Starbuck's Strategy

Topics: Starbucks, Coffee, Coffeehouse Pages: 8 (1689 words) Published: May 24, 2014

Assignment 1: Starbucks’ Strategy

Gideon Wambua

MGT500 Modern Management
April 22, 2014
Dr. Anthony Muscia
Strayer University

Starbucks’ Organizational Culture
Starbucks is an American global company based in Seattle, Washington. The company has been in existence since 1971. To cope with the ever-changing business environment and to meet the needs of the customers, Starbucks focuses heavily on organizational culture, which undoubtedly is an important strategic resource that Starbucks uses to gain competitive advantage in the global market.

Organizational culture forms a key constituent part of the internal environment within which managers work. Daft (2012) defines culture as, “the set of key values, beliefs, understandings, and norms shared by members of an organization” (p.75). Starbucks values work relationships and appreciates employees as the first point of contact with customers. Employees at Starbucks are valued as “partners” and are called Baristas and are regarded as the face of the company who “create uplifting experiences for the people who visit the store and make perfect beverages-one drink and one person at a time” (Brown, 2012).

Starbucks fosters a company culture that values the needs of the customers. The old adage that the customer is always right holds true at Starbucks and gets a new impetus through the provision of unique experience. Service at Starbucks is customized for every customer from the time the order is placed. The Barista writes the customer’s name on the cup and once the beverage is ready calls out the name in the cup. As much as this is just a simple way of tracking one’s order, the effect of having one’s name called out is tremendous. By the time the customer’s name is called out, the customer might have already forgotten he or she gave out his/her name at the register and might feel known to the Baristas. This gives the service a personal touch lifting the whole service experience to a new level. Starbucks great customer service contributes to its success in a global economy.

The great customer service experienced at Starbucks comes from well-trained employees. Starbucks’ values are inducted through continuous employee training. Employees are encouraged to have conversation with customers and if possible learn and remember their names. The training equips the employees with soft skills as well as product knowledge to help meet the needs of diverse customers. A well-trained workforce espouses the company’s culture. Starbucks Corporation CEO, Howard Schultz has written that, “so much of what Starbucks achieved was because of its employees and the culture they fostered” (Katzenbach and Aguirre, 2013). A well-trained Starbucks workforce is thus a key contributor to its success in a global economy.

Employees at Starbucks are subject to dress code. Dress and the green company logo are the artifacts that are visible to the customer and go a long way in entrenching Starbucks culture. The Starbucks logo is increasingly gaining prominence globally not entirely because of marketing efforts by the company, but because of the ‘coffee’ experience the company serves. Whether the green logo was conceived to portray a commitment to the environment or a sheer stroke of genius, one cannot tell but obviously it is a memorable cultural symbol. The logo and the dress code help in evoking brand recall globally making Starbucks’ the coffee house of choice globally.

Starbucks organizational culture is anchored on diversity. Diversity at Starbucks is real and inclusion of all ethnicities and cultures is evident at a glance. This has made Starbucks stand tall among competitors both locally and globally. Integrated diversity and inclusion comes handy when expanding to foreign markets and in my opinion, this has contributed to its success in a global economy. Diversity has also given customers a sense of belonging which is in line with Harold Shultz’s vision of creating a...

References: Brown, J. (2012). The Role of Baristas in Starbucks. Retrieved on 4/23/2014 from
Daft, R. (2012). Management (10th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning
Hawkins, D. I., Mothersbaugh, D. L., & Best, R. (2013). Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy (12 ed.). McGraw Hill.
Katzenbach, J., & Aguirre, D. (2013). Culture and the Chief executive. Retrieved on 4/22/2014 from
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