The paper "Human Resources to Implement Strategy at Starbucks" is a great example of a management case study. Starbucks is an American multinational coffee maker and provider. The restaurant was founded in 1987 and has since grown to become a global brand (Starbucks, 2016). The company’ s headquarters are based in Seattle, Washington DC and currently operates more than 4,700 coffee stores globally (Samson and Daft, 2012). Starbucks has registered success despite the stiff competition it faces from other reputed brands, such as McDonald’ s, Wendy’ s, Taco Bell and Burger King among others (Starbucks, 2016).
However, the success of Starbucks is largely attributed to effective strategies that the firm has adopted spurred by effective leadership of Schultz and his successors. This report begins by describing Porter’ s competitive strategies that Starbucks uses based on the case study. The report proceeds to discuss how Schultz uses leadership, structure, information and control systems and human resources to implement Starbucks strategy. Lastly, the report international market expansion strategies that Schultz adopts based on the case study. Porter’ s Competitive Strategies that Starbucks is Using In 1985, Michael Porter came up with a set of generic strategies that a company can pursue to gain a competitive advantage over rivals in the market (Porter, 2008).
The generic strategies include cost leadership, differentiation and focus (fig. 1). Fig. 1 Porter’ s Generic Strategies of Competitive Advantage Source: Porter (2008) Cost leadership is a strategy that involves a company choosing to become the lowest-cost producer in a market (Eldring, 2008). By being a low-cost producer, a company is able to charge relatively lower prices than competitors, which enables such firms to attract many customers, including the cost-conscious customers, thereby resulting in increased sales and profits.
Differentiation strategy is a strategy that involves a firm trying to make its products and services distinct from those of competitors in an industry. By making products unique and desirable to customers, a firm is able to differentiate from rivals, thereby resulting in a competitive advantage. Focus is a generic strategy that involves a company segmenting its market and offering products or services that suits the need of that niche market in the best way possible. Focus strategy can be either differentiation focus or cost focus. From the case analysis, it becomes apparent that Starbucks has been using a differentiation strategy to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals.
The case indicates that Starbucks is working very hard to distinguish its services and products from those of its rivals in the market. It does thing by trying to make it's coffee unique and more appealing to customers. Additionally, the company is also working hard towards maintaining control over its coffee’ s quality and establishing a good corporate image that customers in all its market would want to associate with.
In fact, the case indicates that, despite the high prices that Starbucks charge for its cup of coffee, customers are always willing to pay this extra price because Starbucks provide quality coffee that no competitor can match and the fact that Starbucks has managed to create a good corporate image that customers are willing to associate with. Besides, Starbucks exceptionally high-quality services, strong marketing strategies and prestige to attract and retain customers.