Organizational Culture of Starbucks Benjamin A Chesney Com/530 Communications for Accountants January 28, 2013 Jon Zimmerman Organizational Culture of Starbucks Starbucks Coffee Company is a worldwide conglomerate. Their specialty is coffee. In addition to working as global leader of coffee distribution, Starbucks is also trying to be a global leader in responsibility. They want to show and teach the world that positive thinking, conflict resolution, and giving back to the community are things that people and companies should strive to do.
Their quest is to inspire people.
“Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. ” (“Starbucks,” n. d. ). Starbucks has created a culture within its organization to help maximize their efforts in living up to its mission statement. They have divided their responsibilities into six categories: Coffee, Partners, Customers, Stores, Neighborhood, and Shareholders. These areas represent the culture that exists within this company and the areas of concern to them.
Starbucks is very concerned about the quality of the product that they produce.
This quality is seen not only in the flavor of the coffee and beverages that they serve, but also in the processing of the coffee beans prior to their use to make coffee. They grow, roast, and grind all their own beans. There are controls for making the beverages that include temperature for making each drink. They have a determination for making the best cup of coffee found on the planet. All employees of Starbucks are called “partners. This gives the employees the perception that their ideas matter and are considered for the benefit of the company. Allowing company employees to feel and to believe that they are an integral part of the company and its mission gives significance to the employees. By communicating to the staff that they are greatly valued, a vital part of the company, the company maintains a higher quality product because the employees become invested in the success of the company. Starbucks lives by the motto that “happy employees treat customers well. ” (Plog, 2005. p. 285).
If these employees were to believe they were used or taken advantage of, Starbucks would not have the success that it currently enjoys. There is also a benefits package for all employees, including part-time. This package may include health insurance, and stock options. Starbucks works very hard to make sure the employees feel valued and are happy with the jobs they perform. Starbucks employees work within a group setting and, as with any company that has groups of people working together, conflict between people is inevitable; people will have frustrations and concerns.
However, the culture of employee partnership previously described allows Starbucks to utilize moments of conflict to improve the working environment. When a conflict arises within Starbucks, employees know they can utilize several channels to communicate ideas and frustrations and they will be heard. Some of these channels include employee manuals and open-door policies. They provide training and information to assist staff members to make wise decisions. “The Standards of Business Conduct booklet is a resource distributed to all partners to help them make appropriate decisions at work.
The standards are a brief statement of some of the company’s expectations of how we are all to conduct Starbucks business, consistent with our Mission and core values” (“Starbucks,” n. d. ). These open-door policies permit brainstorming and allow more ideas and concepts to be presented. Giving employees opportunities to communicate to other departments and administrative leaders helps to resolve conflict and preserve the “happy” philosophy. Improved behavior, more efficient and better results, comes from helping and listening to conflicts within the company.
This organizational culture of partnership is a central way that Starbucks aligns its espoused values with its enacted values. They do not overlook things that may be of importance, no matter how small. Starbucks also values making human connections and nurturing the human spirit. Customers are what drive and move this company forward; laughing and talking with its customers is at the forefront of Starbucks values. Allowing transference to occur with customers and employees creates a home-style, “get-to-know-you,” type feeling.
Making these connections helps to elevate the spirit of the person who buys the coffee and is one of many reasons people enjoy sitting in the cafe to drink and chat with friends. These small moments help to generate a positive energy for all who enter the store. Starbucks stores have a sense of inviting warmth to them because Starbucks is concerned about the positive energy it creates from making connections with people. Starbucks is always looking for the invitation to expand within the communities of the American people and worldwide.
They are predicted to increase their visibility with more storefronts and, “Some analysts suggest it ultimately will exceed McDonald’s 29,000 storefronts” (Plug, 2005. p. 285. ). Communication and cultural boundaries can be a conflict for an American company expanding into foreign markets; however Starbucks has already penetrated Asian markets, like Japan, and performed well. They have learned to communicate effectively and overcome both cultural and communication borders based on their philosophy of being “invited” in rather than forcing their brand on a country.
Starbucks is now rapidly growing in China as China is very enamored with American products and has “invited” Starbucks to open storefronts and Starbucks has seized the opportunity to expand into more of the global community. All the work did within the Starbucks culture also benefits company shareholders. The belief that doing what is right in each of the areas within their mission statement creates an enduring and thriving company; when the company is thriving and growing and both employees and customers are happy, the result is happy shareholders.
Ultimately, Starbucks’s organizational culture and communications are reflections of each other. Without balance, the scale would tip and the results might cause damage that is un-repairable. Starbucks has worked very hard since 1987 to create a culture that is open with its employees, generates good customer relations and works to inspire each country, each city, each neighborhood and every human spirit, “one cup at a time. ” References Plug, S. C. (2005, May). Starbucks: More than a Cup of Coffee. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 46(2), 284-287. Starbucks. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. starbucks. com
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