Demystifying The Classical Theories of Change in Business

The major driving forces at McDonald’s was the need to become the pacesetter in the digitization of food service. The company’s MCD identity which is to “maximise marketing, committing to the core and double down on the 3D’s” has set the trend for exploring omnichannel food services. The other driving force identified from the case study was to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that greatly affected operations and contact-based services. By implementing off-premises dining trend, McDonald’s can fulfil customers order without violating the protocols introduced to limit the spread of the pandemic.

Top management leadership play a vital role in the transition of the change. The force field analysis eases up the change process as the top management are enabled in reducing hindering forces and increasing forces that drive change.

In McDonald’s case, it was essential for a leader to make sure that employees were adequately trained and technical issues were properly handled as this enables them to adapt and implement the Accelerating the Arches strategy.

Leadership styles are often divided into the transactional leadership style and the transformational leadership style. Transactional leaders are focused on accomplishing tasks using recognitions and rewards to encourage employees to embrace. As explained by Trice and Beyer (1993), transactional leaders can effectually initiate change in the organization. On the other hand, transformation95al leaders are keen on empowerment and team building of staff as it promotes both organizational and personal changes (Jung, 2001, p. )

Furthermore, McDonald’s integrated both transformational and transactional leadership, which is evident from the case study as employees were engaged through a holistic approach. Communication was also sustained and was made effectual by direct involvement of the top management team as well collecting staff feedback on a regular basis.  


Kotter (2008) designed an 8 steps model that addressed people who are affected by change. The sequential list of steps he developed was for leaders to properly manage change. Kotter (1996, cited in Juneja, no date) shows a visualized adaption of the 8 steps model model. Kotter’s 8 steps include; establishing a sense of urgency, creating the guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering broad-based action, generating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing more change, and anchoring new approaches in the culture.

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