McDonald’s Corporation, the behemoth of the fast food industry, has taken its share of criticism?even ridicule?over the years. The image of the company suffered as the public began to perceive its jobs as dead-end, unskilled, and unstimulating. The term “McJob,” coined by an author in 1991, was slang for a low-paying job that required little skill and provided little opportunity for advancement. But in many ways, McDonald’s Corporation defied norms, using a combination of promotion-from-within strategy and benchmark employee training programs to develop an abundant pool of human capital. The company was deeply committed to its employees who “started as crew” coming up through the ranks, receiving the necessary training at its own Hamburger University. This case tells the story of Darlene Calhoun, who started working at a McDonald’s as a cashier in 1977 and, 20 years later, was supervising five McDonald’s stores in the Chicago area.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia