Dominos Organizational Culture, Leadership and Motivation

Dominos: Organizational Culture, Leadership and Motivation



Executive Summary

Development and implementation of organizational culture, the right leadership and motivational techniques in a company are essential in enhancing the productivity and profitability of an organization. This paper reviews the organization culture, leadership, and motivational techniques of Dominos as it is demonstrated in the Undercover Boss documentary of 2015 where Don Meij, the CEO of the company went to work as a frontline employee to learn and understand his workers. The review also offers insights into the problems of the company and how they can be resolved. It highlights the strengths of the company and provides recommendations to ensure that it improves. In this view, it is concluded that the greatest challenge of the company is the lack of effective communication channels. At the same time, its most significant strength is the story of Don Meij, the CEO who started as a delivery guy but later became the CEO. It is recommended that the company should develop better communication strategies and provide adequate training to its workers.

Dominos: Organizational Culture, Leadership and Motivation

Human resource management is the most crucial aspect of the success story of any organization. The ability to develop and implement effective organizational culture, leadership, and motivational techniques is integral to the profitability of any company. Domino’s Pizza, a franchise, is one of the companies that have effectively and successfully implemented organizational culture, appropriate leadership skills, and motivational techniques to ensure that its employees succeed. Based on the Undercover Boss film, season 1 episode 1 that features Don Meij as an undercover and the initiatives that he took to ensure that the workers remain motivated demonstrates the culture and leadership of the organization. Dominos has a well established organizational culture that is not only written but observable in most of the workers of the organization. The leadership of Don Meij is exceptional since he focuses on the motivation and inspiration of his workers to achieve their interests and company goals.

Organizational Culture

The organizational culture of the Dominos can be explained using the three level s of organizational culture. There are numerous observational artefacts which refer to the physical dimensions like awards, myths, stories and dress code of the company (Anitha, 2016). Dominos has a dress code whereby the frontline workers are expected to wear company branded polo shirts. The dress code represents the brand of the company. One of the most notable observable facts about Dominos is its story of success. Through the story of the CEO, Don Meij, it is evident that the company offers people an opportunity to grow and succeed. Don Meij started working as a Pizza delivery guy and grew to become the head of the company (Undercover Boss, 2015). Such a story gives the workers hope for success since they can expect to work at the junior levels and rise to management both as franchisers and at the corporate level.

The organization culture of Dominos is also explained using espoused and enacted values. The espoused values are explicitly stated values and norms defined by the organization, while the enacted values are those that are exhibited in the company (Kinicki et al., 2018). Some of the Dominos’ espoused values include hard work, creation of opportunities, honesty, inspiring, and winning together. The espoused values are enacted values in the case of Dominos. The company allows its staff to grow as it was the case with Charlie (Undercover Boss, 2015). It is characterized by hard work as illustrated by Don, who works as an undercover. It features inspiring solutions as it was the case with Raj, who introduced a new type of Pizza (Anitha, 2016). The employees express togetherness and work to win together not only for the company but every individual in it. Lastly, there are underlying assumptions that are evident in Dominos. The company takes time to do small but essential things to its employees. For instance, the CEO, Don Meij, gave Raj $1500 as a token for introducing new Pizza brand and also paid for a baseball game for him and his children (Undercover Boss, 2015). These values and norms form a critical part of the organizational culture of Dominos.


The path-goal leadership model characterizes dominos leadership. The model indicates that an effective leader increases the motivation of employees by clarifying behaviour or paths that will help them attain goals and offer them support. The action of the leader is defined by the clarification of the path goals and is achievement-oriented, work facilitation, interaction facilitation, supportive and group-oriented decision making (Kinicki et al., 2018). Dominos CEO exhibits work facilitation, supportive, path-goal clarifying, and interaction facilitation behaviours. While working as an undercover, he noticed some of the challenges and weaknesses of the employees such as wastage of resources, wrong way of making Seventh Level pizza, but he did not fire the employee. Instead, he committed to offering the frontline staff more training to ensure that they understand the products of the company and how to make them. The CEO facilitated and supported the workers to ensure that they achieve efficiency and their goals (Undercover Boss, 2015).

Transformational leadership is also evident at the Dominos. Transformational leadership focus on reforms and transforms employees to pursue the goals of the organization over self-interests (Kinicki et al., 2018). Transformational leaders encourage their staff to do extraordinary things. Don Meij, the CEO of Dominos, encouraged the employees to do extraordinary things. The CEO during undercover established the challenges of his workers but encouraged them to do more and better. He paid Raj $1500 as it is the company policy to give an employee who comes up with a new Pizza brand recipe (Undercover Boss, 2015). The incentive is to ensure that the employee is creative and innovative in their daily duties. Transformational leadership entails the creation of a vision and guide change by inspiring others in the company (Kinicki et al., 2018). Don Meij, the CEO of Dominos, learned the challenges and weaknesses of his employees and committed to providing more support to ensure that they can realize the developed vision of the company.


Dominos management has different measures to keep its employees motivated and committed to working for it. Essentially, the theory that applies to the case of Dominos is the Alderfer’s (1960) ERG theory that focuses on existence, relatedness and growth of individuals. Existence is about the basic needs of human survival (Lăzăroiu, 2015). The wages provided by the company offer Dominos’ workers the ability to satisfy their basic needs of durability, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Indeed, a worker cannot be motivated unless the psychological needs such as shelter, food, sleep, and clothing are achieved (Nagar & Sharma, 2015). Relatedness needs entail human desires to satisfy social and interpersonal relationships. It involves the need for friendship and love among other interpersonal relationships that guarantee the workers a sense of belonging. Dominos offers a friendly environment to all its workers. The workers are expected to be warm and loving to one another, just like a family. The actions of Don Meij, the CEO, to offer holiday and other incentives to their workers shows love (Undercover Boss, 2015). The interaction with the employees on a personal level and understanding their needs motivates them because it is based on the interpersonal relationship between the junior staff members and senior management of the company.

Growth needs to focus on the desire for development and progress. Employees feel motivated when they see the consequences of their efforts (Lăzăroiu, 2015). The Dominos ensures that its employees are appreciated, and their efforts are recognized. Don Meij, the CEO, gave Charlie and his wife, one of the stores’ managers, the assurance that for every dollar they saved, the company would match it with a dollar. Besides, the CEO provided a new car and air conditioning to one of the store managers in recognition of his efforts. Additionally, the manager was given a holiday that includes her family (Undercover Boss, 2015). In this view, the workers are motivated to work hard and achieve the goals of Dominos.


One problem that is evident in Dominos and should be addressed is communication. The company lacked effective communication structure based on the film. According to the CEO, Don Meij, the company does adopt new recipe for Pizza brands, and if approved, the employee that developed gets $1500 as an incentive. Raj one of the Pizza delivery experts had a Pizza recipe that he felt the company should adopt and introduce in its products, but did not know the correct channel to use. He believed that only the owners and franchise managers could develop a new product (Undercover Boss, 2015). Such incidences indicate a lack of effective communication which may inhibit the creativity of the employees. The policies of the company ought to be known by all the workers, including the junior staff. Therefore, Dominos need to develop an efficient communication structure to ensure that their employees are aware of the policies and culture of the company.


One of the greatest strengths of Dominos is its story of success and opportunity for workers. The organizational culture of the company is observed on the rising of the CEO, Don Meij, from a delivery guy to the CEO (Undercover Boss, 2015). According to the Three Levels of Organizational Culture model, observational artefacts such as stories form part of the organizational culture. The story of the company and individuals within it can influence other workers to behave in a given way (Anitha, 2016). In this case, the story of Don Meij motivates the workers at Dominos to work hard to ensure that they can also rise and realize their personal goals and the objectives of the company. It illustrates that there is a growth opportunity for every person who works hard in the company. The story of Don Meij is well known among the employees of Dominos and proudly speaks of it at all times.


It is highly recommended that Dominos work on its communication and training of the workers in the stores. The company has the best workforce that is motivated and dedicated to the company based on the stories in the Undercover Boss. However, the most significant challenge that is observable in the film is insufficient training, particularly on new products and communication is the most significant challenges of the company. In this view, Dominos management needs to ensure that there are communication structures to ensure that the policies and initiatives of the company can reach the junior workers in the stores. The use of email to send messages can effectively help in addressing the issue. Again, it is essential to train all the front staff on new products to ensure that they can make them in the most accurate way to give the customers the expected taste and feel.


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Kinicki, A., Scott-Ladd, B., Perry, M., Williams, B. (2018). Management a practical introduction (2nd ed.). Sydney, NSW: McGraw-Hill

Lăzăroiu, G. (2015). Employee motivation and job performance. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, (14), 97-102.

Nagar, J. G., & Sharma, S. (2016). Relevance of theories of Motivation in retail business: A study on Retailer’s decision making process. Research Journal of Management Sciences E-ISSN, 2319, 1171.

Undercover Boss. (Jan 28, 2015). Undercover Boss Australia Season 1 Episode 01, UB AU SO1E01.