Starbucks Organization Culture

Starbucks is an international company which operates on the global scale. Its organizational culture is influenced by multinational environment and socio-economic changes. International staffing and development helps to organise HR in accordance with the needs of the company. According to organizational analysis, the remarkable feature of Starbucks is ‘monoculture’ which affects all spheres of organizational performance and human relations. Starbucks is often criticized for this strategy that threatens individual differences. On the other hand, there is a positive impact of this culture on organization expressed in low diversity levels and homogeneous culture shared by all employees. In spite of great criticism, Starbucks give some thought to how intercultural differences impede or enhance business success. Diversity has a great impact on decisions of managers and is based on removal of prejudice from the organization and the individuals it employs (Starbucks Corporation 1999).

Artifacts and behavior are expressed in rituals and rites, behavior patterns and communication. Starbucks establishes the professional standards for the work done inside the organization. They specify the relationship between people in the organization on all levels. In short, they outline how all members of the organization will behave to achieve the core values, the vision and the mission. “Employees were also encouraged to speak their minds without fear of retribution from upper management—senior executives wanted employees to be vocal about what Starbucks was doing right, what it was doing wrong, and what changes were needed” (Starbucks Corporation, 1999). The company introduces specific time-phased plans for improving the company’s culture in a logical and systematic manner in order to achieve the culture specified by the vision, core values, and guiding principles. Starbucks’ management decision-making is aimed to make ‘Starbucks a better company’.

Espoused values include ethical principles and high quality of the products delivered, social responsibilities and innovations. This strategy has more to do with the value system of high-level management than it does with the external environment (Starbucks’ Human Resource Management 2005). Timeliness, responsiveness and flexibility, courtesy and friendliness, availability and access, sympathy and support, understanding and guidance; all these, and others such as respect and confidentiality, have to be considered as elements in the design of human services where the felt experience of the client is at least as important as, if not more so than, procedural or technical precision (Robbins 2002). In order to make the correct choices, Starbucks introduces a strict code of responsibilities and duties. It has also been acknowl­edged that the managers of Starbucks have important obligations to a variety of stakeholders and not just the shareholders, and this should be reflected in the organization’s statements of purpose, such as mission statements. “The keystone value in the effort “to build a company with soul” was that the company would never stop pursuing the perfect cup of coffee” (Starbucks Corporation, 1999). Starbucks follows conservative Strategy characterized by a slow growth and stable environment. Innovations as a part of organization culture requires participative processes and results in the sharing of information across departments, functions, and organizational levels; team decision making; conflict resolution; and deference to the person with the best idea rather than the most senior title. Many people are struggling to determine the shape of the innovative organization (Starbucks Coffee Company, n.d.).

Basic Assumptions are based on employee empowerment, training and promotion strategies.  Starbucks management underlines the objective of empowerment is to tap the creative and intellectual energy of everybody in the company, not just those in the executive suite, and to provide everyone with the responsibility and the resources to display real leadership within their own individual spheres of competence. “Starbucks was able to attract motivated people with above-average skills and good work habits not only because of its fringe benefit program but also because of its pay scale” (Starbucks Corporation, 1999).

Works Cited

Robbins, S. Organizational Behavior. Pearson Higher, 2002.
Starbucks Coffee Company. 2005.  <http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/pdf/2002-1-0023.pdf>
Starbucks Corporation.  1999. <www.mhhe.com/business/management/thompson/11e/case/starbucks-1.html>
Starbucks’ Human Resource Management Policies and the Growth Challenge. 1999. ;http://www.icmr.icfai.org/casestudies/catalogue/Human%20Resource%20and%20Organization%20Behavior/HROB068.htm;

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