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Applying Christian Principles to an Operations Management Dilemma in Managing Quality

Applying Christian Principles to an Operations Management Dilemma in Managing Quality

Managing quality within an organization properly is an important talent that an operational manager should possess. Notably, this is so because it can help the organization handle its operations. According to Benjaafar & Hu (2020), an operations manager is responsible for creating and implementing a total quality management system that seeks to point out and resolve customer needs. Thus, total quality management should be considered in operations management, considering that failure to implement it can lead to various difficulties that can destroy the entire organization. For this reason, the information in this paper focuses on how a single operations management error can be detrimental to an organization. Further, an ethical dilemma is considered in the paper to help employees and managers learn about handling such issues, drawing information from a quality problem drawn from the textbook, responses to the given questions, and Christian worldview dilemma response.

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Summary of the Issue

The ethical dilemma selected for analysis from the textbook examples relates to lawsuit cases filed by customers that the coffee served was hotter than a typical restaurant coffee. The customers had spilled the coffee on themselves, leading to burns. In this case, an 80-year-old was burned by coffee that spilled on her during a visit to McDonald’s to purchase coffee. According to the lady’s attorney, she was a passenger in a car that had stopped at McDonald’s for a coffee purchase and was not driving when the coffee spilled (Nuque-Joo et al., 2019). While opening the lid to add sugar to the coffee, it tipped over and spilled on her lap leading to significant burns that required skin grafts as part of the medical response. The lady was awarded a $2.9 million settlement which was later reduced to $640,000. On the other hand, McDonald’s claimed that the coffee was made based on normal requirements, and on top of that, there was caution on the coffee cup that informed the buyer that the contents in the cup might be hot. Added to other similar cases of this nature whereby customers suffered burns from spilling coffee on themselves and ending up being awarded settlements, an ethical dilemma arises.

Response to Ethical Dilemma Questions

The ethical dilemma relates to whether to uniformly define service quality while dispensing with the chance that a rare customer could need special requirements. The risk-benefit ratio may have led well-known companies to realize that consistency outweighs originality (Heizer et al., 2020). Numerous injuries caused by accidents, some of which may or may not have been caused by consumer negligence, are to blame, and well-known companies like McDonald’s, Motor City, and Starbucks need to pay closer attention to moral and ethical issues—setting high standards for consumer safety, even though customers may ignore the cautions that products and services sellers offer. It seems unlikely that an ordinary person in this position, especially one rushing through a drive-through, will be able to tolerate highly hot food. Despite several complaints about scorching coffee against popular companies because of how they continue to serve coffee, they have received clear responses on what most customers want. In order to meet the Six Sigma requirements, the procedures have been standardized. Companies probably would not be able to please every client; however, any potential risks would have been extensively noted, along with the product’s specifications.

It is acknowledged that occasionally customers handle hot coffee carelessly. The possible risks may need to be made more obvious (Hommerová et al., 2020). Senior adults may need to be informed that the small inside of a car multiplies the chance of spilling coffee by ten. Although brands periodically let consumers down, this is not their fault. Buyers should be informed of what they get if they test these products. These businesses should not be held accountable for the customers’ lack of knowledge. Regarding quality control, satisfying or even surpassing the wants and expectations of the client should be one of the more prominent and frequently used definitions of quality (Grover et al., 2022). The customer determines quality. If the client does not agree that the company’s products are wonderful, it does not really matter what the company’s employees think. As a result, the fundamental requirements were not satisfied in the case of McDonald’s hot coffee quality assurance. As such, McDonald’s needs to understand that consumers want to deliver superior products and services. Notably, this is the lesson McDonald’s should learn from the $640,000 error.

In addition to learning what the customer needs, figuring out how to achieve and fulfill it takes time. The employees should guarantee that the coffee is of high quality and serve it at the proper temperature. The quality of the coffee needs to be improved to increase response, sales, and reputation. Cheaper production costs, fewer reworks, and cheaper warranty costs can all be attained by improving operations. All of these are essential components of a business. Everything contributes to more revenue for the business. By exceeding customers’ expectations, the business builds its reputation and generates revenue (Wolniak, 2020). The organization’s outcomes can be significantly changed by working with experienced operations managers. The operations managers often know that the secret to excellence is to design a system that stops issues before they start.

The individual accountable for the faulty goods must compensate the harmed party. Contrary to carelessness, the injured party does not require to identify the specific party who disregarded their obligations. The only other scenario is that the product is unsafe because of its flaws, which is what is happening in this instance. Notably, this lawsuit could be won solely based on negligence, but identifying the person in charge of the flawed product is a requirement.

Christian Worldview

Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of business ethics may efficiently deal with ethical issues. On the other hand, people who have a certain Christian perspective can comprehend the case’s fundamental argument and message. King James Bible (2023a, Proverbs 22:1) states, “A good name is preferable to great riches, and favor is preferable to silver or gold.” The reputation of the business is what matters most to a business person, based on what God has made known to humankind. By improving product quality, providing better goods, and exercising social responsibility, businesses may win the confidence of their customers. Although they can seem straightforward, mastering them takes time, and maintaining a Christian perspective requires strength. It is challenging to convince a business person that reputation is more important than wealth and silver when businesses like McDonald’s have neglected the reputational component in favor of financial gain.

Following its slogan, “Don’t be evil,” has given a company like Google the image of being highly ethical (Bietti, 2020). McDonald’s has to internalize this verse from the Bible in order to grow as a company. Honesty is crucial from the Christian organizational perspective. According to King James Bible (2023b, Psalms 15:1–5), “Whoever does these things will not be moved.” People are given advice on business ethics, honesty, and fairness in this Bible verse. For instance, a servant leader may foster an environment and culture that is more receptive to innovation. Ethical conduct and honesty can contribute to developing an open, business-friendly environment, which in turn encourages a mindset in which individuals wish to launch their own companies. Consequently, the nation’s gross domestic product will increase, and its citizens will live better lives.

McDonald’s has to gain insight from a Christian worldview perspective and be ready to put it into practice if it wants to regain its reputation and rise to the top of the fast-food business. It is possible to conduct business activities in an ethical manner. It involves being honest, paying attention, assessing, determining morality, and adopting a position. Additionally, McDonald’s must take lessons from its blunders to solve the issue. It ought to put more of an emphasis on recruiting operations managers, creating a quality management system, educating the personnel, and doing research from a Christian point of view.


Utilitarianism theory falls within the category of normative ethical philosophy. Notably, this theory is more concerned with the effects or results of a particular strategy or action rather than whether something is good or harmful (Smart, 2020). It looks beyond one’s self-interest and considers other people’s needs. The concept should be applied to every scenario in the situation being thought about. What is right and wrong is determined by the action that yields the best outcomes. Here, the action stands for the option that will yield the best outcomes and justify the moral principles and behavior expectations widely accepted in society. These laws have been developed due to how society has defined them. The results suggest that anyone adopting a utilitarian viewpoint should consider whether their decision would help the maximum number of people involved in the circumstance. However, this strategy ignores a crucial element of ethical behavior. The main objective is to do everything accurately. Essentially, the main objective is to act morally upright and conform to fundamental virtues. Regardless of the consequence, doing the right thing is always the best action.


The discussion above makes it clear that there are various operation management issues within an organization. Ethical dilemmas are one of the controversial issues that can occur while handling operations management aspects such as total quality management. Total quality management relates to how the business and external parties relate in handling raw materials when converted to complete goods or services. The discussion has considered an ethical dilemma related to total quality management related to a lawsuit involving McDonald’s and a customer. The dilemma comes in regarding who should be blamed for a mistake that both the customer and the business seem to be right. In this case, the customer is awarded a settlement which sparks questions about the settlement’s legitimacy. Notably, various ways through which McDonald’s can respond to such ethical dilemmas are provided. The suggestions are anchored on the utilitarian ethical theory. Finally, a Christian worldview is considered, and it is established that embracing a Christian worldview can help McDonald’s better respond to the ethical dilemma.


Benjaafar, S., & Hu, M. (2020). Operations Management in the Age of the sharing economy: What is old, and what is new? Manufacturing & Service Operations Management22(1), 93-101.

Bietti, E. (2020, January). From ethics washing to ethics bashing: a view on tech ethics from within moral philosophy. In Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Fairness, accountability, and Transparency (pp. 210–219).

Grover, P., Kar, A. K., & Dwivedi, Y. K. (2022). Understanding artificial intelligence adoption in operations management: insights from the review of academic literature and social media discussions. Annals of Operations Research308(1-2), 177-213.

Heizer, J., Render, B., & Munson, C. (2020). Operations management: Sustainability and supply chain management (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. ISBN-13: 9780135173626

Hommerová, D., Šrédl, K., Vrbková, L., & Svoboda, R. (2020). The perception of CSR activities in a selected segment of McDonald’s customers in the Czech Republic and its effect on their purchasing behavior—A case study. Sustainability12(20), 8627.

King James Bible. (2023a). King James Bible Online (Original work published 1769)

King James Bible. (2023b). King James Bible Online (Original work published 1769)

Nuque-Joo, A., Kim, D., & Choi, S. (2019). Mcdonald’s in Germany: Germans, still Lovin’ it? Academy of Strategic Management Journal18(2), 1-20.

Smart, J. J. C. (2020). Utilitarianism and its applications. In New Directions in Ethics (pp. 24-41). Routledge.

Wolniak, R. (2020). Main functions of operation management. Production Engineering Archives26(1), 11-14.


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Applying Christian Principles

Applying Christian Principles

For this assignment, you will discuss how Christian principles can be applied to an operations management dilemma in Managing Quality (Chapter 6).

In a minimum of 1,500 words, discuss the following:

Briefly summarize the issue. Note that only a small portion of your paper’s content should be devoted to summarizing the issue.
Respond to the question(s) shown within your selected ethical dilemma (i.e., within the gold box). Please do not respond to the end-of-chapter Discussion Questions.
How can your selected dilemma be addressed from a Christian worldview? In other words, what guidance from a biblical perspective could be applied to understand and possibly resolve the dilemma?

In addition to addressing questions for item 3 above, you may also optionally frame the issue using ethical theories (utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, distributive justice, virtue ethics, and covenantal ethics). Note, however, that the questions in item 3 must still be addressed.

Your paper should have at least six external references (in addition to any biblical citations) to help frame the issue. Cite your references within the body of your paper. No Wikipedia references are allowed.

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