Business Research Methods, Part I
Starbucks grew as it attracted many people, leading to tripling its stores worldwide. It became part of every neighborhood, appearing on every street, in airports, supermarkets, and roadside rest stops all over America. This is when complaints began to surface that Starbucks is transforming into a fast-food restaurant and not a coffee house. The coffee industry was no longer dominated by Starbucks, for competitors began to put pressure on the business. In addition, the biggest dilemma to hit Starbucks was the 2008 economic crisis. This took a toll on the consumer who saw Starbucks as a luxury and searched for more affordable alternatives. As a result, Starbucks’ management was faced with the need to generate the right management question that would be the thread to making the best decision through its research design.
An organizational dilemma can spark a research question. Once an organization determines a situation exists, research methods start to devise and eventually sample designs are implemented. When people think of Starbucks, do they think of great customer service, quality products, clean store, or great coffee? The organizational dilemma is: how should Starbucks go about keeping loyal customers while overcoming the old perceptions and changing with the times. According to Howard Schultz, “We are not in the coffee business serving people; we are in the people business serving coffee” (Starbucks Board of Directors, 2008).
Marius Pretorius (2008) research infers Starbuck’s organizational dilemma, whether strategic or operational is not diminished when using Michael Porter’s (1985) generic strategies for competitive advantage. Declining sales require a turnaround solution that address strategic causes and cost relationship pressures that govern demand determinants. Which are “highly susceptible to external influences that are not clearly visible to the...
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