Starbucks and its Organizational Culture


Starbucks is an American public company operating in the sector of coffee shops that have managed to open almost 24 thousand shops globally. Starbucks attracts the attention of not only competitors but also business analysts willing to know the key success factors behind the organization’s global leadership. An organization’s culture deserves special attention since it is an essential part of the engine delivering high-quality products and services to consumers. In particular, Starbucks ’ culture focuses on the recruiting of the internal resources, the motivation of employees, and support of the commonly shared beliefs and values that explain the organization’s global presence and leadership in different regions.


Starbucks’ organizational culture

Starbucks is a global company that continues to grow with time and increase its presence in almost every part of the world. New employees willingly join Starbucks to ensure the delivery of high-quality beverages and delicious food. Coffee is the central element in the organization’s culture that reflects a myriad of values and beliefs (Gavin 45). By serving high-quality coffee drinks in the comforting atmosphere of the Starbucks store, the organization provides every visitor with an opportunity to have a Starbucks experience and enjoy a cup of coffee in a unique atmosphere. Starbucks’ organization has five characteristic features including stability, focus on details, orientation on people, orientation on teambuilding, and aggressiveness (Haskova). These features allow Starbucks to prepare a third place between home and work that people can visit whenever they need to increase their energy level. Starbucks work environment follows the belief that mutual support, understanding, compassion, and cooperation are the key success factors. At Starbucks, any employee can become a hero, regardless of the job position he or she occupies. Starbucks recognizes the achievements of its employees and provides a fair reward for hard work and dedication to the company. Howard Schultz is the main contributor to the rituals at Starbucks who got inspired by the Italian baristas that delicately made coffee drinks (Gavin 46). As a result, the organization continues to support the same love for coffee through a careful concoction of coffee drinks and focuses on the delivery of a unique experience to consumers at all levels of the company’s performance.

Leadership and its connection to the organization culture

Starbucks managed to achieve global leadership due to a combination of hard work and unique features of the organizational culture that fostered the achievement of success. Starbucks itself describes organizational culture as an environment of inclusion, belonging, and diversity. Global leadership would be impossible without strong cultural values that unite employees in a single team of professionals working hard to deliver high-quality products and services to the most demanding consumers (Schermerhorn and Bachrach 270). The internal environment of Starbucks consists of servant leadership, collaboration, inclusion, focusing on relationships, and openness. These elements of the organizational culture characterize the beliefs, values, and artifacts of Starbucks that guarantee the personal and professional growth of every employee. As a result, Starbucks established a leadership engine that uses external and internal environments to meet the needs of consumers, create unique experiences for both employees and consumers, and contribute to the organization’s global leadership (Gavin 48). Employees are the main priority for Starbucks since they are the means of successful achievement. Starbucks’ leadership is a result of mobilizing the energy of the workforce and continuous transformation of the internal environment under the influence of external forces.

Reflection of the industry through the Starbucks’ culture

Starbucks is part of the coffee shop industry that continues to grow year after year since the companies find it appealing to belong to this particular industry that aims to meet consumers’ needs by offering delicious coffee drinks. Starbucks’ performance with its organizational culture reflects intense competition between different companies in the coffee shop industry. The organization recognizes the importance of developing an effective employee retention strategy that would inspire subordinates to enjoy the sense of belonging to the global leader in the coffee shop industry (Haskova). Starbucks added an element of tough competition to the performance of employees and this is what motivates subordinates to achieve new heights of success. The same competition happens in the external environment of Starbucks.

Recommendations for a new employee to behave in the Starbucks’ culture

If I could recommend a few optimal behavioral patterns for the new employee at Starbucks, I would focus on communication with colleagues, dedication to consumers, and abidance by rules on the part of leaders. At Starbucks, it is crucial to listen to the advice of managers and leaders who have a clear vision of the organization’s strategic success. Employees have an outstanding sense of belonging due to the recognition of their contribution and achievements by managers and supervisors. A new employee should be ready to perform various tasks with full commitment, understanding of the colleagues, and compassion. Since customers are the focus of one’s performance, employees should have a well-designed work-life balance that will prevent them from experiencing stress and negative emotions. In general, if there are any questions or problems, it is necessary to ask for advice or help, which means that a new employee should be interested in the enhancement of personal productivity. Starbucks appreciates the efforts of the employees willing to have a smooth inclusion in the organizational environment.


A brief evaluation of the performance of Starbucks showed the crucial role of the organizational culture in the development of strong values, beliefs, rituals, and artifacts that unite employees to form a single team. It is essential for Starbucks to add new values to the performance of employees that they will be willing to share. In fact, Starbucks supports the concept of servant leadership that has a positive influence on the successful achievement initiatives with continuous inclusion of employees in the organizational environment. New employees should be ready to develop a sense of belonging since Starbucks focuses on teamwork, collaboration, mutual support, and compassion, all of which contribute to the organization’s success.

Works Cited

Gavin, Diane. "Starbucks Exceptionalism: An Institutional Ethnographic Exploration of Coffee Culture in America." Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture, vol 4, no. 3, 2013, pp. 44-58.

Haskova, Katerina. "Starbucks Marketing Analysis." The Journal of Prague College, doi:10.1515/cris-2015-0002.

Schermerhorn, John R. and Bachrach, Daniel, G. Management. 13th ed., Wiley, 2014.

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