Starbucks Coffee Company Diversity Audit
Cindy Rizo and Robin Jones
Keller Graduate School of Management
In this paper, we will be discussing a diversity audit that took place with the Starbucks Coffee Company. The audit consists of the company’s background, what the team’s criteria for a diverse organization should be and the findings on what the organization diversity practices truly consist of based on research provided from interviews, company statements and news articles. The remaining of the paper will focus on the organization in terms of Thomas and Ely’s paradigms, building an inclusion breakthrough and a business case for diversity in the organization. Finally, recommendations for improvements will be discussed for the company. “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” This is the opening mission statement for Starbucks Coffee Company. Since Howard Schultz, CEO, took over the company in 1982, this has been the words that have helped make Starbucks the most successful gourmet coffee company in the world. The first Store opened in 1971 in the Pike Place Market in Seattle Washington. It was a small store only catering to whole bean sales. However, one trip to Italy by Howard Schultz would change everything. In 1983, Schultz goes to Italy where he discovers the idea of a coffee house and believes it is a marketable concept that could take hold in the US. In 1984 the Pike Place Store serves its first latte, and in 1987 Starbucks starts to open stores in Vancouver and Chicago as well as other cities nationwide. As of Dec of 2009 Starbucks has 16,706 stores serving handcrafted beverages and creating an entire cultures with coffee being in the epicenter. From the first barista ever hired, Starbucks has been committed to its partners and has prided itself on being a company based on diversity and acceptance of all cultures; not only from the partners but from the coffee farmers they do business with. Diversity has become a part of the mission and culture at Starbucks and it is something that Starbucks values greatly. It is so much a part of who they are that they have received many awards including an award from the Human rights campaign in 2010 for being one of the best places to work for the LGBT community. An organization is a group of people intentionally organized to accomplish an overall, common goal or set of goals. For a company, an organization is a means to an end to achieve its goals, which are to create value for its stockholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and community. Members of the organization often have some image in their minds about how the organization should be working. When members of an organization have different images or different approaches of how the organization should be, is where diversity becomes a factor within an organization. According to the explanation in Gladstone, diversity means understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. Diversity is about understanding each other and moving beyond acceptance to implementation and celebrating the dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. All of this sounds ideal and easy to apply; then again, the world's increasing globalization requires more interaction among people from diverse cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds than ever before and it is not always easy. As a result, managing diversity has become an organizational challenge. People no longer live and work in a guarded organization; they are now part of a worldwide economy with competition coming from practically every continent. As a result, maximizing and capitalizing on workplace diversity has become an important matter for management. An organization's...