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Starbucks Management Essay

Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages in the world. When you think of coffee, one company always spring to mind – Starbucks. There seems to be one on every block. Who is one of the geniuses in charge of this force to be reckoned with? Willard Dub Hay joined the Starbucks family in November 2002 as the senior vice president. His team handles the purchasing, blending, roasting, recipe development, and the education of Starbucks employees in coffee. He gained responsibility in 2005 by becoming responsible for all of their global coffee procurement.

He travels to different regions which grow coffee all over the world, building relationships with generations of farmers (Promoting Sustainability in the Coffee Industry, 2012). Management is defined as the pursuit of organizational goals efficiently and effectively (Kinicki & Williams, 2009). How does Dub Hay show this? He thinks before he acts, gathers information, and makes informed decisions. He cares about the people who have helped him to make his company a success, and he takes care of his investments efficiently and effectively.

While Dub Hay shows many management roles in the video, the most prominent is decisional which includes: entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator (Kinicki & Williams, 2009). As an entrepreneur he promotes change and innovation. A good example of this is Starbucks involvement with C. A. F. E. (Coffee and Farmer Equity) Practices. C. A. F. E. Practices is an incentive-based performance system that gives purchasing preference to coffee suppliers of green coffee grown, processed and traded in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible way (Hermawan, 2008).

With the disturbance handler role you have to be able to handle any type of problem that comes your way. Small scale farmers depend on the coffee industry in third world countries. Over the past 15 years, the coffee market has become oversaturated with product, and the price per pound has fallen dramatically (Starbucks: Building Relationships with Coffee Growers, 2003). Dub Hay makes sure that his growers gain a profit by overpaying the price per pound amount, because he knows without them he has no product.

Hay feels in the long run it is a good investment because quality always trumps cost (Starbucks: Building Relationships with Coffee Growers, 2003). You also have to be a good resource allocator by setting your priorities with the use of resources. A negotiator has to work with other people to accomplish the goals of the organization. These are all skills he uses to in sue the success of Starbucks. Of Katz and Khans management skills, all are evident. These skills include: technical, conceptual, and human (Kinicki & Williams, 2009).

Hay obviously has the technical skill in his field – he is well known as an expert in his field of coffee procurement. To have conceptual skills, you have to be able to look at the bigger picture. According to Hermawan (2008), “Dub Hay goes the origins of it all, meets the farmers one on one, procures and roasts the coffee, ships it to stores fresh and puts it in the hands of the customers. Starbucks supply chain goes from tree to cup (para. 31). ” His human skills, which consits of being able to work well with others, is very apparent by his dealings with farmers and others to get things done.

At Starbucks, the most important voice is that of the customer, which falls right in line with an open system because they constantly interact with their environment. Starbucks uses their public relation teams to convey information back to the organization about how thriving the bond is between the customer and the company. Because of the dwindling economy, Starbucks came up with The Pairing Deal. The Pairing Deal consists of a beverage and meal for a reduced price (Pairing Deal and The Systems Theory, 2009). This deal shows that Starbucks is listening to their customers during these hard economic times.

How does Starbucks use management theories in their company? Starbucks uses scientific management towards the front line workers. Each job is carefully studied; they select workers with the proper abilities, train each worker, and plan the work methods accordingly. In order to counterbalance the scientific management portion, they also practice the theory of human relations. They motivate their employees to do a job well done by viewing them as partners instead of employees (Career Center, 2011). Another theory used is total quality management, which falls under quality-management viewpoint in modern management theory.

Starbucks mission statement is to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time (Our Starbucks Mission Statement, 2011). With this statement in mind, it is apparent that they are dedicated to quality improvement, proper training, and totally focused on customer satisfaction. Now we will focus on how my organization runs. Because of the current job market and economy, my organization would be my family. We use the interpersonal roles the most, because we have to keep a constant flow of information – no matter what it pertains to.

Nothing is worse than having the flow of information bungled due to bad communication. No matter what is going on between us, we make sure to put our best face forward to everyone, including other family and friends. We keep each other in the loop, and use skills (such as cooking, cleaning, bill pay, etc. ) we all posses to keep our organization running smoothly. The two main management theories evident in my organization would be human relations and scientific management. It is a very fine blend we use. We look at problems, see who has the skill to tackle it, and fix it accordingly.

We also use the human relations theory when it comes to discussing problems. We look at each other as individuals, not someone who can do something for us to make life better. If anyone is unhappy for any reason, we take the time to sit down and fix it, instead of letting it fester to the point where nothing can be done. Being a manager is more than just showing up to work each day. You have to have a passion for it. Dub Hay shows his love for coffee through his company every day. I inspire to be just like him when I become the manager I plan to be.


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