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Starbuck’s Ethical Relationship with Stakeholders Essay

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Updated: Jun 14th, 2019

Starbuck is one of the most prosperous coffee companies based in Seattle, Washington DC in the United States. As it has been observed, Starbucks Company has been conducting its business ethically by considering the needs of its key stakeholders. According to Starbuck (2011), ethical sourcing and social responsibility are the company’s key values that facilitate its success in the coffee industry.

Based on the company’s operations, providing employees with favorable working condition has been prioritized in Starbucks. By referring its employees to as ‘partners’, Starbuck acknowledges the ultimate value of a well motivated workforce.

According to Enquist Sebhatu (2008), when employees are highly motivated by being valued by their employers, they tend to become more efficient in their various duties, resulting into more customer satisfaction. Particularly, Starbucks’ good relationship with its workforce, customers and their stockholders can be attributed to its overall market leadership in the coffee industry.

To ensure that Starbuck sustains its ethical business operations, it established a program called ‘Business Ethics and Compliance’ with an aim of ensuring that all its key stakeholders make ethical business decisions (Starbuck, 2011). This program aims at establishing standards and measures of facilitating resolutions for any kind of conflicts that may arise within its key partners.

Based on Moon (2007), findings on corporate strategy of enhancing sustainability in its operations and maintaining ethical balance between organizations’ key stakeholders facilitate success and achievement of the laid down goals and objectives. Issues like legal compliance and channels to voice out various concerns by stakeholders need to be prioritized among organizations.

With the establishment of ‘Business Ethics and Compliance’ program in Starbucks Company, stakeholders are largely encouraged to share all areas of concerns within the organization to ensure coherence successful resolution of all potential conflicts. By doing this, the company has ensured coherence within its key stakeholders, leading to its overall current business prosperity.

As one of the ways to ensure highly motivated workforce, Starbucks Company has provided all its employees with healthcare benefits among other key benefits as a way of showing concern for the welfare of its workforce as part of its partners (Starbuck, 2010). In fact, the company has for long been considered as ‘the employer of choice’ as a result of its tendency to take good care of its employees and the other stakeholders.

As noted by Moon (2007), one of the key areas to ensure highly motivated workforce is the ability to provide the employees with incentives that enable them to perceive themselves as part of the organizations.

When employees are provided with medical cover by their employer, they tend to develop more trust with their organization. As a result, they tend to remain highly motivated in their job. By providing their employees with appropriate incentives like healthcare benefits, Starbucks Company has facilitated trust with its key stakeholders.

Besides taking care of its employees, Starbucks Company has established good rapport with its stockholders and all the other key stakeholders within its supply chain (Starbuck, 2010). To ensure that the company’s stockholders remain in line with its mission statement, Starbucks Company has established good link with its stockholders within the supply chain for consistency in the product distribution.

With the establishment of the ‘Business Ethics and Compliance’ program, it has been easier for all the company’s stockholders to remain consistent with the company’s ethical standards and practices. With an aim of ensuring consistent supplies within its supply chain, Starbucks Company has built sustainable store malls that facilitate effective flow of products across its markets.

According to Enquist Sebhatu (2008), the ability of an organization to develop appropriate product distribution strategies facilitates its overall success in its operations. In this regard, the tendency of Starbucks Company of involving its stockholders in ethical operations on the course of the products distribution portrays the company as being socially responsible in all its operations.

Further, Starbucks Company has reported to established ‘partner engagement’ project that aims at engaging all its key stakeholders in corporate social responsibility activities (Starbuck, 2011). For instance, Starbucks Company in Thailand launched new non-coffee beverages with an aim of supporting the neighborhood communities in the country.

According to Enquist Sebhatu (2008), the strategy of corporations of engaging in community development programs establishes trust with its key stakeholders for sustained growth and development. When Starbucks Company engages in CSR activities, it establishes strong basis for its sustainable popularity in the markets. As a result, all the products bearing the brand name will be highly valued by the customers in the markets.


In conclusion, Starbucks Company has been observed to adhere to various ethical practices to all its key stakeholders including its employees and stockholders. The company’s strategy of considering its workforce as partners, apart from offering it healthcare benefits, has highly motivated the employees.

Further, the company’s tendency to engage its stockholders in ethical practices through ‘Business Ethics and Compliance’ program has facilitated consistency with its mission. Generally, Starbucks Company’s ability to conduct its operations in ethical manner has largely contributed towards its overall success in the coffee industry.


Enquist, B, Sebhatu S, (2008). Corporate social responsibility for charity or for service business. The Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 69-83.

Moon, J. (2007). ‘Implicit’ and ‘Explicit’ CSR: A conceptual framework for a comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 258-274.

Starbuck, (2010). About us. Retrieved from:

Starbuck, (2011). Business ethics and compliance. Retrieved from:

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