The United State of America is a very multicultural country. Racism and discrimination are a part of the US history, but after the Civil Rights Act 1964 was enacted to protect all minorities groups rights throughout the USA. But government and business organizations are sometimes accused by minorities regarding discrimination. Because racism and discrimination are prevalent throughout the USA. The main purpose of this paper is to identify an organization who faced an ethical crisis in their organization. Recently, Starbucks was accused of discriminating against their customer and have faced many challenging after the incident.
Starbucks has been accused of treating people differently on based on their race, especially between white and black people.
On April 15 in Philadelphia two black men entered a Starbucks and asked to use the restroom. But the employees refused their request because they did not buy anything. Secondly, they were also told to leave but when they refused that command one of the employees called the police and they were arrested.
The arrest of these two African American men created a procedural conflict in the organization. In the current event the employee used procedures and decision making to solve the problems which cause the major conflict for organization. The strategy of the process of decision making, who accepts responsibility, or what happens when responsibilities are not carried out at all, can contribute to tension and conflict in organization. As the employee follows the rules and instructions given by the organization, he thinks the involvement of police will probably solve the issue.
The recorded video of this event was seen 8 million times on Twitter and Starbucks faced widespread criticism on social media. Furthermore, provoked anger from public official and demands of an investigation regarding the event. After this incident, Kevin R. Johnson, the Chief Executive of the Starbucks openly condemned what happened and describing it as “very hard to watch.” In addition, he released a statement in which he called the situation a “reprehensible outcome” (Stevens, 2018). Furthermore, he added that “Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.” So, Starbucks choose a negotiation method to solve this conflict. Starbucks take action against the conflict seriously and try to solve it through discussion with affective parties and work with other stake holder like customer opinion, suggestion by affected employees and others.
In addition, Starbucks decided to provide nonconscious bias training to their employees. On May 29, 2018, they closed all 8,000 of its company-owned U.S. stores Tuesday afternoon to train employees to combat unconscious bias. This marked the start of an effort by the coffee giant to turn a public relations mess into a teachable moment. According to senior fellow of the public policy organization Demos, Heather McGhee, and Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-council of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund provide some suggestions that how Starbucks and other companies handle the current situation and make a “full-scale racial equity overhaul” . For example, identify any kind of variance in customer service policy based on customer background. In addition, arrange a store audit to identified negative policies and modify them.
Furthermore, conduct a “civil right audit” and audit the company policies, outcomes and procedures with comprehensive and independently. Secondly, Starbucks has to work with experts and improve discrimination policy and involve with community. In addition, Starbucks managements has to provide a training and clear instructions in employees handbooks how to handle racial discrimination and their detail meaning. The chief executive of Starbucks Mr. Johnson said, “…Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling…the basis for the call to the Philadelphia Police Department was wrong. Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did…I hope to meet personally with the two men who were arrested to offer a face-to-face apology…”.
I believe the statement from the chief executive of Starbucks was very effective and expressed very well his apologies to the affected customers. He also shows his willingness to bring any kind improvement into the organization to serve the customer better and avoid these incidents in the future. But if they also approach other social media resources, like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, to express their apologies and inform their customer of their future strategies is also a help to address the organization crisis. Most of the people think that social media is only useful for marketing benefits. But many business organizations use social media to provide customer service and communicate to its customers.
I think if Starbucks makes an effective video by using the same message and publish it in social media which will catch people’s attention quicker than just a simple written statement. It also succeeds in shaping a positive perception of the company within their employees’ minds which also helps to solve the crisis. According Hettinger, head of the three-airplane company who also facing a conflict in organization says that ‘We’re not only trying to shape employee perception, we’re looking to influence their behaviors or actions so that what they’re doing really aligns with the company’s goals’. Overall, Starbucks handle this conflict very well, but it should be a long-term effort. Furthermore, they have to provide ongoing staff training on diversity and inclusion.
Racism and discrimination are a very sensitive issue in the USA and many civil right activists want larger social change in society. But Starbucks try to bring change in company through employee training and provide an exclusive awareness about racism discrimination. Starbucks try their best to work with their marketing team to recover their reputation and Starbuck brands. Furthermore, try to solve the racism discrimination conflict in organization.