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Starbucks Company

Question I

Starbucks is a corporation that was established in 1971 in Seattle by Gordon Bowker, Zev Seigel, and Jerry Baldwin. The three individuals envisioned their business venture as an avenue through which the people of Americans could learn about and experience the consumption of fine coffee. About 16 years later, the corporation was taken over by Howard Schultz. His vision was to establish the Italian espresso bar experience in the United States of America through the creation of a personal connection between the consumers and their coffee (Bussing-Burks). It was not after a long that the company arose from a simple small coffee enterprise to a multi-million dollar participant in the industry (Chandler and Werther). The main way through which the company attained this was by purchasing only the best and superior coffee available in the market. Additionally, it provided its consumers with an unrivaled store experience. At the moment, Starbucks is the leading company in the coffee industry having over 12,000 stores in over 46 nations across the world (Bussing-Burks). The company thrives and operates on the basis of its mission statement that is to inspire and nurture the human spirit- one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time. (Starbucks).

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Starbucks, as a company, is rooted in the provision of goods and services which provide the required funding for the conduct of its operations. Among the key products and services that are provided by the business are coffee that is freshly brewed and the primary product that is provided by the company. Other products that Starbucks provide include both hot and cold beverages such as tea, pastries, and cakes. These products, especially the coffee, come in many different ranges with each of them having its own distinct taste, flavor, and aroma. The companys offerings do not stop at this as Starbucks owns various brands that include the Starbucks Hear Music, Ethos Water, Seattles Best Coffee, and Tazo Tea. Others include the Starbucks Entertainment and Torrefazione Italia Coffee. Virtually all of these products and services have been and continue to be successful in their respective markets. As a result, they all make Starbucks portfolio one that is well revered all over the globe as the leading coffee specialist company (Bussing-Burks).

Like every other organization, Starbucks is not free of competitors. It, in fact, continues to face stiff competition from other coffee specialist organizations and restaurant chains. Among the strongest competitors that threaten the success of Starbucks are McDonalds and the United States Nestle, and Dunkin Donuts. Other competitive brands that are posed against Starbucks include Caffe Nero and Costa Coffee both of which pose threats to the existence of the Starbucks Company in the United Kingdom. Understanding that there are competitors in the coffee and food industry is critical to the success, growth, and planning of the company (Bussing-Burks). This is because it helps them to know exactly who their competitors are and conduct a strengths and weaknesses analysis on these companies. They then compare the results and find loopholes and other ways through which to boost their position in the market. This is attained more particularly through the companys exploitation of the weaknesses of the other companies while building on their strengths. In relation to their competitors, however, Starbucks charges a much higher price for their products, mainly coffees, as compared to their competitors such as McDonalds. The main reason behind such a pricing system is that the company only purchases coffee beans that are of the highest quality in the market for use in making their products. The consequence of this, on the other hand, is that their competitors gain a cost advantage over the company and boost their positions within the particular markets in which they operate. These competitors also take part in corporate social responsibility activities just like Starbucks thereby helping boost their individual market liking and success (Bussing-Burks).

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Since corporate social responsibility entails the consideration of a companys economic, social, and environmental affect its operations. This means the maximization of their profits while minimizing the downsides. It is a voluntary course that a given firm can choose to undertake over and beyond the minimum legal requisitions. It is based on ethical conduct. Starbucks has made sure that it has complied with all the relevant regulations that cover and govern its operations in the primary business sense. As a result of this, they are essentially legally capable of undertaking corporate social responsibility activities that seek to support the society and the environment in a positive manner while also promoting their existence and objectives among society and other relevant communities.

Question II

Starbucks, just as any given company would move to advance its desire to continue to prosper while giving back to the society and catering to the interests of their variety of stakeholders, Starbucks keeps improving in its practices in their corporate social responsibility. The company has quite a broad range of stakeholders with the main being their employees, clients, the environment, investors, suppliers, and even administrations (Benabou and Tirole).

In the corporate social responsibility programs and practices of Starbucks, their employees are taken as a priority. Naturally, employees, as stakeholders, require that they be provided with better conditions of work, higher pay, and job security (Benabou and Tirole). This is the exact approach that has been taken by Starbucks as its organizational culture places emphasis on making the employee the companys priority. Their workers also received remuneration that is above that which is provided as the minimum wage (Palmer). The company has even taken their corporate social responsibility to a newer and higher level by providing their staffs with scholarships such as one they partnered on with the Arizona State University. This program sees the company cater for more than 50 % of the tuition fees for their workers junior and senior years of university studies (Palmer). One challenge that Starbucks may face in relation to catering for their workers as stakeholders is that it lacks consistency. For instance, in New Zealand, the company pays extremely low wages to young employees.

Starbucks also values their customers and perceives them to be among their top stakeholders. Like any other consumer, Starbucks clients desire products and services that are of high quality. In addressing this, the company makes certain that it provides high quality coffee and other beverages through the buying of only the best quality of coffee beans (Palmer). Starbucks also fulfills the interests of their clients through the extension of the Starbucks culture to consumers at its stores (Chandler and Werther). For instance, the business emphasizes warm and pleasant relations within it and in the way their baristas relate with the consumers (Starbucks).

The environment is also considered as being important in the corporate social responsibility practices of Starbucks. The company fights and vouches to continue to conduct their business in an environmentally sound atmosphere (Palmer). To make sure that this is attained, the company is committed to purchasing and producing their products in a responsible and ethical manner. Their CAFE (Coffee Famer Equity) program has resulted in an increase in biodiversity while improving the quality of shade in their approved coffee farms (Starbucks). Additionally, about 90 percent of the companys supply comes from the CAFE-approved farms (Chandler and Werther).

The suppliers of Starbucks are made up of both coffee farmers and supply business that deal wholesale. With their primary interests being compensation and attaining an increasing demand for their coffee from Starbucks, they seek to grow their coffee production for an increase in their incomes. These interests are addressed by Starbucks through various ways and programs. For instance, the company includes a wider supplier diversity to make certain that many different suppliers from all over the world are incorporated in Starbucks supply chain. Additionally, farmers are protected by the CAFE program that mandates that there be transparency among the wholesale suppliers to see to it that the farmers are paid accordingly (Chandler and Werther).

For their investors, Starbucks fulfills their interests in the attainment of high financial productivity. This is implemented mainly through the companys international expansion and sustained domination in the coffeehouse industry. The company, in fact, bounced back from its significant 2007 decline.

Governments, on the other hand, have had their interests addressed by Starbucks through such means as the companys compliance with the necessary laws and other regulations (Benabou and Tirole). This can, however, be improved if the company stopped their exploitation of tax advantages across the different nations in which they operate.

From the above analysis of the companys measures to address the interests of its different stakeholders, it is evident that Starbucks has a high performance in their corporate social responsibility programs and activities. The company has, in fact, made sure to channel and focus on their corporate social responsibility through a lens that makes it certain that the interests of most of their stakeholders are addressed. It fulfills the majority of the concerns that several of its stakeholder groups have. The companys most common stakeholder groups include their consumers, workers, investors, suppliers, and the environment.

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