Analysis of an Existing Company: Starbuck coffee company Malaysia



Starbuck Coffee Company is one of the most recognised coffee companies in the World with many branches in different parts of the world. Its continued stay in the market is owing to its high-level management, characterised by its competent managers and good employee’s relations. Starbuck Coffee Company has a good relative overall position (Starbuck Corporation 2014). It boasts of some of the remarkable recognitions it has had on the market in the recent years. “The Best of the Best” award of 2015 showed Starbuck Coffee Company’s high employee engagement, compelling employee brand, effective leadership, as well as high-performance culture. The various steps that Starbuck has made in the market, such as the introduction of Starbuck Card Malaysia in 2011 and Starbuck Mobile Application have portrayed Starbuck as one company with adorable job satisfaction, good management, as well as well-utilised communication aspects in an organisation (Starbuck Company Statistics 2014). However, as observed in other organisation, there are areas that the company is falling short, leaving trails of complaints both internally and externally on how it manages its employees, its management system and the politics of power, as well as how effective its communication is both internally and externally. This paper seeks to analyse Starbuck Coffee Company Malaysia by looking at both sides of the coin. The paper attempts to explain, through the Starbuck Coffee Company employees’ management how important job satisfaction is towards work performance, how the aspects of power and politics play a role in the workplace. Besides, the importance of communication within an organisation is imperative. Therefore, this paper equally unravels the importance of effective communication in the organisation and some of the communication barriers caused by ineffective communication that can impede on the success of an organisation.

Focusing on these three aspects; job satisfaction, the impact of power and politics in the workplace in an organisation, and communication effectiveness- its importance when adequately utilised and its adverse effects when there is a communication barrier, will ensure a critical analysis of Starbuck Coffee Company. Based on the analysis, other than acknowledging the significant steps the company has made, we shall identify some of the problems that Starbuck Coffee Company Malaysia faces or has faced. It is, however, through the understanding of all sides of the coin- success and some of the challenges that this company faces that we will come up with suggested solution to their problems that will be crucial in improving their workplace performance (Michelli 2007).

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Job satisfaction

One concept in the field of commerce that Starbuck Coffee Company Malaysia has effectively utilised with its employees is a proper employee and consumer engagement. A satisfied and a happy employee translate to a satisfied customer. Making your employees happy through programmes that are oriented at making their life enjoyable is one way of attaining good employees’ relation and engagement. Having good employees’ engagement is a key principle that Starbuck Coffee Company has effectively employed resulting in happy employees. Although at Starbuck, customers part with more money than other coffee places, the numbers of daily clients who walk in for a cup of coffee does not go down but instead increases daily. The reason for this is how the employees at Starbuck treat their customers that keep them loyal to the company thus ascertaining that a happy employee means a satisfied customer.

Besides, Starbuck has also managed to attain job satisfaction in the workplace through investing in its employee relations. The Company ensures job satisfaction through offering education support to its employees. Starbuck has an initiative of ensuring that it empowers its employees through education by paying for their online university courses. Such initiative not only provides that the employee is the beneficiary, but it also ensures that the employer is a beneficiary too as this increases work performance, expertise, and improvement of crucial skills that helps in the delivery of best customer services. Conversely, the employees acquire an opportunity of a job promotion. In this way, Starbuck can retain its employees for a longer time, nurture their skills through education empowerment at the same time harness the learned skills and knowledge towards the improvement of work performance or production.

Besides, through the provision of technological advancement such as the introduction of the Starbuck Card in Malaysia as well as the Starbuck Card Mobile Application has had a great impact on the job performance as well as employees improved relations and engagement. Such technology helped in faster and efficient service delivery that helped the employees to be more productive at workplaces whilst reducing their workload leading to job satisfaction amongst the employees consequently.

A flexible business environment, which entails a flexible working schedule, involvement into the Company events, and having an opportunity to make their decision are some of the motivations that Starbuck Coffee Company employees enjoy. Offering its employees, a flexible working environment ensures that the employees enjoy their work, as well as their working environment thus acting as a motivation towards maximum job productivity. Besides, the employees respect that the company offers it a more comfortable place for workers since most workers prefer working in an organisation with ethics, and principals they believe in such as environmental stewardship, ethical sourcing, and fair trade.

Therefore, it is clear that when an organisation puts a priority on employees and customer’s engagement, it attains greater job satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy needed in seeing the company compete favourably and stays longer in the market despite the stiff market competition. However, in spite of the job satisfaction that the company enjoys through its employees and customer engagement, it is also facing some problems that jeopardise its efforts of attaining job satisfaction. Although the education sponsoring that Starbuck Coffee Company offers its employees is a good initiative that translates to job satisfaction, Starbuck has however not considered hiring more workers thus balancing workload, and the class work for most of the employees have become a problem. Most of the employees, under the online learning, have registered their complaints about the same, are suggesting for an increase in more employees staffing to reduce workload and lead to improved performance in the workplace, and thus increased productivity. Such an option will be a sure score card for greater workplace performance for the company (Lunenburg 2010).

Power and Politics

Power and politics are some of the inevitable factors in an organisation. As noted in the society, politics is one aspect that can affect it either positively or negatively. Power and politics often become the building block towards a stronger working environment or weakens the operations within an organisation. Politics and can originate from the internal organisation of the company regarding ranks and positions held by different stakeholders within the company. It can also be due to national politics. Either way, the impact is evident in the organisation.

In a company, such as Starbuck Coffee Company, a political situation directly or indirectly affects the company in various ways. Regarding foreign policy, Starbuck enjoyed maximum business growth with during the tenure of their former prime minister, Mahathir who ensured a good foreign policy with the West, South, Asians, the Muslim countries as well as the United States (Khalid 2011). Because of the good relation built by this leader, the Malaysian business thrived very well, registering tremendous growth economically. However, during the tenures of Mahathir successors, much international relation and tapping of foreign business could not match Mahathir. This has had an impact on most of the businesses in Malaysia both locally and internationally. The different political personality portrayals in the country’s political arena have adversely affected Starbuck thus restricting its growth and development.

Another political and power aspect that has greatly influenced the business of Starbuck Coffee Company Malaysia is the tax policies as stipulated by the politics of the country. The introduction of Goods and Services Tax in Malaysia and its implementation at every level of business operation – from suppliers to consumers offered higher benefits to the business than the Sales and Services Tax that was in place before. Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation has contributed to a new tax system in Malaysia that has significantly affected every stage of company’s production and distribution chain. Due to this new tax system, Starbuck Coffee Company has experienced tremendous economic growth in Malaysia (Pang and Yong 2016).

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Politics of the country is also a determinant of the country’s economic growth. Political stability leads to increased foreign investments as well as local economies growth. The contrast, however, leads to an impoverished society with no significant economic growth. In the case of political instability characterised by war, riots, and political intolerance, the first sector that is often affected is the county’s economy. The same situation happened in Malaysia in 2015 when the country was experiencing a series of riots and arrests and detaining of many of the Malaysian civilians. In this case, the businesses ended up suffering due to extended closing hours than opening hours. In 2015, Starbuck Coffee Company Malaysia was not an exception during the political instability that greatly affected the nation’s economy. For any business to thrive a friendly environment has to exist, and in the case of problems, that stir public uproar and lack of peaceful existence, the results are obvious – lowered business operations as it happened to Starbuck Coffee Company in 2015 thus affecting its workplace productivity (Diaz 2009).

For internal matters and power problems within company administration, the same effects are experienced. When the management is not at peace and always fighting over power, then the company’s operations are likely to fail. Every company, despite the good management that might be there, conflicts, and internal affairs conflicts are evident. Although some of these might remain confidential and unknown to the public, impacts can however never be hidden from the public and the financial analysts. The consequences of internal conflicts based on power sharing and domestic politics affect the company’s overall productivity. Taking examples from other businesses, when there are wrangles within the company the spirit of pulling together dies thus affecting the overall productivity (Roby 2011).

For the realisation of the ultimate goals and attainment of the company’s objective, developing rules that will govern the employees and employers is the most efficient way to avert the internal problems that might affect the productivity. Besides, the management must have an appropriate channel of addressing the employees’ concerns to avoid building up of conflicts and a consequent fall of the company. Issues, such as a need for more staffing, as the employees requested, need addressing to help ease the burden of the heavy workload that the employees experience. Such are the strategies needed for the growth of a company and business, such as Starbuck Coffee Company if it is to realise long-standing economic growth and maximum market advantage.

Effective Communication

The advantages of effective communication in a company cannot be overlooked; from employees’ motivation, the source of information, socialisation tool, a tool for changing employees’ attitude, to a tool for controlling processes amongst many other benefits it offers within the company (Jureddi and Brahmaiah2016).

Owing to work complexities in Starbuck Coffee Company, the need for effective communication is paramount. For the company to benefit from all its stakeholders, considering an effective communication channel is crucial as it enables interaction and work coordination. Also, in a company, such as Starbuck Coffee Company where there are many employees, and stakeholders, such as the coffee suppliers and coffee farmers, establishing both internal and external communication channels is necessary to keep the employees and the stakeholders informed (Unzicker and Clow 2000).

Through the programmes, such as online education sponsorship and flexible working environment for its employees, Starbuck applies the Human Relation Theory of communication that considers that productivity of employees within an organisation is determined by the social attributes of the employees. The freedom the company offers to its employees, to work collaboratively and to interact freely is explained their job satisfaction.

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One area that Starbuck is not doing well is their internal communication channel. The company applies downwards communication, which is restricted to communications about the status of the company and future projection, and communications that are only task-related. This kind of communication system compromises of; accuracy, adequacy, and information utility as attested by some of its employees who do not trust verbal communication, solely depends on and trusts the written communication only (Pang 2014).

Although written communication is more authoritative and verifiable, obtaining feedback especially in an organisation that considers downward communication alone becomes a challenge. In this case, Starbuck is likely to face a communication barrier, characterised by a lack of feedback to many of the communications approaches they chose (Mishra, Boynton, and Mishra 2014). Over a long period, this kind of communication barrier builds up and causes cases of workers riots and boycotts due to the feeling that they are not part of the company.

Besides, another communication barrier that exists in Starbuck Coffee Company is their selection of inappropriate medium of communication – written communication. Written communication, especially, in a downward communication, takes a lot of time for information to reach those at the bottom unlike the verbal and use of the word of mouth whose transmission is often faster.

Therefore, it will be prudent if Starbuck Coffee Company considers other communication strategies, such as having horizontal communication, open-office communication system, as well as downward and upwards communication as this will offer chances for adequate communication flow as well as ensuring that there is effective communication within the company for employees satisfaction and maximum profiting in the market.


In conclusion, Starbuck Coffee Company Malaysia is one of the companies that still enjoys the market monopoly with its best services delivery that attracts so many customers as well as keeping its employees happy. The interplay factors, such as job satisfaction, power and politics, and effective communication are some of Starbuck’s building blocks towards high preference in the market by its customers. However, there is a need to look into the issues such as power and internal politics, strategise for external politics and further to foster an effective communication framework for it to realise its market goals and customer satisfaction as well as employee’s satisfaction.

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