Starbucks Management and Leadership

The management team is charged with a vital responsibility: to pass along the vision of founder Howard Schultz to every employee and customer which is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time” (Our Heritage, Para. 6). In addition to that top priority, the management of Struck Coffee Company is charged with several complex tasks such as being strong leaders and managers, and knowing the difference; creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture through the development of their employees and each store experience; and achieving global success.

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In the current business climate, it is often considered that the term “leader” is synonymous with the term “manager,” but the two could not be more different. “Outstanding leaders combine good strategic substance and effective interpersonal processes to formulate and implement strategies that produce results and sustainable competitive advantage. They may launch enterprises, build organization cultures, win wars, or otherwise change the course of events.

They are strategists who seize opportunities others overlook, but they are also passionately concerned with detail-all the small, fundamental realities that can sake or mar the grandest of plans” (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 434). Leaders, some say, are born. However, in business today, leaders, with the right direction, can be created. There are certain traits that true leaders possess, such as drive, motivation, integrity, confidence, and knowledge of the business. With enough determination and even mentors, individuals can learn to hone these skills and become superior leaders.

Managers, on the other hand, are often concerned with the day-to-day dealings of business and can be effective without being true leaders. They are often thought to effect change in more short-term scenarios Han leaders. “Management requires structuring the organization, staffing it with capable people, and monitoring activities; leadership goes beyond these functions by inspiring people to attain the vision” (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 437). At Struck Coffee Company, the management team must be both effective managers and capable leaders.

Without individuals who embody both of these attributes, Struck would not have seen the success it has realized. The company takes great pride in hiring diverse individuals and giving them all the tools they need to be both great managers and great leaders. Struck Coffee Company understands the difference between hiring effective managers and hiring true leaders, and how those decisions can shape the entire organization and the success of the company. “Fresh-brewed, piping-hot leadership strategies have made Struck a robust company. Forty millions customers visit each week.

The employee turnover rate is 250 percent lower than the industry average” (Michelle, 2006, p. 10). The Struck management team has built a strong organizational culture through both supervisory leadership and strategic leadership; the former providing guidance and support for day- o-day activities, and the latter giving purpose and meaning to the whole organization. The supervisory leadership implemented at Struck Coffee Company provides that “everything matters; paying attention to every detail gives Struck a competitive advantage because it builds intense loyalty.

Managers put themselves in the shoes of the customers” (Michelle, 2006, p. 10). Baristas are required to learn the Struck way, and all the rules that go along with that. They learn to call out drink orders in a specific way, they memorize what temperature milk must be steamed to, and how many seconds it takes o pull an espresso shot. These rules guarantee that Struck is providing a unique and consistent product and service, which ensures fierce loyalty from both customers and employees. In addition, the company can embrace and learn from resistance and criticism they may receive from communities or even customers.

The strategic leadership implemented at Struck Coffee Company encourages employees, or partners, to connect with customer on a personal level. The baristas may even remember customer names if they visit their location frequently enough. “Strategic leadership involves anticipating ND envisioning a viable future for the organization, and working with others to initiate changes that create such a future” (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 438). The value that Struck puts on their employees also helps create and maintain a healthy organizational culture.

Struck also offers career paths to SUccess to each of their employees. The organization prefers to promote from within and rewards hard work, dedication, and vision. Struck treats all their employees surprisingly well; health benefits, stock options and reasonable good starting pay, even for part-time employees. Creating such a can-do, welcoming environment helps Struck retain the human capital necessary to realize their true purpose and vision. In addition, Struck also encourages their partners to leave a mark and be involved with their communities.

Both supervisory leadership and strategic leadership helps Struck rally “their people to participate in a vision that creates business success” (Michelle, 2006, p. 10). To ensure the continued success of a healthy organizational culture within the Struck Coffee Company, managers and leaders may consider the implementation of task performance and employee and consumer feedback. Enabling employees to take part in both individual performance evaluations and task performance evaluations allow the partners to know at all times how the measure up to company standards.

Because there are so many various tasks within a Struck retail location, the emphasis must fall on management to make certain that all employees are mastering the skills to make Struck a community staple. During individual performance reviews, partners can have an open forum with management to air any concerns or suggestions they may to make the operations run smoother or more efficiently. Also by purporting the flow of communication via suggestions, both employees and consumers can make certain that their voice is heard.

This also enables the top management at Struck the ability to focus their business strategies on specific demographics that may have otherwise been overlooked. For example, if consumers were looking for healthier food choices in Struck retail locations, yet had no way to voice their concerns, Struck may miss being able to cash in on such a valuable opportunity. Both of these strategies encourage open communication between management, employees, and consumers, and help maintain a healthy organizational culture. Globalization has had a massive effect on businesses in today’s economy.

The effects of globalization have presented both challenges and advantages for organizations in the global marketplace. Some of the drawbacks of increased globalization include more competition, increased foreign investments, and a higher rate of foreign trade “that has grown at a faster rate than has the volume of world output” (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 217). Such are the challenges that management must face to expand to other countries. However, globalization has also created increased opportunities for organizations to expand beyond the border of the United States.

Globalization has permitted increased trade, lower costs, and higher market share. Struck has taken advantage of the global economy as it has become more integrated than ever, which has created greater opportunities and challenges for their management team. “With more than 15,000 stores in 50 countries, Struck is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world” (Our Heritage, Para. 7). Struck has expanded to countries such as Peru, Russia, and Thailand since the company’s inception in 1971.

According to a press release issued in March 24, 2010, Struck Coffee Company (2010) “discussed plans to expand its retail presence in both the U. S. And internationally, applying lessons learned from its improved U. S. Business to each of its other markets in locally relevant ways” (Struck Outlines Strategy for Accelerating Profitable Global Growth, Para. 8). Even though in regard to coffee, “the tastes and preferences of consumers in different countries with regard to a product are similar” (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 23), Struck is discovering the adapting heir product to specialized markets can increase both their profitability and global market presence. “Managers need to make sure that their companies are able to adapt to different needs in different locations. Strong pressures for local responsiveness emerge when consumer tastes and preferences differ significantly among countries” (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 224). The organization continues to explore new ways to forge into foreign territories and develop specialty beverages and products specific to the region, such as the issuance of coconut mocha beverages in stores in Hawaii.

The expansion of retail locations creates unique challenges for the executive management team as well. They are responsible for making sure all the employees they hire in global locations are paid a fair wage and treated with respect. They also have to ensure that they are respecting the culture of the country; as selling practices in other countries differ from the United States. The organization has also benefited from output and trade with other countries that did not previously exist. Struck is known for their large variety of coffee and they are now taking part in the Fair

Trade program, which ensures that coffee from around the world is grown and exported ethically. Management is responsible for guaranteeing that the company is complying with ethical standards, whether that be in labor or trade, worldwide. The Fair Trade Program also enables Struck to carry coffee beans from a number of countries. They currently carry whole bean coffee from Guatemala, Columbia, Africa, and Asia, just to name a few. Above all though, Struck management strives to guarantee that each experience is consistent, whether in Peru or Thailand.

Struck Coffee Company is one such organization that understands the vital importance of filling both their retail stores and their corporate offices with individuals who share the same vision as the founder, Howard Schultz, did back in 1971. The management team is fully aware of the potential that lies in every partner hired onto the company. The management team also realizes that it is their responsibility to cultivate the leader in every one of his or her employees and that they must create and maintain a healthy organizational culture for those employees to work in.