted your own search of the literature databases in the relevant subject area and in relation to addressing the needs of the case.
Command will be evident in the way in which you use what you have learnt beyond text books and course materials to develop your line argument and to provide an evidence base for each argument. You do not need to force everything you read into your assignment – be selective by concentrating on the necessary evidence (e.g. citations) to support what you are arguing.
If citations do not fit with the line of argument then it simply is not needed. This is why many find it difficult to keep within the word count. A good starting point will be the articles noted in the case (perhaps take a look at each article reference list too).
Your analysis is about the way in which you present your answer to the assignment brief questions. You will need to take account of an appropriate structure, accurate use concepts/theories, and good use of evidence. Better students will be conscious of the ‘coherence’ of the argument. This needs to be tightly-focused which will be a result of students creating an ‘argument outline’ and detailed plan after exploring extensively the literature and assimilated understanding to offer new interpretations in relation to the case. Students achieving the highest bands of grade will provide a mature answer with a degree of originality in the development of concepts and theories and novel application in practice.
You should be able to understand and reproduce relevant, arguments, debates and/or interpretations that you have learnt on the module and from your reading. Pay particular attention to evaluating what you acquire so that you can demonstrate capacity for independent thought. It is this ‘capacity’ that will determine your banding within this criterion. This is why it is important to develop this ‘capacity’ by undertaking all the activities in each of these units.
These activities have been designed to help you to understand and evaluate relevant arguments, debates and/or interpretations in relation to various different industrial contexts and practical application. You will benefit greatly also by reflecting upon practice in relation to what you have gained from the workplace and/or thinking about the practical application of what you have learnt to future employability or areas of interest. Better students will have developed a highly developed capacity for originality and independent thought. If this is your first assignment on this programme, don’t worry – the more you engage in your learning, unit activities, help clinics and reflective practice tasks the quicker you will acquire this skill.
Students will need to show awareness of techniques of academic writing with particular reference to structure, referencing/sourcing and spelling grammar. The way in which you employ academic writing techniques will differentiate you in terms of grade banding. Ensure that you provide a fluent and well-structured deployment of techniques in academic writing. It will be worth reading some ‘study skills’ texts on academic writing and ensure you understand the difference between report and essay writing. Many students often provide a weak or even no conclusion – every document must have a strong conclusion and it is often regarded as the main part of the document. Make sure that the conclusion is relevant and compelling – it sums up your argument closely, demonstrating clear understanding, with some independent thought and recommendations for the practicing manager.
The assignment is also in a report format, so you are expected to include an Executive Summary. An Executive Summary states the key findings and recommendations made in the report. This needs to be a clear statement, note this will be the first section the marker will read – readers should be able to grasp the key elements and be signposted to the major discussions/presentation of findings in the report. Any recommendations made must reflect and be aligned to the discussion in the main body.
Please take a look at the following guidelines for you to use as a checklist prior to