Understanding Organizations : What’s Going On At My Favorite Starbucks?

The textbook Organizations and Organizing defines organizations as “social structures created by individuals to support the collaborative pursuit of specified goals (pg. 11).  This definition can be seen when looking at any type of organization whether it be a university, hospital, corporation or even a team.

In What’s Going On At My Favorite Starbucks this definition can be crucial to understanding the goals of individuals coffee shops even as part of a larger whole.  The author questions all spectacular things that a normal coffee shop does not do is stated.   These characteristics range from clothing drives and book clubs to an atmosphere where photos are displayed for purchase and customers send Christmas cards to the coffee shop.

At the end of the article, the writer states that, “this is not just the same Starbucks” implying that there is something to know about what is going on behind the scenes.  The definition of organization can be helpful to understanding what exactly is going on at the Starbucks that seems so different from the other ones that may be in the same town. As far as the typical organization of Starbucks is concerned they have the same goals of providing their customers with quality coffee drinks and desserts in a setting that is suitable for relaxing.  Customer service is also most likely an important issue.  Therefore, all Starbucks institutions work together to create this atmosphere in order to achieve their goals of satisfied customers which eventually leads to a profit.

However, in this case, I believe it is also important to look at the goals of the specific individuals who run this out of the ordinary Starbucks establishment.  As part of the complete Starbucks organization this specific store has the same goals as other Starbucks shops.  Despite this, this shop is it’s own organization and may take a different approach to getting there or even have goals beyond that of the typical Starbucks.  These goals could range from broadening their product category into types of art relating to their business or knowing their customers on a more personal and comfortable level allowing them to find it appropriate to send holiday cards.  No matter what the case, this organization seems to be doing something right.  The “special Starbucks” reaches the goals of the organization as a whole but also a set of unique goals specific to it’s own organization.  Maybe the formal organization is able even to learn something from one branch that stands out.  After all, the writer of the article continues to return to the establishment on a weekly basis and marvel at what that specific coffee shop has to offer.


One Response

  1. Personally, I hate Starbucks coffee, but I don’t mind going into their shops. The atmosphere they create for costomers is unique. By creating an almost unformal atmosphere, Starbucks attempts to mimick locally owned coffee shop persona. Some people hate the “fake feel” Starbucks has created. Where else have you seen corporations take this approach of creating an “original atmosphere? I can’t help but think of Applebees and all the crazy stuff they put on the wall.

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