As previously mentioned, Starbucks is one of the most valuable brands in the world. With its global impact, Starbucks has shown that it is able to live up to the high degree of social and ethical expectations. This is evident by its recognition as one of the world’s most ethical companies for 9 years running (Starbucks 2015). Regarding its CSR strategy, Howard Schultz, Starbucks’s CEO, has identified in its most recent Global Responsibility Report that Starbucks’s CSR efforts will focus on 3 areas that are“building a future with farmers, pioneering green retail on a global scale, and creating pathways to opportunity for young people” (Starbucks 2014). This strategy reflects Starbucks’s vision of a great company that is “being performance-driven through the lens of humanity” (Starbucks 2016). Starbucks’s strategy shows that it recognises the importance of taking care of its stakeholdersas much as its shareholders, reflecting the view of Freeman (1984). For example, Starbucks’s collaboration with farmers through open-source agronomy has “[improved] coffee quality and farm productivity, and reduce production costs,” while also raised farmers’ living standards. This exemplifies what Porter and Kramer (2011) meant by shared value that is defined as “policies and operating practices that enhances the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions in the communities in which it operates.” Starbucks’s also shows an application of Schwartz and Carroll’s (2003) three-domain model where its CSR strategy arguably is beneficial economically through cost reduction and better brand image, ethical in that it considers the stakeholders’ welfare, and could help satisfy legal compliances (e.g. fair trade requirements). Furthermore, Starbucks shows clear commitment in its CSR strategy through publishing annual Global Responsibility Report where it highlights goals and objectives while also disclosing the progress made.
Starbucks’s CSR strategy shows a proper application of the six core characteristics of CSR (Crane et al. 2014). As it can be seen later on when its approaches are analysed, many of Starbucks’s CSR initiatives are voluntary and much more than strictly philanthropy. Its CSR initiatives also show that it acknowledged the multiple stakeholders the business has (e.g. relationship with its farmers and employees) and the possible externalities it could cause (e.g. green retailing). Starbucks is also able to achieve balance between……..
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