This paper analyzes the mission and core values Starbucks Corporation, of one of the most well-known U. S. companies of our days. The paper analyzes its value statements role in giving direction for the organization operations, the contribution of its success and compares the espoused values with actual values lived by the company and its employees. The paper also discusses the interaction of communication with corporate culture: how the organization’s values impact the communication style and how communication affects the corporate culture.
The paper explains how conflicts can be used to improve communication and build a successful business organization. The paper concludes that core values and communication of those values are important contributors to an organization success; however, unprecedented changes might require revision of the values and corporate culture. Starbucks. For millions of Americans the name automatically conjures up the image of hip, upscale coffee bar with the Starbucks mermaid and the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
After a humble start in 1971, the Seattle based coffee bean roaster and retailer Starbucks experienced rapid expansion and became the world largest coffee chain. Starbucks’ success and drive meets with strong reactions from fans and foes alike acknowledging the impact this company has made on the coffee culture in the US and around the globe. How Starbucks’ corporate culture and core values contributed to its performance?
Is Starbucks living its values or sacrificed them for altar of globalism and rapid expansion as the anti-globalist activists’ claim? How communication is used to maintain the strong corporate culture and create the “right” perception of Starbucks? How conflict might affect the communication within the organization? The paper’s objective is to answer these questions by reviewing Starbucks’s corporate culture and communication with inside and outside stakeholders. Starbucks and its core values
While Starbucks’ mission and value statement has recently changed, the previous set of guiding principles directed the company to its vast success. Starbucks’s mission statement and guiding principles were crafted by founder Howard Schulz, President and CEO. The company’s mission was to establish itself as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining uncompromising principles as they grow. Starbucks’ six guiding principles helped direct the company to make right decisions.
These value statements are (1) provide a motivating work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity; (2) embrace diversity as an essential component in the way they do business; (3) apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of coffee; (4) develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time; (5) contribute positively to the communities and environment and (6) recognize that profitability is essential to future success.
Important to note that the last one of Starbucks’ ambitious espoused values is increasing shareholder value; respect, diversity and customer satisfaction come first. The profitability as key to future success and expansions are among the core values, but all the other stakeholders come before the owners: employees, business partners, customers and the broader community. As Mr. Schultz puts it “The foundation has been to achieve the balance between profitability and social conscience.
The business model for Starbucks has been this balance between profitability and benevolence. ” (Leroux, 2008, p.51) Starbucks won several accolades, it has been recognized as one of Fortune’s of 100 best companies to work for years (Fortune, 2009) and Zagat recently ranked Starbucks as the #1 Best Coffee in the Fast Food and Quick Refreshment categories and as the #1 Most Popular Quick Refreshment Chain (Zagat, 2009). Starbucks received several other prestigious recognitions for years after years such as the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” or being the component of Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes, which proves that the company’s efforts to live its core values are recognized (Starbucks, 2009).
The following two specific examples show the driving forces behind these recognitions as well as some misalignment between the enacted and espoused values. Starbucks committed to use as much fairly-traded coffee as possible, through its on direct-trade brand “Shared Planet” paying significant premium price, benefiting farmers and their communities in Africa and Central America poorest countries (Leroux, 2008). On the other hand, the company has been criticized for its overuse of disposable paper cups, which are non-recyclable or wasteful water management (Lorraine ; Flynn, 2008).
A good example of how the founders’ philosophy impacts the organization culture is the reason behind Starbucks generous health benefits: providing health benefits for almost all the employees is a moral obligation for Mr. Shultz. He grew up in very modest circumstances in a Brooklyn housing project and a traumatic childhood experience about his injured father losing his job without any health benefits explains his personal crusade to provide full health benefit policy and stock option plan to part-time employees too (Serwer & Bonamici, 2004).