Starbucks Case Study

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Due in large part to the efficient management structure it implements, Starbucks is able to maintain a competitive edge in the market. The effectiveness of the organization's management is crucial to creating a sustainable business model. The strategic goals of the Starbucks Company are clearly stated, and the organizational human resource oversees the staff and fosters a culture of cooperation. The strategies employed center on the development of a corporate scorecard and performance evaluation as a vital criterion in creating a fully operational and integrated system that supports the specified organizational strategic plan.

The Starbuck Company's current performance management approach is intended to be successful. The company provides training to workers and implement an operational approach to evaluate the effectiveness of the planning process and focuses on critical areas, goals, and objectives. There are feedback reviews which are made against the set goals. Evaluation of the overall performance is done at the end of every year, and reward system is done to people who have been outstanding in work delivery. Individual managers provide feedback to both the customers and the employees. The management also works directly with the staff and implements programs which as designed to assist the organization in developing the capabilities and skills required to fulfill the set targets (Garthwaite et al., 2017). Again, working closely with the junior staff helps to emphasize key result area-based role descriptions, and this serves as a tool used by the managers. Besides, the company currently develops goals based on individual performance evaluation process. With this, Starbucks makes the workers focus on performing their tasks adequately in order to maintain its competitiveness. Again, the goal-based approach uses specific, time-bound and measurable goals and these are the vital standard against performance.

Starbucks also currently develops the performance scorecards which are key in providing quick summaries of the company’s performance against goals. More importantly, the customized performance scorecard give the managers critical information required to identify what is working and what is not working in attempts to better the management process. Analyzing the scorecards has thus proven to be fundamental in adjusting the plans to promote greater success and maintain a large market share in the industry (Mason et al., 2017). Furthermore, the Starbucks embraces a transformational leadership that drives the organizational changes. Perhaps, this is the current factor which has made Starbucks carry out leadership programs which train the workforce and the managers. Notably, the current performance management system has built a culture which promotes a positive working environment and helps the company to market itself even overseas.

Formal Performance Feedback Process

In any organization, formal performance feedback is critical for in human resource management. The formal process facilitates in keeping employees focused and move forward as well as engage in adjustments that are required to keep the company growing. Starbucks employs a number of formal performance feedback in its management system. One of the critical methods is having a one on one meetings. The managers carry out formal meetings with the workers, and through this, they communicate the mission and the vision of the business along with ways of achieving them. The workers and the managers make recommendations on how to improve the management process and performance. Besides, the company also holds departmental meetings with the workers. Here, problems affecting the respective departments and thus impact it has on the company operations are identified. The information gathered at the departmental level is significant in helping Starbuck to note the issues to be addressed quickly. Starbucks also releases a regular status report on projects and major tasks that are ongoing in the organization as a formal way of communicating with the workforce (Garthwaite et al., 2017). Frequently, Starbucks also carries out small formal team meetings. The company employs the formal methods in order to let the employees know the current performance of the business. It also helps in identifying employees who deserve merit promotions and reward together with areas that need an additional train. Indeed, by taking advantage of the formal methods of feedback performance and engaging employees, the managers are able to tap into greater management opportunities of succeeding and provide feedback on the performance of the organization. Necessary corrections and strategies are initiated where the weakness is identified.

Informal Performance Feedback Process

Informal feedback performance management denotes to be an effective strategy when dealing with unsatisfactory performance. This technique allows workers to express matters that would otherwise have not been possible through the formal meeting. Informal methods include having informal performance management meetings such as taking workers for a coffee or lunch with an objective of discussing problems affecting the organization (Mason et al., 2017). Also, when a manager notices that a given worker’s productivity is below the satisfactory standards, he or she arranges for a personal meeting with the employee to identify the causes and come up with remedies (Morais et al., 2014). Notably, this provides a two-way discussion which is aimed at exploring and highlighting the shortcomings that detrimentally affect the performance. The discussion is normally centered on the job description of the workers and the developmental progress. Feedback in this meetings denotes to be beneficial, and it emphasizes on finding ways of improving, supporting and guiding the stipulated plans. The informal meetings are also directed at bringing out any personal and domestic problems and offer appropriate support and counseling. In addition to the informal meetings, the managers at Starbucks carry out personal observations and note the areas that require critical attention and provide feedback.

Protection against Management Performance Litigation

Starbucks does not underestimate the value of protecting itself from litigations arising from performance management. Mason et al. (2017) report that the measures the company puts in place guarantee protection against unnecessary liability of lawsuit and those that majorly arise form employees. The organization constantly updates job description and informs the employees on the roles that have evolved and what is expected of them. The valid job descriptions serve as useful outlines for the performance evaluation process, and this ensures that the employees receive complete assessment facets concerning their work. The company also documents performance evaluations, and the company records the significant event in a year. This serves as an important record which attests to a sense of employee productivity as well as pointing out areas that require attention to shield the company from litigation (Morais et al., 2014). Also, in attempts to protect itself from litigation, the organization is consistent and provides prompt feedback. Careful documentation makes the company have the appropriate information which is needed to prepare effective and accurate evaluation processes. Additionally, Starbucks understands that communication help to foster quick feedback in the organization, and this has been critical in protecting the company from management performance litigation.

Employee Performance

Human resource at Starbucks Corporation has been on the forefront on initiating measures that are geared towards improving the employee performance. The company employs a motivation strategy which is significant in cultivating worker satisfaction. Starbucks recognizes workers who perform well in their tasks and reward them as a means to motivate them and thus enhancing their performance. More importantly, the company matches tasks to skills. Starbucks understands the employee skills and the behavioral styles which are essential in maximizing efficiency (Mason et al., 2017). This builds on a task-oriented workforce and nurtures organizational culture. A lot of importance is also directed towards effective communication. The productive workforce in the organization has been enhanced by the fact that the management understands the communication helps to foster employee performance. The company taps into communication methods including the use of emails, memos as well as social networking sites.

Employee performance in Starbucks is also aided by the fact that it keeps goals clear and focused. Perhaps, the aspect of training the employees which are done in the company has also been a key factor in improving the employee performance. This helps in developing their skills and make the employee know how to execute their duties as well as inform the workers of organizational changes. This encourages employee development through expanding their skills and makes them know their responsibilities.


There is no doubt that the excellent management system that Starbucks employees in its organization have been critical in taking it to the international ladder and thus prosper. The organization has managed to keep the substantial market share since it was established in 1987 by Mr. Schultz. The formal and the informal feedback processes are also critical in making the company sustain a significant competitive edge.


Garthwaite, C., Busse, M., Brown, J., & Merkley, G. (2017). Starbucks: A Story of Growth. Kellogg School of Management Cases, 1(1), 1-20.

Mason, A., Cole, T., & Goza, N. (2017). Starbucks: A Case Study of Effective Management in the Coffee Industry. Journal of International Management Studies, 17(1), 43-48.

Morais, U., Pena, J., Shacket, K., Sintilus, L., Ruiz, R., Rivera, Y., & Mujtaba, B. (2014). Managing Diverse Employees at Starbucks: Focusing on Ethics and Inclusion. International Journal of Learning and Development, 4(3), 35.

February 22, 2023

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