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Organizational Behavior, Third Edition by Adrienne Colella, C. Chet Miller, Michael A. Hitt

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Chapter 3. Organizational Behavior in a Global Context

Exploring Behavior in Action: McDonald's Thinks Globally and Acts Locally

In 1948, brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Over the next decade, hundreds of McDonald's restaurants were built alongside the new interstate highway systems in the United States. McDonald's was one of the first restaurants to make fast food available to the newly mobile American population. In 1967, McDonald's decided to go international and opened its first restaurant outside the United States in Richmond, British Columbia. Today there are over 32,000 McDonald's restaurants in 122 countries. And, its international operations have become highly important to McDonald's financial performance. For example, its restaurants in Europe now produce more revenues than its restaurants in the United States, despite the fact that McDonald's has more units in the United States. McDonald's success in international operations is partially because it has adapted to the cultural differences in the various foreign locations of its restaurants.

Trying to maintain a global brand is difficult because of the different cultural expectations experienced across different countries. It is important to ensure a positive reputation for the company and also maintain the quality of its products. So, McDonald's had to build and sustain a reputation for quality products and efficient service globally while simultaneously ...

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