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Starbucks Diversity Management

25 Nov 2016

Using the Company Starbucks explain how Diversity impact’s the four functions of management (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling). Be sure to include specific examples for each.

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Starbucks is a global company that has become known for its advocacy on the promotion, enhancement, and growth of a diversified workforce. Found on the company’s website is their value statement on diversity and how it has helped shaped the kind of organizational culture and management that the company has (2008). Starbucks have adopted diversity as the main identity of the organization; it is not surprising though since the company has become global and hence has to deal with different cultures and ethnicity. The company prides itself for employing people because of their goals, skills and knowledge and not because of their race, culture, religion, gender, and disabilities. The company also reiterated that diversity to them is linked to being different and similar at the same time. The company also endorses the idea of inclusion and action in order to be true to their trust on diversity. The company had been known and recognized for its diversity driven structure and organization and it has been said to be the key to the company’s growth and success. Recently, the company had been awarded the Excellence in Diversity by The Washington State Bar (Tryferis, 2005) as recognition for the company’s commitment and efforts in celebrating diversity.

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The management strategy of Starbucks is geared towards diversity and inclusion which according to them is the conscious responsibility to work with and do business with people from different cultures or ethnic groups. The management planning is drawn up in accordance with the values and goals of the company, therefore, when Starbucks advocated diversity, then all of the plans and visions must be in accordance with diversity. For example, the company had planned to employ locals in their various stores in various countries and regions; they also planned to incorporate diversity in their partnerships with communities and local suppliers.

The organization of Starbucks reflects their commitment to diversity since stores are located in different parts of the world, each store has its own set of the management team and employees who are locals, this alone would significantly increase the number of ethnic groups that the company had employed. Each store manager and its staff are trained extensively by the company so as to be able to provide the Starbucks experience that the company is greatly marketing. In terms of organizational management, the company takes pride in incorporating tenure, learning style, and individual roles in how they manage their human resource.

The leadership at Starbucks in terms of diversity had been one of its strengths, in 2005 the company top management was composed of 31 percent women and 13 percent were of color (Forsythe, 2005), the vice president for global diversity was also a woman. The management had a high representation of women and the culturally diverse thus it would follow that the decisions and leadership styles of the top managers reflected the support and respect for diversity. The company has also led the way for the supplier diversity scheme in which stores and other business units partner with small scale businesses owned by women or color.

In terms of management control, the company had organized a global diversity team which was tasked in the assessment of each department and store as to how well they uphold the value of diversity. The company emphasized the concept of accountability in which each department or team must be able to promote diversity whether in its human resource or in its suppliers. A regular evaluation of department climate and whether the team supports diversity and inclusion was a control mechanism that the company designed in order to check and countercheck its thousands of stores, thousands of employees and business partners and consumers.


  1. Diversity at Starbucks (2008). About Us; Starbucks Corporation. Retrieved May 14, 2008, from https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/community/diversity-and-inclusion
  2. Forsythe, J. (2005). Leading with diversity. The New York Times online. Retrieved May 13, 2008
  3. Tryferis, A. (2005). Starbucks Coffee Company Receives WSBA Excellence in Diversity
  4. Award. Washington State Bar Association. Retrieved May 14, 2008
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