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1. Why do you think Starbucks has been so concerned with social responsibility in its overall corporate strategy?

Starbucks commitment to social responsibility, ethics and sustainability in its overall corporate strategy is a companys effort to demonstrate how genuine and dedicated Starbucks is in its mission to be an ethical and socially responsible company. With regard to this mission, Starbucks has created a Corporate Social Responsibility Department and a Shared Planet website to allow shareholders to keep track of the companys performance. Furthermore, Starbucks is concerned about the environment, its employees, suppliers, customer, and its communities. Starbucks founder and chair Howard Schultz emphasizes the importance of balancing Profitability and Social Consciousness. He believes socially responsible companies do better in the long run. Although he mentioned that it is difficult to maintain such mission and observe it at all times, it is better for the company to take some short-term losses than to lose sight of its core values in the long run. In addition, Starbucks maintains a good business reputation for social responsibility throughout the international community of coffee growers and attempt to build a good relationship with them. The company is also involved in numerous development programs that benefit the coffee-growing communities. Also, store managers are encouraged to donate to local causes such as opportunity grants to nonprofit literacy groups as they believe that literacy has the power to improve lives and give hope to unprivileged students.

2. Is Starbucks unique in being able to provide a high level of benefits to its employees? Yes. Starbucks is unique in providing benefits to its employees. Howard Schultz spends a great deal of investment on providing employees with health insurance since he had an early childhood experience when his father struggled after he was injured in his job and his employer did not provide health benefits and compensation for such accident. Howard Schultz has always considered the creation of a good work environment as a top priority. Starbucks provides one of the top health-care programs in the coffee shop industry. In addition to that, employees receive stock options known as Bean Stock. Schultz understands the significance of employees and admits that his company centers on personal interactions. In the year 2005, the company spent more on health insurance for its employees than on the raw materials required to brew its coffee. Although, there has been a continuous increase in the insurance costs as the company grows, Starbucks benefits package is a key reason why there is a relatively low employee turnover and high productivity. Also, one of the guiding principles in Starbucks mission statement was to provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity. The emphasis on the guiding principles becomes the cornerstone of a very strong culture of the young and educated workers of the company. With respect to this, Starbucks has ranked 24th on Fortunes 100 Best Companies to Work For in the year 2009.

3. Do you think that Starbucks has grown rapidly because of its ethical and socially responsible activities or because it provides products and an environment that customers want? Starbucks rapid growth and success was prompted by both principles. By conducting ethical and socially responsible activities, the company has achieved an excellent reputation which made them one of the most successful coffee shop industries globally and having approximately $10.4 million dollars of net revenue per year. Their ethical and social responsibility endeavors are further elaborated on the first question. They are also one of the pioneers in providing high quality beverages and exceptional environment for customers. This was demonstrated on their relentless growth that forced locally run coffee shops out of business. Starbucks purchases and roasts high-quality coffee beans along with some other products. Starbucks stores are located in convenient and accessible places for pedestrians and drivers. In the Philippines they are starting to adapt the American feature of having a drive thru counter. Ive seen one in the The Fort, Taguig. Also, that branch is the first to adapt the solar powered store in the Philippines. Starbucks has also a mission to provide consistency of the customer coffee experience in all countries. The company is focusing on their most competitive advantage which is the customer experience. Additionally Starbucks introduced Starbucks Card, a reloadable card which prompts repeat buy from customers. Such card was recently introduced in our country which provides points in every purchase of handcrafted beverage. Accumulated points will entitle the customer for a free beverage or the VIA instant coffee of their choice. Starbuck is continually strengthening its brand and customer satisfaction, as a way to enhance customer experience and loyalty.