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Starbucks was founded by three creative people, including Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker, in 1971, in Seattle, WA. These people adored coffee and, having decided to share their passion, opened a small store selling coffee. Starbucks offers a wide range of products, such as coffee beverages, fresh food, and assortment portfolio. Within less than thirty years, Starbucks grew from the small regional business to the undisputed world leader in the coffee industry (“Starbucks,” 2017). The growth of the company is significant – the number of Starbucks coffee houses inexorably approaches 23 thousand and retains their original character.
One of the essential components of this company’s success is the appropriately developed and realized strategy that is enhanced continuously. The company also achieved market competitiveness by filling its brand with social problems such as sustainable development and clean water. The ultimate goal of the company is to base on a successful brand besides coffee, a number of other key elements such as ice cream bottled beverage beer and cyberspace. It should also be noted that Starbucks takes care not only of its customers but also of its employees, thus entering the top hundred employers of the planet.
The mission of this company, as stated on its official website, is to establish Starbucks as the world’s leading supplier of high-quality coffee, preserving and developing commitment to the following uncompromising principles: provide an excellent working atmosphere, promote diversity, apply the highest and most advanced standards, provide assistance and support to the local communities, and contribute to the protection of the environment (“Starbucks,” 2017).
This mission can be regarded as a tool to guide the company that serves a powerful source of energy, through which Starbucks can grow into something much more than a single leader can imagine. From the perspective of the Starbucks brand, it helps establish criteria for how this brand should be presented, emphasizing such aspects as strengthening customer relationships.
In order to reach maximum productivity, Starbucks also focuses on its key economic factors that lay not only in low production costs but also in the company’s added value – in the innovation of design, making it something more than coffee. Nowadays, Starbucks creates a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere in all its coffee shops so that customers can rest quietly, or alternatively, they can work with a cup of their favorite coffee. All coffee shops are equipped with Wi-Fi, which is very convenient for people who have to work via the Internet. In addition, any visitor can order an album of songs they like that are continuously playing in coffee shops.
More to the point, in an attempt to build an appropriate relationship with customers, the company needs to enhance its organizational reliability. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) of Starbucks has a long history and is already a good tradition. Contributing to the social sphere, Starbucks initiated the project called Shared Planet that implies measures to establish standards of responsible business conduct and create a better future on collaboration with farming communities.
This program focuses on extracting coffee with ethical standards and taking care of the environment. The company’s employees carefully studied the problems encountered by farmers, including economic and environmental ones. The subsequently occurred Commitment to Origins program serves an option to help farmers to resolve their problems while maintaining their plantations in a stable state, meeting standards for the high quality of the coffee.
Furthermore, in terms of ensuring the organizational reliability, Starbucks invests in the health and well-being of the citizens of countries, supplying coffee raw materials. Starbucks RED card is one of the opportunities to support communities in Africa. In collaboration with designer Jonathan Adler, Starbucks also offers a limited edition of Starbucks RED in the US and Canada. This card allows accumulating a certain percentage of the purchase amount paid to it while the contribution is made to the Global Fund, funds of which are used to help people living with HIV and AIDS in Africa.
Starbucks is constantly looking for new ways to help communities live better. The specialists of the company believe that one of the most significant ways for communities is to involve young people. With the Youth Action grants, it is expected that young people will be engaged in progressive solutions to the problems they face in their own communities. Society needs to come up with innovative solutions, and youths compose the core resource. At this point, it becomes evident that Starbucks needs to improve its CSR activities in order to meet the requirements set by the ever-changing modern world.
The notion of the positive organization suggested by Quinn (2015) is the first issue related to the organization of Starbucks. In particular, it assumes that a company’s work today is not static, as it may get better and sometimes worse. If the negative attitudes prevail, then either the employees leave it, or the efficiency of their work falls. On the contrary, when positive tendencies dominate in an organization, people tend to do their best, exceeding both individual and collective expectations (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2016). Satisfaction and achievement are inseparable from growth and success. As for Starbucks, one may note that the company adheres to the positive organization, encouraging its employees and also motivating them.
According to Quinn (2015), there are four types of organizational culture, including adhocracy, clan, hierarchy, and market. It is necessary to emphasize that in the overwhelming majority of organizations, one type of culture usually prevails. The specific types result from the accumulation of those values, assumptions, and priorities that become dominant as the organization accepts the challenges of the external environment and adjusts itself to change.
The dominant culture helps the company to achieve consistency and stability, becoming more receptive and flexible in relation to the quickly changing external environment. Considering the organizational culture of Starbucks, it is possible to suggest that it belongs to adhocracy due to high flexibility and pursuit of creative solutions. Quinn (2015) also offers Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) that is the tool for diagnosing the organizational culture and providing general culture profile for the company.
Six dimensions of organizational culture that are to be evaluated focus on the theoretical framework design that characterizes the work of organizations and the characteristics of the values that underlie their cultures. The OCAI tool clearly defines what the current organizational culture is and what it should be in the future. The mentioned tool may be applied by Starbucks in order to diagnose, interpret, and then improve its culture.
In spite of a rather successful contemporary organizational culture of Starbucks, it seems appropriate to recommend it to improve the strategy and ways of work within the organization. In particular, it is necessary to find a few key steps that can be implemented immediately by choosing a strategy that will allow starting the process of changing culture and getting visible results (Schein & Schein, 2017).
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The development of guidelines and formulation of relevant goals suitable for the company’s mission will allow building the proper communication strategy. At this point, two-way communication, capable of providing information about the changes to all participants is necessary. In the development of the strategy, it is also beneficial to clearly define how, when, where, and who will bring new cultures to the consciousness of employees, creating the plan based on constant and exhaustive communication with the team.
To support changes in the culture, Quinn (2015) recommends identifying the most diverse aspects of management in the organization that need to be changed and particularly consider the attributes of the seven S model, namely, structure, symbols, systems, states, strategy, leadership style, and managerial skills. To personalize the change in culture, it is useful to clearly define the requirements for the conduct and area of competence that every team member will need to develop
It goes without saying that change of the organizational culture presents the greatest difficulty in implementing the planned activities and observing the commandments of the emerging new culture. Consequently, organizational change managers are expected to perceive both evaluation tools and implementation processes only as a foundation for building an altered culture, rather than relying on them as if the mentioned aspects limit all of the work ahead (Katzenbach, Oelschlegel, & Thomas, 2016). Thus, the efforts to change can be planned for many years, repeating steps in the process of building and strengthening a new culture.
Alvesson, M., & Sveningsson, S. (2016). Changing organizational culture: Cultural change work in progress (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Katzenbach, J., Oelschlegel, C., & Thomas, J. (2016). 10 principles of organizational culture. Web.
Quinn, R. E. (2015). The positive organization: Breaking free from conventional cultures, constraints, and beliefs. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
Schein, E. H., & Schein, P. (2017). Organizational culture and leadership (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Starbucks. (2017). Web.