The world of business continues to change every day. The advent of technology and the evolving transportation methods have resulted in an increased ease of transactions. Technology has also rendered some businesses obsolete. However, technology has not rendered organizational culture meaningless in the world of business.
The growth of businesses around the world is fueled by the fact that there are numerous opportunities that have been brought about by the effect of globalization. Because of globalization, the world continues to reduce into one huge village where communication and transportation have become cheaper and faster. Globalization has also facilitated the transfer of cultures from one continent to the other. The focus of this paper is to analyze and compare the organization or company cultures of two companies (Flamholtz and Randle, 2011). For this task, the companies to be analyzed are Aramex and Starbucks, which are both international companies with success stories that have been made over the years. The main idea is to ensure that the similarities and differences between the cultures two companies are highlighted. By developing a critical analysis of the organizational culture of the above-chosen companies, one can then begin to pinpoint the specific elements that are responsible for the positioning of both companies. Organizational culture is comprised of the various behaviors and values that result in the uniqueness of a psychological and social environment of any given organization. The precise composition of an organizational culture entails the philosophy, values, experiences and expectations held by the workforce of a company. The culture of a company is only expressed in relation to the interaction with the outside world. The belief systems and attitudes expressed by a company’s workforce are often because of slow and gradual development over time.
In order to understand the culture of an organization, it is important to understand the interactions between customers, employees, and the larger community where the organization operates. The culture of a company is essential in many ways. It sets the written and unwritten rules that govern the operations of the company and the interactions that are of importance to an organization. It also determines how the employees interact with clients and how they perform their duties to achieve the mission and vision of the organization.
Profitability, growth, and productivity form the very core of any business enterprise. The company’s culture comes in handy in building and developing the mode of operation that is essential for success (Flamholtz and Randle, 2011). The nature of operation and interaction between the employees and the community greatly determines the positioning of a company in a given business environment. The performance, customer care and quality of service and products have all been linked to the organizational culture. One of the most distinct aspects of the Starbucks Company has been its organizational culture.
Every aspect of the Starbucks business is impacted by its culture. To understand the culture that Starbucks as a company holds, one can simply look at the operations of the cafes. The working of employees and the interactions they have with their customers at the cafes is a good indicator of their culture. The economic crunches that have become part of the contemporary business world require a change of tact if a company is to realize success and profitability. That is exactly what Starbucks has done to encourage its clientele to continue using the organization’s products.
In as much as advertisements may form a good way of marketing a company, the company’s culture is a more affordable way of creating a brand for a company. As seen in the case of Starbucks, developing a culture that is appealing to the customer base is an essential way of creating a brand. To a great extent, the Starbucks brand has been propelled culture of the organization. It is not just about the coffee, but the atmosphere created in the Starbucks cafes.
For a company to experience an advantage in terms of business competition, its culture forms one of the very basic aspects. Starbucks is an internationally accredited company that deals with coffee. Over the years, since its inception in 1971, the company has developed and spread across the world with over twenty thousand operational cafes in the world (Rhoades, and Covey, 2011). The company deals in hot and cold drinks, instant coffee and whole bean coffee.
One thing about Starbucks is that it culture has permeated the different countries it operates in. The level of service is approximately the same and that can be attributed to the organizations culture. That involves the preparation processes to the way the beverages are served. The atmosphere within the cafes is also part of that culture. For Starbucks, the aim is to create an experience that the customer cannot get anywhere else.
Aramex is a company with global presence. Its main area of operation is in mail delivery and logistic services. It offers transport and shipping services to various destinations around the world. It is a company whose services have made it a highly competitive company in the logistics sector. Aramex holds the belief that the people are the greatest asset that the company has. Every component of the company, every good and every service offered has to be in relation to the needs of the customers.
The satisfaction of the clientele is at the very heart of the company’s culture. Innovation within the company is based on meeting the needs and demands of the clients and the people affiliated with the company (Flamholtz and Randle, 2011). Looking at organization and culture practices of the Starbucks Company, a striking similarity is realized between the two companies. For Starbucks, its focus on coffee beverages meaning they do focus on the person and the best way to provide quality service to their clientele. The key to success in the line of business that Starbucks hold lies in the quality of the product and service that is being offered. For Aramex, the client is an important part of the company and the employees are trained to do their best to satisfy the client’s demands. The two companies understand the importance of people in their business and the need to satisfy their needs.
For a better analysis and comprehension of the organizational culture, one has to identify a number of elements that define the key systems of the organizations. Leadership is one of the elements. The leadership of the organization is essential for driving the success of an organization. The culture of leadership that has been present in a company allows for the growth of a way of relation between the employees that the company leadership. For Aramex, leadership is a key element in determining how the people work, behave and even think. Leaders have the role of defining the philosophy and values upon which the company runs on.
The style of leadership that is depicted at Aramex is based on democracy. The aim is to ensure that every member of the company has a voice and representation in the company (Grosse, 2016). Ideas and innovation often come from the workforce. Aramex is aware of this fact and ensures that every member is given an opportunity to express his or her thoughts and ideas. Democratic leadership allows for sharing of ideas between the members and the leaders to ensure that all concepts and ideas are taken care of.
In comparison to Aramex, Starbucks offers a type of leadership that depicts servanthood. The organizational culture of leadership allows for supporting the subordinates to ensure that every member of the company is supported. This way, the managers, leaders and supervisors of the company are allowed to support the subordinates in a way that ensures overall growth within the company. It is imperative to realize the fact that once the worker or employee has been taken care of, and then the client or customer is cared for.
Servant leadership, looked at critically, brings out the concept of employee-first approach. For any organization that realizes the importance of treating their employees well, the customer feels the impact from the quality of service that is offered. The openness and clarity of a business in terms of its relation between employees and the management or between the company and the customers is a critical determinant of the volume of business that is transacted.
The aspect of fear between employees and their superiors can result in reduced productivity and worker efficiency. It also hinders free communication of ideas or challenges in an organization. For Starbucks, openness is a key element of the organization. The communication between the management and employees is encouraged and highly supported. It is through openness that innovation and creativity can thrive. It also allows for the ease of identifying and rectifying problems and challenges within the company.
One key factor that has to be understood in relation to the global market and the various transactions on a global scale is the fact there is a greater of difference and diversity. For a better understanding of the various culture and practices, a company has to ensure inclusivity within its workforce. It may take years to a new company operating in a new environment to get to understand the dynamics of the norms and practice of the people.
However, by employing individuals from the area of operation, it becomes much easier to work in such an area. The other striking similarity that can be identified by the two companies is in relation to the aspect of diversity and inclusivity. The organizational culture of Starbucks is shaped by an anti-discriminatory policy. It is aimed at ensuring that any form of discrimination within the company is eliminated.
The diversity of ideology and thinking is highly welcomed by the company since it is seen as the basis for creativity and innovation. Discrimination based on religion, age, gender or races are all prohibited. This is one way of ensuring cohesiveness and unity among the workforce and reducing conflict. For Aramex, the social life of the workforce is highly encouraged. The company focuses on ensuring that the employees are given the opportunity and chance to interact with one another.
The interaction is encouraged and fostered beyond the working environment to allow for greater cohesion within the workforce. In as much as it is used to reduce conflict, it is a method that allows for reduced turnover (Schein, 2010). The secret to surviving the global market is based on understanding the demands of competition on a global scale.
Entrepreneurship and creativity form the very basis and foundation upon which the Aramex grows. This characteristic is also evident within Starbucks. By eliminating the bureaucratic structures within the company, dynamism and flexibility are fostered within the organization. Communication and collaboration form the other component within the organizational culture of a company.
The relations and communications structures within a company are critical in determining the flow of information among the management, workforce and customers. Effective communication platforms and channels are a crucial component within Starbucks. For the effective delivery of services, for instance, orders in Starbucks a cafe, a channel of communication has to be effective (Rhoades, and Covey, 2011). The baristas have to clearly communicate with one another for them to timely serve their customers.
The quality of service and the attainment of efficiency in costs are achievable through proper communication across the stakeholders within the organization. Aramex being a logistics and mail delivery service company, a clear cut communication line is required to allow for proper delivery service across the globe. Miscommunication and breakdown in the communication channels can result in huge losses for the company.
Changes in any company are usually received with resistance. The reasons for the resistance to change vary from individual to another, however, in most case the change being initiated is often for the good of the company. This is one of the areas that the Starbucks as a company have focused on to ensure that any changes it initiates receive the least forms of resistance. The principle of embracing resistance is another culture that has been developed within Starbucks.
It is a culture that comes in handy when changes have to be implemented swiftly and with a little planning. Organizational culture is the one of the factors that determine the degree of success that can be realized by a company. It is an essential element in creating the foundation for a company. For companies with huge or numerous operational areas, the essential factor lies in creating a culture that can be passed down to employees even as they are recruited.
The analysis of the organizational culture as done above provides insights into the success stories of the companies that have been discussed. It is the tools that can be used to understand the need for various operations in a company. The culture of an organization provides the basis upon which the brand of a company can be built. It is important for any company, to ensure that it focuses on the development of a dynamic and unique culture of operation and doing business since it can be used as a mode of marketing itself.
Flamholtz, E., & Randle, Y. (2011). Corporate culture: The ultimate strategic asset. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Business Books.
Grosse, R. E. (2016). Emerging markets: Strategies for competing in the global value chain.
Rhoades, A., & Covey, S. R. (2011). Built on Values: Creating an Enviable Culture that Outperforms the Competition. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.