The ETHICS of burger giant McDonald’s is the subject of an award-winning study by a MMU Business School graduate.
Victoria Clark’s dissection of the US food firm’s corporate social responsibility policies won first prize in the 2006 National Undergraduate Business Ethics Competition organised by The Institute of Business Ethics and European Business Ethics Network.
Victoria, a student on the BA (Hons) Business course, received £500 prize and a certificate presented by the Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University, Director of the IBE Philippa Foster-Back and Professor Jim Hine from Edinburgh University, chairman of the judging panel.
The presentation ceremony was held at the IBE headquarters in London in front of an audience of city business people where Victoria gave a presentation.
Judges said the 26-year-old’s dissertation was enlightening, as it compared McDonald’s CSR claims with supporting or conflicting external data gathered through newspapers, journals and websites.
The results of Victoria’s research led her to conclude that McDonald’s, whilst appearing to advocate excellent Corporate Social Responsibility policies throughout their report, do not always match these promises with proof of action.
Victoria also pointed out that certain ‘socially responsible’ actions may have been performed owing to public pressure and pressure group coercion. Nevertheless, Victoria thinks McDonald’s are moving in the right direction towards greater transparency and external auditing, and have improved on some of their past practices, she said.
Her essay was considered by the judging panel to be well researched, clearly and engagingly written, and showed critical thinking together with a thorough understanding of ethical theories and their application to the issues in this case.
Victoria graduated from MMUBS in 2006 with an upper second class degree, and is now working with Land Rover Experience.
This is the second time a student from MMUBS has won this prestigious national competition, in 2003, Martyn Thompson, a BA Business Administration graduate, also won first prize in the undergraduate category.
Ethics and Business is a final-year elective offered to all undergraduates in MMUBS, and has been taught by Richard Warren since 1990.