Starbucks: Culture and Environment

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Starbucks: Culture and Environment

Starbucks is one of the largest coffee retailing companies in the world. It is spread across 42 countries and has 15,000 stores. In North America alone the company has thousands of outlets. Apart from being in the coffee business the company is also sells bottled coffee drinks and a line of super premium ice creams. The company also has a brand portfolio that sells a variety of items. There is a line of premium teas called Tazo Tea. The company also sells compact discs under the name of ‘Hear Music’. The company’s logo is one of the most recognized in America. The company also operates in such a way that the community surrounding it benefits from its operation socially, environmentally and also economically (Starbucks, 2011).

Starbucks is a company that considers it very important to maintain a corporate culture. In 1990 the executive team drafted a mission statement and the first guiding principle in the mission statement was “to provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity” (Stanley, 2002). There were three things that the company did on order to ensure that this was carried out. First the company handed out a copy of the mission statement and comment cards to all the employees. Secondly while making presentations the executives frequently made references to the guiding principles. Thirdly there was a mission review system which was used by any partner to comment on a decision or action that he felt was inconsistent with the company’s mission statement. Thus there was a continuous emphasis on the company’s mission and resulted in a strong corporate culture in the company (Stanley, 2002). The company is also committed to the environment and the local community. The company even supported local causes in the communities where Starbucks outlets were located and even in countries where the Starbucks coffee was cultivated. The store managers were granted discretion to donate towards local causes and also provide coffee for events like local fundraisers. There is also a literacy program that is supported by the company. Grants are also provided to nonprofit literacy groups (Stanley, 2002). The company strives very hard to maintain a small company atmosphere despite the fact that the company opens 4 outlets and 200 employees are added to the workforce every day (Weber, 2011). A rather unique fact about the company is the employees are considered as partners and a lot of attention goes into selecting employees. The company firmly believes that having satisfied employees is what results in satisfied customers and that translates into greater profits. There are comprehensive health benefits that are offered to the employees that even extend to their same-sex or opposite sex partners. In addition to that there is also coverage for dental, vision coverage, tuition reimbursement, stock options, vacation plans and also a 401K plan. Both part time and full time employees are given the same benefits. Howards Schultz even went in record saying that during the course of the next two years the company will spend more on employee health care than what it spends on Coffee (Weber, 2011). The company like any other is also affected by external factors.

Economic factors: Like any other company Starbucks has also been affected by the fluctuations in the world economy. The increasing debt levels, issues arising from adjustable mortgage rates and interest levels will affect the company because these factors will affect discretionary spending. It is expected that since the target customers are of a higher –income target, and because of their habitual nature Starbucks may not be affected very much (Alvarado, Dockett, Romano, & Ferguson, 2007).

Legal/political factors: Political tensions between the US and countries in Middle East and Southeast Asia the world has affected the company. Since the US was...
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