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Starbucks Business Ethics Case Analysis

1544 words - 6 pages

Starbucks Business Ethics Case Analysis

INTRO

Ethical issues in business are a common placed every day occurrence that will never cease to exist. We will discuss an ethical issue that involves a large American corporation and its practices when dealing with suppliers of produce that is essential but not solely used by this business. We will present several point of views backed by literary findings that suggest ethical practices may or may not be at hand.

BODY

Mr. Donald states that one of the main goals of Starbucks is to expose the world to the coffee production/industry in Africa by showcasing African coffee name brands. However, there is evidence that points to the real goal – that goal, simply put, is greed. The article "Starbucks Seeks The Right Blend of Global Ambition And Ethical Trade", written by Robin Pagnamenta, of the Times Online, in my opinion would be a goal oriented based theory.

Last year the American chain operated 12,800 stores globally and earned 6.4 billion dollars in revenues. Further, Mr. Donald plans to open a total of 40,000 Starbucks stores, 50 percent of them outside of the United States. "We open six new stores every day", says Donald. "We opened our first in Brazil last week. Cairo opens next week", he continues. Incidentally, Donald was paid $2.7 million last year, a former chief executive of America's Path mark supermarket chain – a far cry from the salary he earned at that level.

Manifested Ground Rules
Every thriving company must embrace some sort of code of ethics ground rules which will guarantee its success. In this case, Starbucks wants to promote high standards of practice; by selling the richest and aromatic coffees in the world to the general public. They acquired these blends from some of the riches soils in the world – mostly from the continent of Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.)
Another ground rule could be promoting acceptable business behavior, as Donald gives examples of how his company founded such programs as world educational foundations, environmental initiatives, and development loans that would aid destitute Kenyan coffee growers. Why would there be destitute coffee growers if the business behavior/practices were acceptable?
Starbucks has established a reputable empire, which shows the occupational maturity. When the company first opened its doors many people laughed at the idea of a "high-end" coffee shop with a funny name but as time went on, they grown to become a common household name. While they have matured in the eyes of Americans they are still new to accommodating all of the third world countries from which they exploit.
Some of the fundamentals business ethics/ground rules such as, "honesty is the best policy", "the customer is always right", and following the concepts of Truth in Advertising are applied on the surface in the Starbucks case, but a closer examination will show that there...

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