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3.4 Chapter Exercises

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.

McDaniel’s Burger Case Study

McDaniel’s Burger Restaurant is a family owned restaurant in the Southwestern part of the United States. It is located in a small town in Texas. The family has had the restaurant for three generations. People come from far and wide to eat at the restaurant, because they take pride in cooking each burger to the customer’s wants and needs. The restaurant prides itself in having the most selections for meat and vegetarian burgers. In addition, they carry a wide variety of toppings, such as ordinary toppings like tomatoes, bacon, cheese, onions, lettuce, but also unique toppings like cucumbers, salsa, salad dressing, pineapple, and sprouts. Customers can decide on how they would like their burger cooked: grilled or fried. Everyone in town loves McDaniel’s Burgers because they are personalized and delicious.

Lately, business has been increasing because the population has increased. The McDaniel family can longer keep up with the demand and decide to sell their business to a bigger firm, the Burger Business. Burger Business has many establishments and is used to catering to large crowds. Burger Business executives liked McDaniel’s burgers but felt that it was not very efficient, because customers would have to wait a long time before their order was completed. Over time, the executives and consultants of Burger Business felt that they needed to have five different stations. The first station was for meat selection. For instance, the customer can choose their meet selection of: beef, bison, elk, chicken, veggie patty, etc. The second station was for meat preparation. The customer can choose if they want their meat fried or grilled and to what degree. The third station was for toppings on the burger. An attendant would help the customer with the toppings for their burger. The fourth station was the side bar, where customers could choose what sides such as drinks and French fries with their burger. The last station was the cashier, where customers would pay for their meal. Most of the employees of McDaniel’s Burgers were already trained in all areas of operations. Hence, they could work in any station and in any order. The Burger Business executives felt that this would help with employee satisfaction because they could work in a variety of stations and they could have more flexible .

However, over time, the profits for McDaniel’s Burgers were not very high. Moreover, employee retention was at an all time high. However, executives felt they could replace workers, because the task was so simple. In addition, several customers did not prefer dining in the restaurant as in the past. More customers were requesting to take home their orders. The executives were confused because they felt they made productive and efficient changes. Initially, the executives felt that the reason customers felt negatively about the business was because there were certain stations that tended to have longer lines, such as the toppings and sides bar. Hence, they divided the toppings stations into original toppings and unique toppings. In addition, they divided the sides bar into fries and drinks. The executives also decided to get rid of toppings that customers rarely ordered such as anchovies and sauerkraut. Overall, the executives were happy with the changes they made and felt that they could open more McDaniel’s Burgers in other locations.

Case Analysis Discussion Questions:

  1. In the end, the Burger Business executives had an positive perspective of the future of McDaniel’s Burgers. Do you agree? Why? What are some potential risks or pitfalls that the executives need to be cautious about? What could they do to motivate workers?
  2. Can you identify some of the classical theories presented in this case study? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of these theories in this case study?
  3. Let’s pretend the Burger Business hired you as a communication consultant for McDaniel’s Burgers, what information would you collect? How will this information help you predict the future outcome of this business? What would you expect the findings to be? How would you use this information to make suggestions to the executives?
  4. Pretend that you are a customer of McDaniel’s Burgers. How do you feel communication can be improved for the customers of McDaniel’s Burgers? What would customers prefer or dislike with this establishment?
  5. Pretend that you are an employee of McDaniel’s Burgers. How do you feel that communication can be improved? Why is there such a high employee turnover rate? How can executives help with the employee retention rate?

End-of-Chapter Assessment Head

  1. The word “theory” originally derives its name from a Greek word theoria, θεωρ ία, which roughly translated means:

    1. generalization
    2. affiliation
    3. contemplation
    4. harmonization
    5. actualization
  2. Sara gets a job where she has to stamp letters all day. She is given no other task or opportunity to talk with others. What classical perspective best describes her job?

    1. scientific management
    2. bureaucracy
    3. Theory Y
    4. Hawthorne effect
    5. authority
  3. Weber stated that the best way to select authority was:

    1. bureaucracy
    2. traditional ways
    3. charismatic
    4. b & c
    5. all of the above
  4. Fayol believed that there is a hierarchical order of authority. There is a sequence and succession to how communication is transferred from on person to the other. This is known as:

    1. scalar chain
    2. subordination of individual interests to general interest
    3. order
    4. authority
    5. unity of command
  5. All of the following are characteristics of the human relations approach EXCEPT:

    1. workers desire to feel as though they are useful part of the organization
    2. if workers’ need are filled, they will comply
    3. when employee needs and desires are met, they are more satisfied
    4. management should tap into worker capabilities
    5. management should allow employees to offer input, but keep important decisions to themselves

Answer Key

  1. c
  2. a
  3. a
  4. a
  5. d

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.