Personal networking - Sample Essay

Starbucks “empowers all partners to make decision. ” (assets. starbucks. com) From Starbucks’ existing stakeholders, there is a better way in which decisions of the company can be made as “decision making lies at the heart of business activity. ” (www. thetimes100. co. uk) The purpose of adopting decision making process is to assist the committee involved in the company make decisions important to advancing its mission and goals in a “consensus-building stakeholder process. ” (www.

According to this, the importance of Stakeholder’s involvement in the company’s decision making process has been revealed. As the stakeholders of Starbucks are identified, they could be participated in the problem solving process of the company. In other words, if the company is able to involve them and make the most benefits out of them, there will be better outcomes as the problems are solved. – Employees: They can be involved in Starbucks’ decision making by formal meetings such as in-house conference of Starbucks.

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It can either be horizontal, which called for “members of a certain status level” (Management 2004: 504); or vertical, which related to “members of different status levels. ” (Management 2004: 504) – Customers: As a relatively important kind of stakeholders, customers can be involved in Starbucks decisions making by meetings. The annually held meeting with customers would sometimes come up with shareholders’ proposal which plays an important part in the company’s goal setting.

For instance, one of the proposals called “As You Sow” made a requirement in which customers ask the company to “keep track of how many customers use disposable versus ceramic cups. ” (seattletimes. nwsource. com) Later, it has become one of Starbucks goals. – Suppliers: Decision making processes can be made by letting suppliers to join in through the method of coaching. As previously mentioned, the Starbucks have issued the Starbucks Coffee Sourcing Guidelines (CSGs). However, in practice, the CSGs may cause delay and doubt in suppliers as a result of, say, lack of training.

As a consequence, coaching, as “a specialized form of communication,” (Management 2004: 509) has been applied to them by providing training assistances according to the CSGs. Having such method in place, the managers of Starbucks then held a clear picture of the qualification of suppliers for making decisions on purchasing from them. * Creation of strategies which contributes to personal networking for dissemination of Starbucks’ experiences and brand value. A personal network is “a set of human contacts known to an individual.

” (en. wikipedia. com) Between individuals, the interactions are made and a set of activities are supported. In other words, it is to make the relationship between individuals mutually beneficial through personal networking which is “the practice of developing and maintaining a personal network. ” (en. wikipedia. com) In order to give the customers more experiences, hence increase the brand value, from Starbucks, there are several approaches can be made through  .

Due to the boom of Internet in the 21st century, in reality, online services in present days are deemed to be the most cost-saving and constructive method for personal networking. Accordingly, for the purpose of making relationship with Starbucks’ customers as a friend, the existing Starbucks Digital Network can be expanded by the following steps. First, as the current partnership of Starbucks Digital Network is limited to the relationship with Yahoo! , The Economist and ESPN Insider; there could be an expansion that makes some popular communication websites in partnership with the company.

It is to make the development channels in spite of current ones. Such websites include YouTube, on which video channel is able to be made for uploading videos related to Starbucks; Facebook, the largest social network on earth where everyone can add Starbucks as a “friend”, if the company has made a page for “herself”, and share their views with the mutual friends of the company, then a network for sharing thoughts has coincidentally be made and Twitter, as a method which provides on-the-run updates for news and events of Starbucks.

Then, if it is in the capability of Starbucks, the Network can be expanded to public media, such as movies, music and TV. The purpose of this is to connect Starbucks with the daily lives of customers. For suggestion, the company could either made its own films or soundtrack albums relating to the sense and satisfaction of the experiences in Starbucks, or opens a Starbucks TV channel for broadcasting programs made independently or by third-party that spreads the coffee culture, say, a documentary program can be made for the knowledge of coffee or introducing what the life style is all about in Starbucks.

Last, the approach of receiving and responding of the feedbacks through previous steps should be made. In conclusion, the undermined brand value of Starbucks resulted from the central point of only the economic efficiency rather than customers. It has also damaged the relationship between Starbucks and its stakeholders. The incident of Starbucks has taught the company a valuable lesson that the factors which affect the successfulness of the company cannot solely narrowed in how to make profit through selling.

In fact, it could even adversely influence the company’s growth, as it has been shown in the case. Rather than that, figuring out ways that makes customers could truly felt and found the focus of Starbucks on them is of greater importance. Starbucks should make herself not only to be expensive but experienced as the best thing of a journey, to Starbuck, is not the goal, of getting a cup of coffee; it’s the experience within the journey that makes that best of all.


BPP Professional Education, Management, London, Aldine House, 2004



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