Starbucks Performance Management

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  • Topic: Starbucks, Coffee, Howard Schultz
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  • Published : November 15, 2008
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|Spiritual performance from an organizational perspective: the Starbucks way | |Joan F. Marques.  Corporate Governance.  Bradford:2008.  Vol. 8,  Iss. 3,  p. 248-257  |

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this paper is to illustrate spiritual performance from the perspective of a globally operating corporation. The paper uses spirituality at work as its subject-matter and takes the form of a literature review. The paper approaches the topic by: giving a general overview of the shift in global corporate behavior; a short historical review of American business culture; defining workplace spirituality; examining Starbucks Corporation's performance from three angles: suppliers and societies, employees, and customers; and a conclusion and postscript. The paper finds that: spiritual behavior at the organizational level does lead to enhanced corporate performance; workplace spirituality, when encouraged by top management, is oftentimes instigated by personal life experiences; and spiritual behavior, at the organizational level, leads to advantages for multiple stakeholders. Limitations to the research are that the research findings were of a secondary nature. The information was gathered through massive readings, but not through primary research-gathering processes. This study only reviews the performance of one major corporate entity, which reduces the justification of generalizability. Suggestions for future research would be: applying primary studies on a broader sample of globally operating entities to measure their spiritual performance; and formulating particular standards for this type of measurement. The practical implications are that globally operating but also smaller entities may start scrutinizing their performance toward stakeholders in a more spiritual light. New in this paper is the: viewpoint of the Starbucks corporation as a spiritually performing entity; reflection of this major corporation's behavior in three dimensions: toward employees, customers, and suppliers and societies; and reflection of the elements of the definition used here for spirit at work on Starbucks' performance. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

|Full Text (5323  words) |

Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2008


In our continuous efforts to illustrate how spirituality in the workplace works, we need to keep track of one important question: how do we implement all the theories in real life? More directly, what do we do on Monday morning, when we need to keep our nose to the grindstone again? For, that is when we get confronted with real life issues and real human characters, and once again start struggling with questions such as, "Is spirituality at work really possible?" "What should my next steps be to get this going?" and "How does it really work?"

This article attempts to provide positive impulses toward the implementation of spirituality in the workplace by reviewing the performance of the Starbucks Corporation from three angles:

suppliers and societies;

employees; and


The corporation's performance is evaluated through examples, after which the definition of workplace spirituality used in this paper will be analyzed in light of Starbucks' performance. The company's current performance will be presented in hard numbers, and a point will be made that spiritual performance does lead to organizational excellence and elevation of the bottom line.

Spiritual behavior and the business environment

Although the phenomenon of spirituality in the workplace will be reviewed more closely in the next section of this paper, it may be appropriate to first briefly review the business environment from a macro perspective, and how spiritual behavior of business entities will be interpreted here.

Contemporary shifts in the global business environment

As we are shifting toward increased global interdependency, corporate behavior is being...
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