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Starbucks Coffee Company

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Starbucks Coffee Company

Table of Contents

Abstract 3

Introduction 3

Paradoxical Thinking 3

Starbucks Coffee 4

One of eight skills 5

Paradoxical thinking for management and leadership 5

Conclusion 6

References 7


Founded in Seattle in 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company is the largest coffee house company in the world, with more than 17,000 retail stores located in over 50 countries (Starbucks, 2011). The company's CEO, Howard Schultz, is determined to making sure growth does not dilute the brand's culture and the common goal of the company's leadership to act like a small company. This paper focuses on the use of paradoxical thinking in the development of new marketing strategies, leadership and management. More specifically, it discusses the definition of paradoxical thinking as the one of eight skills related to intelligence and its use as a mean for Starbucks Coffee Company to capture additional market share and the rise on top of the increasing competition.

Paradoxical Thinking

One of the main key skills required by emerging leaders in the new millennial is the ability to demonstrated "paradoxical thinking". It is the ability to hold two seemingly contradictory statements or beliefs firmly in mind. The previous organizational mindset typically involved by simply seeking profits. In today's hypercompetitive era, the new challenge is to embrace two possibilities: to seek profitability and to embrace corporate citizenship, to be local and global, to reward talent and to be cost conscious. Strategic flexibility is the name of the game which is portrayed as paradoxical thinking. Therefore, the new leadership challenge is reflected in the apparent paradoxes that have infiltrated many corporate board rooms. Examples are such as globalisation and localisation, competition and cooperation, control and chaos, stability and innovation, profitability and responsibility or incremental and radical change. Over the years, Starbucks Coffee Corporation's perseverance has facilitated this mindset (Krehbiel, 2011).

Starbucks Coffee Company

In the late 1980s, the National Coffee Association invested in producing advertisements trying to convince people that coffee could keep them awake. Eventually, the old "cup of Joe" which was cheap, often stale and reheated sludge poured from a pot became the drink of the moment. Naturally, when Starbucks came on the national scene in the 1990's with the intention of "inspiring and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time", America eagerly embraced it. Starbucks's use of paradoxical thinking dates back from its early beginnings and remains the reason for its rise to success. Aspects of Starbucks' appeal in the United States and the rest of the world have been its establishment of the cafe as a social hub, music collaborations, acquisitions and Fair Trade agreements (Starbucks, 2011). Since its creation, Starbucks has brewed up new strategies and became more than just an expensive cup of coffee. Not only Starbucks is offering the customer a five-minute vacation but is deeply involved in serving Fair Trade coffee and subsequently working with other non-governmental organization, ensuring that small farmers receive a living wage. The company notes that this was done in an effort to live up to the standards set by Starbucks in the area of social responsibility. They went away from the idea and never-ending quest for the cheapest coffee suppliers and concentrated on providing better quality beans. Starbucks proved paradoxical thinking in addition to some of the market factors when increasing emphasis on Fair Trade Certified coffee, helping to put Global Exchange's attack on Starbucks in context. The lessons learned from the Starbucks' use of paradoxical thinking are a great tool for managers engaged in similar activities. After years of expense control and number crunching, they learned that they couldn't cut their way to greatness.

One of eight skills

Studying paradoxes is important to the development of a creative mind.



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