McDonald’s: Profile on Its Rise, Descent, and Return

by: Scott Moore

Publication Date: February 21, 2011
Length: 11 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-163

Core Disciplines: Marketing/Sales, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This profile chronicles McDonald’s rise over 40 years, its sudden descent in the early 1990s, and then its return in the early 2000s. Students are encouraged to think about what happened, why, and the lessons that can be learned.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Understand how a company, even one with a long history, can reinvent itself.
  • Recognize how one person can dramatically improve a company.
  • Evaluate how a company’s performance can be reflected in a variety of financial ratios.
  • Understand that a company can overcome a negative operating environment with an appropriate strategy.
  • Understand that sometimes a CEO needs to make changes in order for the company to succeed, and other times the CEO needs to simply follow the strategy already in place.