International business Essay Example

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  1. Were the store owners and staff justified in their actions to remove the elderly Koreans?

The store owners were justified in removing the elderly Koreans from the business premises. The owners have already put a rule in place where a customer is not supposed to spend more than 20 minutes on a single meal. The lingering of the old Korean from morning to evening leads to loss of business. The business owners have rights to get concerned of the effects of the old Korean lingering for long and denying other customers seats which affects the sales volume. Despite the need to socialise for the old Korean, it is an abuse of the business which makes it hard for McDonalds to serve others. If the owners encourage loitering in their premises, they are likely to suffer loss. Some of the loiterers as seen in the case spends very little in the restaurant making it unfeasible to have them loitering the whole day. There are a lot of community centres and senior centres where the elderly can spend time instead of loitering in the business and leading to loss of revenue.

  1. What role do you think culture played in the dispute at the McDonald’s in Flushing, Queens?

The location of the McDonalds franchise is located in a multicultural area. Flushing has an abundance of Korean community who have different cultural values to the Americans. The Korean community treats the elderly in a different way as opposed to Americans. For the Koreans, the elderly respect supersedes financial considerations. This implies that Koreans would not have thrown the elderly out of business even in cases they would lead to loss. This is different to the American cultural values. For the American franchise, their main concern is business. According to Beamer and Varner (2001), when different cultures meet, cultural conflicts are bound to occur. The Koreans may think that Americans are discriminating their elderly by throwing them out of business premises. This may also lead to racial tensions as evidenced in the case. Multiculturalism has to be managed properly to avoid loss of stability and unity and build social cohesion (Beamer and Varner, 2001). It is thus evidence that culture played a part in the dispute. The Koreans against the elderly being thrown out of McDonalds are only keen on the cultural aspects while ignoring the business loss accompanied with it. They do not want the Korean elderly to be thrown out of the establishment despite the claims that they are causing business loss.

  1. If you were a senior executive at McDonald’s what steps would you take to resolve the issues and prevent a recurrence of these incidents?

It is evident that McDonalds is preferred as a meeting place by the Korean elderly due to cheap prices, convenience, and an established routine. This is an established routine among the Korean elderly which must be broken to avoid future reoccurrence and solve these issues. As a manager, there is need to remove the soft seats which encourages people to sit for too long and replace them. Also, this is time for the McDonalds to engage with the local governments and non-profits organisations and look for lasting solutions. The engagement must be carried out in an orderly manner to avoid confrontation. This is due to fact that the problem seem to be community based where the elderly have no other place to go. There is a need for McDonalds to enforce their rules while at the same time ensuring they do not discriminate any group. Those siting for a long time could be charged a fee regardless of their age, group or ethnicity. As a manager, it is important to understand the culprits know what they are doing is hurting the business but refuse to change because the sympathy is on their side. A well-structured engagement of the franchise with the local community can offer a long term solution. This is through making it clear that the business is suffering due to long loitering by the Korean elderly. The Korean community in support for the elderly must also be engaged and together with the local governments and non-profit organisations come up with a viable solution.


Beamer, L. and Varner, I.I., 2001. Intercultural communication in the global workplace. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.