Starbucks’ Plan


Starbucks has grown over the decades to become an important brand, in the coffee industry (Simmons, 2005).Starting in 1971; the company has grown from a bean-marketing brand to a major retailer of consumable coffee. Subsequently, an evaluation of the company’s aspects is crucial in developing a suitable plan that highlights the process involved in workforce development.

Organizational Assessment and Overview

Over the years, Starbucks Company has evolved to become an important producer, and marketer of premium coffee. Subsequently, an evaluation of the company’s aspects is crucial in developing a conclusive overview of the company.

Organizational Structure

Blyth (2009) posits that organizational structure is crucial in enhancing an entities success; therefore, different organizations employ unique structure to enhance their performance. At Starbucks’ company, a matrix organizational structure that emphasizes on effective communication is utilized to enhance the entity’s efficiency. According to Rubinfeld and Collins (2009), a matrix organizational structure categorizes employees into categories that undertake specific function and produce specific products. This setting has enabled the company embody the organization’s culture that promotes suitable communication between the entity and its customers.

Further, Starbucks organizational structure has enabled subdivision of its global markets into three divisions-china, and Asia pacific, Europe and Russian regions (EMA), and Americas. The aforementioned divisions are headed by a leader who is tasked with the role of working with licensed Starbucks stores and any joint ventures within their jurisdiction. Simmons (2005) contends that subdivisions that are enabled by the matrix structure enable an entity to respond to region-specific needs. Therefore, regional presidents, at Starbucks, allow the company to satisfy consumer-specific demands in various parts of the globe while maintaining the entity’s mission – “to inspire and nurture the human spirit-one individual, one cup and one area at a time (Rothwell and Kazanas, 2003).”

Product Line

Blyth (2009) holds the view that  a suitable product mix  is crucial in enhancing an organization’s ability to secure  larger market shares. Subsequently, the Starbucks deals in premium teas, Italian-style espresso beverages, and cold blended beverages. This product mix plays a crucial role in enhancing the organization’s competitiveness in major markets. In addition, the business offers a range of coffee-related equipment and accessories. These include coffee making machines, dosing tools and vacuum coffee savers. Williams (2006) posits that the value of a product reflects the consumer’s perception of its usefulness. Therefore, price determination at Starbucks enhances the entity’s uniqueness by portraying its produce as premium products. The targeted pricing system has enabled Starbucks to capture a large number of consumers hence increasing revenues for the organization. Further, the company recognizes that pricing introduces psychological benefits such as comfort, reliability, calmness, brand, and relationships. Consequently, Starbuck’s pricing system maximizes its profit and promotes consumer loyalty by appealing to consumers who value status. As a result, Starbucks value-based pricing deters price sensitive consumers, creating a loyal, higher-income consumer that values affordable luxuries. Williams (2006) argues that suitable product mixes and pricing strategies are essential in enhancing the  premium image of a brand. Therefore, Starbuck’s product mixes and pricing strategies play a pivotal role in enhancing the company’s image. However, the entity should diversify its products to cater for low-income earners. This will enable the firm to secure a larger market share despite changing economic environments on the globe.

Organizational Culture

According to Lussier (2008), an organization’s culture plays an important role in enhancing positive working environments where   effective communications actively reinforce organizational values and traditions. Subsequently, Starbucks culture is characterized by suitable communication at all ranks. For instance, the company’s  current president  describes himself as fanatical  communicator who is future oriented .The culture portrayed by the company’s  leadership has enabled the entity to save cash and increase profit margins without affecting their employee’s welfare. Further, the company embodies several characteristics that  highlight the entity’s  image. These include people orientation, focus to detail, belligerence, team orientation, and constancy. The aforementioned characteristics have enabled Starbucks to develop suitable a suitable environment where consumers can relax and unwind. Therefore, the company provides cozy settings where individuals can socialize while enjoying free Wi-Fi services. This aspect enables customers to associate the company with comfort, therefore, attracting a large portion of coffee consumers. In addition, the company value ethical behavior and customer responsive environments. As a result, the organization has a set of guidelines that dictate employee actions, therefore, averting incidences that may attract negative publicity. For illustration, the company employs the word of mouth advertisement system. This enables the firm to portray an ethical image since it does not seek to influence consumer decisions through fictitious adverts. However, the company should provide update information on their social platforms to avert distortion of information.

SWOT Analysis

Simmons (2005) posits that Starbucks is a premium roaster and retailer of specialty coffee on the globe. However, the company has a number characteristic that define its profile in the coffee industry. These features are revealed by the company’s SWOT analysis.

Starbucks Company possesses a number of strengths that enhance its competitiveness in the coffee market. These strengths include strong financial base, suitable employee management, suitable ranking among coffeehouse segments and popularity. The aforementioned strengths play an important role in increasing the organization’s economies of scale, therefore, increasing the company’s revenue (Rothwell and Kazanas, 2003). Further, the Starbucks has a number of weaknesses that may hinder it from achieving its visions. These weaknesses include discriminatory product pricing, negative publicity and fluctuating prices for coffee beans. The effects of the fore stated aspects can be reduced through the introduction of suitable management approaches. Among these approaches are the introduction of   diversified product-pricing strategies, creation of suitable customer-company communication channels, and creation of future oriented strategies in the acquisition and processing of coffee beans (Debelak, 2003).

Further, Starbucks can utilize a number of opportunities to increase its revenue margin. These include a diversity of suppliers, expansion of developing economies, increased product-diversity, and increased acceptance of retailed coffee. Lussier(2008) holds the view that expansion of emerging economies and increased acceptance of retailed coffee will play important roles in enhancing the profitability levels among  coffee retailers. Consequently, Starbucks can enhance its markets share and profitability margins by introducing policies that exploit opportunities in the expansion of emerging economies and increased acceptance of retailed coffee. Additionally, the company should introduce new products and diversified pricing strategies to attract high and low-income customers. This will increase the company’s publicity and profit margins. Moreover, Starbucks faces a number of threats in the coffee industry. These threats include, trademark violations, supply disruptions, poor economic growth in developed nations, increased competition and rising coffee prices. Effects of the aforementioned threats can be mitigated through the introduction of future oriented leadership, strategic pricing and diversification.

Leadership Development

According to Rothwell and Kazanas (2003),leadership development refers to  activities that  improve the quality of leadership in among managers or within an entity. As a result, Starbucks employs a number of activities to improve its leadership. These include suitable identification of leaders, application of suitable communication strategies, leadership development programs, and comprehensive leadership succession plans.

Establishment and Promotion of Organizational Values

The senior management at Starbucks undertakes a number of activities to establish and promote the organization’s vision and values. Foremost, the organization’s leadership evaluates the entity’s role, the cause for its existence and the entity’s objectives. The fore stated  factors enable the senior management to understand  the direction and responsibility of the entity. As a result, managers identify a suitable vision and mission that introduces an array of psychological benefits to the organization. These benefits include motivating employees, creation of suitable goals and creating teamwork among departments. Jones, Steffy, and Bray (1991) argue that  setting a vision unifies an organization’s stakeholders ,therefore, enabling an organization utilize achieve its goals. For instance, Starbucks mission unifies its employees in the quest for customer satisfaction. Further, the company’s management creates a number of rewards to promote Starbucks vision and values. These benefits enhance the acceptance of  different values and missions, therefore, increasing the organization’s ability to achieve its goals.

Communication Strategies

According to Debelak (2003), effective communication between an organization’s management and its employees is essential in accomplishing an organization’s vision and mission. As a result, Starbuck Company employs a number of communication strategies to enhance employee engagement. Foremost, the entity sells concepts of the brand to its employees. This enables employees to develop a personal relationship with the entity. Through storytelling, store experiences become import to an employee’s personal development. As a result, employees manage to transform coffee shop experiences into a memorable experience. This communication strategy plays a crucial role in developing customer loyalty and enhancing success since employees pursue its success out of self-interest (Williams, 2006).However, the level of motivation varies among employees, and therefore, a number of measures can be introduced to the level of motivation among employees. Foremost, the management should develop mission statements that unify employee objectives. Lussier (2008) holds the view that promoting brand awareness by studying the entity’s mission transforms employees into brand ambassadors. Therefore, Starbuck’s company should educate its employees on concepts highlighted by its mission since it transforms employees into effective brand ambassadors. Secondly, Starbucks employs creative training sessions to engage its employees. Through immersion experiences, the entity enables employees to enjoy commercial-like experiences hence giving them a reason to care for the origination’s reputation. This method of engaging employees yields suitable results; however, some employees may prefer training that involves capacity building. As a result, Starbucks should introduce an employee program that incorporates yoga and meditation. This will enable employees to develop other aspects of their life hence improving their productivity (Rothwell and Kazanas, 2003).

Identifying Leaders

Effective management is vital to an organization’s accomplishments (Williams, 2006). Consequently, Starbucks employs four strategies to identify suitable leaders for different positions. These methods include merit systems that rank the frequency of an employee’s contribution to value development, an employee’s contribution to society, and the level of positivity in an employee. The aforementioned techniques provide a suitable method of identifying leaders; however, their inability to evaluate employees based on colleague evaluations may hinder effective management. As a result, Starbucks should implement a method of inter-colleague evaluation. This will enable employees to participate in selecting suitable leaders, therefore, enhancing acceptability of change-decisions formulated by their leaders. Further, Starbuck’s company should give priority to employees within the organization, and professionals from diverse fields. These approaches introduce benefits of motivating employees and introducing new ideas at Starbucks Company (Rothwell and Kazanas, 2003).

Leadership Development Programs

Simmons (2005) posits that leadership development is a crucial activity in Starbucks activities. As a result, the entity engages the youth through its youth-leadership program with an aim of improving imparting leadership skills to society members. The aforementioned program plays a crucial role in developing future leaders for the organization. Further, Starbucks contribution to society through youth leadership grants promotes consumer loyalty and the entity’s publicity (Lussier, 2008). Finally, youth leadership programs provide suitable avenues for innovation. These may enable the entity to develop pricing strategies that market Starbuck’s products to high and low-income consumers.

Leadership Succession Plan

Successful transition of leadership is important in promoting consistency within an organization (Blyth, 2009).As a result; Starbucks Company employs a four-stage approach in its leadership succession plan. The approach involves analysis, development, selection, and transition. In the analysis stage, Starbucks identifies a number challenges that the organization might face in the next decade, and suitable skills that a leader should possess to overcome the hurdles. Further, the development stage involves selection of suitable candidates within the internal environment and employing executive search firms for external selection. In this stage, potential candidates are trained on suitable skills for executive positions. Candidates who possess suitable skills are selected before the transition date. Finally, during the transition the chosen candidate interacts with the outgoing officer to facilitate on-boarding. According to Debelak (2003), on-boarding enables new officers to understand dynamics of executive positions hence promoting an organization’s consistency.

Workforce Development

According to Williams (2006), workforce development is a human resource strategy that enhances a region or organization’s stability by enhancing individual capabilities. Subsequently, an evaluation of this strategy and its application in Starbucks’ activities reveals its crucial aspects.

Elements of Organizational Culture

A number of elements define organizational culture; however, three features describe Starbucks organizational culture. These elements include organizational values, beliefs, and norms (Blyth, 2009).Further; the values describe Starbucks’ organizational culture differently, therefore, an evaluation of each element is crucial. Foremost, organizational values reflect aspects that an organization holds important. Williams (2006) posits that organizational values are usually principles that guide suitable behavior in an organization. These principles inform stakeholders the importance of different traits to the organization, therefore, enhancing their adoption. For instance, Starbucks upholds the values of environmental protection, innovative solutions, promoting fiscal responsibility, upholding ethics and constant evaluation of company projects. The aforementioned values enable Starbucks to fulfill its cooperate responsibility hence improving the society’s welfare. Secondly, organizational beliefs play an important role in describing organizational culture. These elements, which refer to a number of assumptions that are upheld by stakeholders in a particular organization, enable organizations to define their interaction with different partners. For instance, Starbucks Company holds the belief that customers and employees are important to the organization’s success. Consequently, the organization formulates strategies that enhance engagement between customers, employees and the entity. Thirdly, organizational norms describe acceptable behaviors within an organization, therefore, reflecting values held by the entity. For instance, Starbucks upholds norms of business ethics and compliance. These norms guide organizational activities, therefore, promoting value-based development in the entity

Assessing Employee Performance

Rubinfeld and Hemingway (2009) argue that assessing employee performance is essential to an organization’s success hence several measures facilitate evaluation of employee activities. These techniques include cost-effectiveness, creativity, quantity, adherence to policy and tardiness. At Starbucks, performance appraisals facilitate in employee Evaluation.The Company’s evaluation entails two measures- evaluation a worker’s job performance and utilization of  customer comment cards (Simmons,2005).The latter method enables Starbuck’s leadership to collect genuine information about employee performance hence  facilitating the development of a suitable reward system. Further, employee satisfaction plays an important role in an organization’s effectiveness. Therefore, a number of suitable methods are employed to evaluate employee satisfaction at Starbucks. These methods include evaluating frequency of absenteeism, questionnaires, suggestion boxes, and online comments made on an organization’s platform.

Development of a Global Culture

Debelak (2003) contends that individuals from different cultural backgrounds hold different views, attitudes, and behaviors. For instance, a study in the United States revealed that different cultures hold three divergent views on how culture relates with nature. These views include harmony with nature, mastery of environment, and subjugation to the environment. The example indicate differences among culture, therefore a successful organization should foster the development of a global culture. At Starbucks, development of a global culture involves two steps- unification, and unifying about the brand. These steps require different activities; hence, evaluating them is essential. Foremost, unifying an organization’s practices around the globe involves the introduction of universal practices in the entity’s subsidiaries. For instance, Starbucks should employ unified payroll and recruitment systems to reward employees in different parts of the world. The standardization may enable the firm to handle organizational issues in a similar manner, therefore, promoting a universal culture in local and international branches (Rothwell and Kazanas, 2003). Secondly, unification around a brand is essential in the creation of a global brand. Therefore, Starbucks Company should use its brand as a medium of defining its internal systems and value held by the company. This will enable the company to develop core values and a suitable vision that unites people together, therefore, developing a universal culture (Williams, 2006).

Organizational Development

Starbucks Assessment Model

An assessment of Starbucks performance based on   its performance in the coffee-marketing industry redefines the company’s activities in a systemic manner. Based on the argument that all actions in the organization are interconnected, this model recognizes Starbucks’ vision and mission as an important foundation. Therefore, the model avails a systematic approach to define various processes and their inter-relationships. The following processes and their interrelationships summarize Starbuck’s assessment model.

Further, a number of principles support this model. These are as follows

  • Quantitative and qualitative methods allow the combination of direct and indirect measures hence contributing information required for decision-making.
  • Active participation of all stakeholders at Starbucks Company is important in achieving its mission and objectives.
  • The evaluation process is composed of four processes. These include identification of the company’s products, gathering information on the company’s activities, interpretation of data and utilizing information to improve product quality at Starbucks.

Tools Used to Measure Organizational Performance 

According to Williams (2006), three tools can be used while measuring an organization’s performance. These tools include Baldrige prize, Shingo prize for operational excellence, and Lean enterprise self-assessment tool. Subsequently, an evaluation of Starbuck’s performance employs the aforementioned tools.

Baldrige prize- This tool   refers to a program that recognizes organizations that reveal excellence, and high-quality products and services. This evolutional tool motivates enterprises and enhances product quality and operational values within an entity (Lussier, 2008).Additionally, the tool employs a number of organizational indicators to map-out key processes and facilitating answering qualitative questions related to the organization’s strategies.

Shingo prize for operational excellence-This tool plays the important role of facilitating organizational evaluation in a wide range of dimensions. Among the dimension’s studies are continuous process improvement, organizational culture, and business outcomes (Rubinfeld and Hemingway, 2009).In the evaluation process, complementary concepts are combines in a hierarchical sequence that connects cultural enablers and business outcomes.

Lean Enterprise Self-Assessment Tool (LESAT) – This is a questionnaire designed for an organization’s self-assessment, and it involves the top leadership of an organization. This technique employs leading indicators that are associated with lean operations in an organization. This tool evaluates gaps between an organization’s current state and its desired state hence it becomes a suitable tool for evaluating organizations in their transformative phases.

Tools Used To Measure Leadership Performance

Assessing leadership performance within an organization is completed in four steps. These steps include:

  • Developing a suitable hypothesis of change-This process involves defining which leaders an organization should target, the  kind of training  that should be availed  and what outcomes are expected from an organization’s leadership. As a result, of the definitions, intermediate and long-term outcomes for improved leadership are identified.
  • Evaluation of mixed methods-This stage evaluates data tracking as prescribed by the theory of change, suitable characteristics for an organization’s leaders, and an assessment of whether programming was completed successfully. This stage enables researchers to identify gaps in leadership performance.
  • Building firmness over time. This method entails a full evaluation of leadership programs from the start. Based on the premise that development of measurement rigor enhances leadership orientation towards suitable results, leadership performance can be evaluated by examining the level of firmness in an organization (Lussier, 2008).


Starbucks has grown over the decades to become an important company in the coffee industry. After commencing its operations in 1971, the company has grown from a bean-marketing brand to a major retailer of consumable coffee. Further, an overview of the company reveals several aspects of the company. These aspects include the organizational structure, product line, culture, and SWOT analysis. The overview provides detailed information about the entity hence facilitating a study of Starbuck’s leadership, occupational, and organizational development. In the evaluation, of leadership development several aspects that relate to leadership provide insight on improving an organization’s management. These include establishment and promotion of organizational values, communication strategies and the process of identifying leaders. Additionally, an evaluation of occupational and organizational development reveals a number of ways Starbucks staff members and activities can be improved to enhance efficiency. Moreover, an evaluation of Starbucks evaluation model identifies a four-stage approach used to assess the company’s performance. Conclusively, an evaluation of the company’s aspects enables the development of a suitable plan that highlights the process of leadership, organizational, and occupational development. 


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