Starbucks: Ethics in a Cup

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In the ever evolving world of capitalism, a common thought thread of dog eat dog has emerged. In order to survive a business must do whatever it can to turn a profit, with no regard to social, environmental, or economic responsibility. This worked for a time; profits were soaring in almost every business sector. Until the business world would be rocked by scandals at the start of the twenty-first century. The lack of business ethics in corporate America led to the worst economic downfall in America since the great depression. Today lawmakers, stakeholders, and consumers are demanding more ethical business practices, and more social responsibility. Businesses that are open and conscience of ethical practices are noticing an upward trend in profits, employee commitment, investor loyalty, and customer satisfaction (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2011). One business has taken ethics and social responsibility seriously from its inception and has grown into the world’s most recognizable coffee supplier, Starbucks. Starbucks is one of only 23 companies to make Ethisphere’s Most Ethical business list 6 years row (Ethisphere, 2012). Starbucks has been on the leading edge of business ethics, with its innovative initiatives in; employee treatment, ethical sourcing and farmer support, community involvement, and environment friendly practices (Starbucks, 2012). Howard Schultz CEO of Starbucks was recently named Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year for 2011, due to his proven flair in marketing, and ability to come back and save the company he helped build after an eight year hiatus. Starbucks posted astronomical numbers for 2011; $12 billion in revenue, 37% increase in shares, and a major acquisition of the California base super-pr... ... middle of paper ... ... 6, 2012, from Kleinrichert, D. (2008). Ethics, Power and Communities: Corporate Social Responsibility Revisi. Journal of Business Ethics, 78, 475-485. Retrieved March 13, 2012, from the EBSCO Host database. Kline, A. (2012). Starbucks' New fund Creating Jobs. American Banker, 177(27), 10-10. Retrieved March 13, 2012, from the ESBCO Host database. Reis, P. R. (2010). Starbucks and the Spotlight Effect: Corporate Social Responsibility and Reputation Risk. Annual Advances in Business Cases, 29, 204-213. Retrieved March 13, 2012, from the EBSCO Host database. Starbucks. (n.d.). Starbucks Shared Planet Goals & Progress 2010 | Starbucks Coffee Company. Starbucks Coffee Company. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from
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