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Organizational Research/Analysis Paper: Starbucks

In 1971 Starbucks was founded on a love for coffee. Three businessmen, Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, and Zev Siegl, had a desire to share that love with Seattle by opening a small coffee shop known as Starbucks Coffee, Tea & Spice. Ten years later Starbucks had grown to four retail stores located throughout the Seattle area. Whole bean coffee was sold at all four locations. Upon reaching 100 stores in 1992 the company went public. Starbucks grew at an exponential pace thereafter, into a successful, well-known international organization that helps roughly 35 million customers a week (Stanley, 2002). The purpose of this paper is to discuss and analyze Starbucks’ organizational structure, organizational behaviors in communication and ethical decision making, and organizational goals. Organizational structure “is depicted through its organizational chart and recognizes concepts of differentiation and integration” (Anthony, Gales & Hodge, 2003). It’s a “formal composition of task and reporting relationships that allows the company to control, coordinate, and motivate employees so a common goal can be achieved (Hitt, 2008). Starbucks uses a matrix configuration by combining divisional and functional structures. Because of the complexity of matrix structures, Starbucks is categorized as a mechanistic organization, which entails high vertical and horizontal complexity, high formalization, high centralization, narrow spans of control, and high standardization (Anthony, Gales & Hodge, 2003). The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Shultz, has worked to create a more efficient and streamlined structure where information can flow freely from customer and low-tier employee to the corporate level. This is often difficult to achieve with a complex structure. Starbucks utilizes its matrix structure to avoid the communication breakdowns that can occur in an organization that uses vertical differentiation, as the number of levels of...
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