Contrary to Friedman's theory which claims that corporations only aim at increasing profits and shareholders revenues, companies have moral responsibilities. Indeed, shareholders are not alone in a firm and have to compromise with the interests of the other stakeholders. According to Freeman , a stakeholder in an organization is any group or individual who can affect or be affected by the achievement of the organization's objectives. In this way, the stakeholder approach consists for a company, in considering the effects of its activities and taking into account the interests of all stakeholder groups. The fast food industry illustrates perfectly the different concerns in ethics and morality that, this industry is a symbol of globalization in the sense that it is characterized by many multinational companies which have an important economic and political power. These positions give them some moral obligations in terms of social sustainability; indeed fast food companies have to fight against glaring inequalities in wealth distribution. Therefore, it is important that managers should run the fast food industry according to the stakeholder approach, because it is the only way to reach success for all stakeholder groups.
[...] Managers are also confronted with moral issues in their way of managing a company. Therefore, we can wonder what the characteristics of an efficient management are. Managers are the cornerstone in the success of a company because they have to find the golden mean between all stakeholders' interests and expectations. In this way they must be unbiased in order to live up to their responsibilities and satisfy each party, no matter what the difficulties are. They must pay less attention to the influence of shareholders and take into account the interests of the other stakeholder groups. [...]
[...] However, the main problem is how to make shareholders accept a reduction in profits since improving the quality of products is not compensated for an increase in sales in terms of costs. Furthermore, the fast food industry as a whole can be detrimental to the customers' health. Without mentioning the quality of products, consuming steadily food from the fast food industry can risk the consumers' health. Their food is rich in proteins and fats which can provoke obesity, cardiovascular problems or else nutritional deficiencies. Therefore fast food companies should inform consumers about the risks of consuming too regularly these kinds of foods. [...]
[...] Another stakeholder group is composed of all the employees who work for the fast food industry. From the cook to the waiter, the workforce shares common problems and faces similar moral issues. However, their expectations are contrary to shareholders' because they are not profit-oriented. In this way shareholders tend to forget that employees are the mainstay of the fast food industry and try to take advantage of the workforce as much as possible. The fast food industry is a profitable business as a whole and shareholders often share between themselves high profits. [...]
[...] Many managers tend to use moral issues to increase sales and maximize profits. They try to manipulate stakeholder groups in order to make them believe that they are concerned with their interests and issues. Unfortunately this is only pretence and stakeholders' interests are not taken into account: it just deals with pleasing a stakeholder group in order to exploit it more. This is particularly true with consumers because it is easy for a company to make them believe that managers are concerned with their expectations. [...]
[...] If managers do not meet their expectations, they will replace them or leave the company. As a result, managers might fall prey to temptation to give priority to shareholders' interests in order to simplify their tasks. So managers avoid their responsibilities and jeopardize other stakeholder groups instead of protecting their essential interests. The fast food industry is growing rapidly and many companies are multinational. Currently, many companies are settling in developing countries in which living standards are lower than the rich countries. [...]
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